By Thomas Spahr
Denver’s westside is undergoing significant change as property values boom and demand rises. The Sloan’s Lake & West Colfax neighborhoods have been sleepy for many years, but the development of the W-Line light rail has renewed interest in this part of town.
Sloan’s Lake is the area between Federal Blvd and Sheridan Blvd from 29th to 17th Avenues. West Colfax is immediately south, stretching from 17th to Lakewood Gulch (approximately 12th Avenue). These two neighborhoods share one of Denver’s finest parks, Sloan’s Lake Park, which features breathtaking views of the Front Range and Downtown Denver and hosts a variety of fantastic events, including the annual Dragon Boat Festival. On most days, the park is crowded with joggers, bicyclists, strollers, and other folks enjoy a nice day at the park.
Traditionally, homes in the neighborhood were modest brick ranches, bungalows, duplexes, and tudors. While many blocks, especially on the north side, have maintained much of the original charm, development creeping into the neighborhood has made it a hot spot for large scrape-off projects. Many of the new projects are modern rowhomes and duplexes with crisp, clean interiors, and luxury finishes. The contrast between old and new can be quite striking at times, but there is a demand
for both types of housing in Denver.
Meanwhile, bigger changes are underway along the West Colfax corridor. Larger apartment complex projects have broken ground and newer retail amenities are just around the corner. The redevelopment of the old St. Anthony’s hospital, near the corner of Raleigh and Colfax, will bring some exciting tenants to this catalytic mixed-use development, including the newest outposts of Little Man Ice Cream, Highland Tap and Burger, and the Alamo Drafthouse, a fun and funky new-wave movie theatre with a bit of hipster flavor (psst—we have a free showing of Toy Story at the Alamo in Littleton on March 6th; get tickets here).
It is also exciting that the neighborhood has an active and involved community, illustrated by the group of citizens behind the West Colfax Food Co-op. The WCFC intends to become a community-owned grocery store with the mission of providing equitable access to fresh, healthy, and affordable foods. The store is still a ways away from taking shape, but the organization has recently begun accepting members.
It is amazing how much this community has changed from the days of the Manhatten Beach Amusement Park! For a look at homes currently available in the neighborhood, visit our website at www.bluebirddenver.com.