The Mile High City is consistently hailed as one of the best places to live in the United States—and who are we to argue? But with an additional 1.5 million people expected to move to the Front Range by 2035, our treasured lifestyle may be at risk. We dug through reams of city-planning documents, talked to dozens of Coloradans, and put together a vision for the future of our city. Now, it's time to make this vision a reality.
Round the Clock
How downtown is morphing from an office and club district into a full-time mixed-use neighborhood.
Twenty-five years ago, living in downtown Denver was a high-risk activity reserved for the hipsters and homeless; businesses were veritably walled off in the central district, and the whole place shut down by dusk. Today, downtown has become one of the most vibrant areas in the city, boasting Coors Field and the Pepsi Center, cultural facilities such as the Denver Center for the Performing Arts and the Museum of Contemporary Art, more than 25 million square feet of office space, and a legion of hip, new high-rise buildings like the SugarCube at 16th and Blake. Downtown is now home to 10,000 residents—a number that's expected to more than double by 2030—and more than 110,000 workers. "Residential downtown living is no longer an experiment, or bohemian chic," says Brad Buchanan, a principal and architect with the Buchanan Yonushewski Group. "It's become a visible and exceptional lifestyle choice."
The city isn't done yet. A series of public and private proposals—including the Denver Downtown Area Plan, Blueprint Denver, and the Denver Multi-Modal Access Plan—call for higher-density housing, more shopping and offices, improved transportation, and making downtown streets more inviting for pedestrians and bicyclists. In other words, the kind of place where you can work, play—and live.