The Local newsletter is your free, daily guide to life in Colorado. For locals, by locals. Sign up today!
On Monday, the Denver City Council adopted the Globeville Neighborhood Plan, a document meant to provide a guiding framework for real estate development, community building, and preservation in this north Denver neighborhood.
The plan is the latest step in revitalizing Globeville, a historical neighborhood spliced in four by I-25 and I-70. In 5280’s November issue, I chronicled the neighborhood’s past—as well as its future, including the proposed neighborhood plan, which had been in development for years. A draft was released in September and tweaks were made based on community feedback before the plan headed to the Council. For example: “The community was supportive of high building height in some areas,” says Courtland Hyser, a senior city planner. “That’s not common, but they want more density to entice businesses and people to move in.” A population influx like this could make some long-term problems—notably, the lack of a large grocery store nearby—easier to solve.
The adopted plan is just one of several interrelated elements aimed at transforming north Denver. “What has been fascinating about this process is how interrelated this is with other adjacent and concurrent projects,” says Brad Buchanan, executive director of Denver Community Planning and Development. “No plans are truly standalone plans. What is very different about this one is that while we were working on this plan, we also worked on one for the Elyria-Swansea neighborhood, 40th and Colorado station area, as well as the National Western Center plan.” (Click here for the Elyria and Swansea Neighborhood plan draft; the National Western Center plan draft will be released on December 18.)
So, what happens now? The plan is just a guide; individual projects need funding. Some of that financing may come very soon: The mayor’s proposed budget for 2015 included $47 million for area projects. Even so, there is still much to be determined in how this neighborhood will develop. As I wrote in “Welcome to Globeville”:
In the end, it comes down to faith: belief the city will finally do right by this neighborhood. Belief that there is a compromise between low-income housing and urban development. Belief that Globeville will survive.
Foreshadowing: Does your neighborhood need a plan, too? Denver Community Planning and Development hopes to fast-track plans for other neighborhoods by asking the City Council for resources to do so more quickly. “Plans after 15 years become less relevant,” says Buchanan, who explains that only about a quarter of the city has an up-to-date plan. “We’ve committed to come to the City Council within the year to get plans created for those other 75 percent in the next five years. It is an aggressive goal, but one that is critically important.”
Read more about Globeville’s history, explore a map of the area, take a drive around the neighborhood, and click through an interactive timeline in 5280‘s special report, “Welcome to Globeville”.