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5 Up and Coming Denver Neighborhoods

These days, it seems as if every Denver neighborhood is either "up and coming" or already "established" (read- expensive.) For those already established neighborhoods, it means small, local boutiques, coffee shops, restaurants, parks, and of course, a high walkability score. It also can mean a higher price point. You're not sacrificing to take a chance on 3-5 years of neighborhood development and growth. For those of us who can't afford the charm of places like Wash Park, Highlands, and Uptown, there is good news- Denver actually has 78 (!) neighborhoods, each with their own unique vibe, and lots to look forward to. Here is a breakdown of 5-

Sunnyside: Sunnyside is no secret to Demerits, but its full potential has yet to be realized. Although it's home to many popular eateries, coffee shops, bars, boutiques and parks, Sunnyside is primarily a quiet residential area. However, the area is bound to get busier in the coming years with the construction of the Gold Line, or "G Line," extension on the light rail. One of the future stations will be located at 41st and Fox Street – on the eastern edge of Sunnyside's border. Sunnyside offers a mix of residential housing options that range from charming, historic bungalows and mid-century ranch homes to modern townhomes – most of which are more affordable than similar structures in nearby Berkeley and Highlands neighborhoods.

Cole: The Cole neighborhood is getting noticed because it shares a border with the River North Art District (RiNo), an area chock-full of trendy restaurants and shops, and with limited residential opportunities. To the north, outside of Cole, sits the Denver Coliseum and National Western Complex, which recently got approved for a massive overhaul to become a major events center which will likely increase traffic and visitors to the area. This neighborhood also offers proximity to downtown amenities and attractions as well as the expansive City Park, where plans for a revitalized golf course are getting underway. The median price for a single-family home in Cole is around $350,000. Homebuyers will also see that there is a variety of reasonable priced row houses, attached single-family homes, in this area.

Mayfair: Another area anticipating a major revitalization is Mayfair, located within the larger neighborhood of Montclair. Mayfair will benefit from the nearby redevelopment of the former campus of the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center at 9th Avenue and Colorado Boulevard. The area will feature a number of parks, plazas, residential buildings, offices, shops, hotels and restaurants – all within walking distance of the Mayfair area. The project is expected to help significantly raise home values in the area upon completion in 2018.

What's more, homes in Mayfair – which include a mix of historic single family homes, mid-century ranch-style homes and condominiums – generally sell for under $500,000.

Villa Park: Just south of Sloan's Lake, Villa Park is a gem for outdoor lovers and one of Denver's several new in-demand "pocket" neighborhoods. Villa Park's northern border runs along Dry Gulch Park (a popular jogging and biking spot), while its southern border runs along 6th Avenue, which gives commuting residents a 15-minute head start on morning traffic. There are also three light rail stations in the neighborhood. Most of the homes in Villa Park are mid-century ranch-style homes with a median listing price of around $250,000. Other surrounding neighborhoods that are considered to be affordable up-and-comers include Barnum, Barnum West, Valverde and Villa West.

Chaffee Park: Northwest Denver has been crazy lately. Neighborhoods like Highland, Sunnyside, and Berkeley are growing out of that small neighborhood feel, and that is causing growth to bleed further north into Chaffee Park. The neighborhood hasn't always had a favorable reputation in the eyes of outsiders, but don't tell that to locals. Besides, it consistently ranks high among Denver’s safer neighborhoods these days. Chaffee Park does currently lack the cool, hipster vibe you’ll find in the neighborhoods directly to the south. But again, that’s why it’s on an “up and coming” list. There are affordable homes, safe residential streets, properties with potential, and easy access to just about anywhere you’d want to go. In other words, get in while you still can.

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