The Lower Downtown Neighborhood has been transformed unlike any other in Downtown Denver. As a former early frontier town, 1920s Market Street red-light district and 1970s warehouse center, LoDo—and Denver lofts—now epitomize ideal urban living. Wooden buildings destroyed by fire in 1863 resulted in LoDo's characteristic simple designs with red brick and arched windows. Once a robust transportation hub, stagecoaches carrying gold left the Wells Fargo Depot at 1338 15th Street and Union Station trafficked over 80 trains a day.
Much of Denver's industrial economy shifted away from Lower Downtown after World War II, and almost one-fifth of the buildings in the area were demolished in the 1960s and 1970s. In order to preserve Denver's historic legacy, Denver City Council created the Lower Downtown Historic District in 1988. The historic district designation introduced zoning ordinances that limited building heights, preserved dozens of buildings from the wrecking ball, and instituted strict guidelines for building rehabilitation and new construction. Tax incentives and grants attracted investors to LoDo's brick and stone structures. More than 20 buildings in LoDo have been renovated since 1991.
Today, LoDo is a mixed-use neighborhood that is also a regional destination attraction for entertainment. Art galleries, dozens of restaurants, brewpubs, jazz clubs, and specialty retail stores line the ground floors of historic buildings. LoDo residents enjoy proximity to outdoor parks and amenities, including the Cherry Creek bike path, the 16th Street Mall, and the recently completed 30-acre Commons Park in the Central Platte Valley. Coors Field, home of the Colorado Rockies, anchors the neighborhood's northwest corner at 20th and Blake Street. Wynkoop Street is home to historic Denver Union Station, the Tattered Cover bookstore, and the Wynkoop Brewing Co., Denver's first brewpub (and the country's largest) that opened in 1988.
LoDo residents will tell you there's a great sense of community in this very urban setting. Neighbors greet each other on the streets each morning, and they're on a first-name basis with many a shop owner, coffee barista or waiter in the area. And although this neighborhood is most certainly ensconced in the grit of the real city, residents are always just a few blocks from the Cherry Creek bike path and the recently completed 30-acre Commons Park in the Central Platte Valley. Denver lofts represent the sort of city living environment that is often attempted, but rarely captured.
This 25-block neighborhood is a marriage of western history, urban chic and gracious living. LoDo housing options range from beautiful, historically-preserved buildings to new million dollar lofts to below-market rate apartments. Many apartments and lofts are also built above historic buildings, with retail and entertainment below. The neighborhood has more new construction residential projects as fewer vacant buildings are available for renovation.
Downtown Denver was one of only five "downtowns" to experience population gains of more than 35 % between 1970 and 2000.
Average household size: 2.3
Percentage of people 25 years and older with a bachelors or graduate/professional degree: 34.5 %