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Old 12-16-2007, 09:20 PM
 
56 posts, read 172,359 times
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Hello everyone. Quick question for all you Denver/Aurora locals.

I am most likely going to be attending grad school at the CUHSC campus at the new Anschulz medical center. I have heard that the nearby neighborhoods are not the greatest next to the school, but I would still like to live within a 10-20 minute drive MAX from the campus if I decide to go here.

Can any of you tell me which locations, within a 5-mile (maybe 10) radius of campus would be best suited for a white college couple from Arizona? We would be most concerned with safety obviously, as well as grocery store locations, and ease of travel to and from school. Am I completely out of luck here??? Or is there some hope that I could live in this place without being scared of my girlfriend getting assaulted?

Anyone know anything about the Southern areas?: like Iliff Ave and the 225 Area, Parker Road by Cherry Creek State Park, or East of the 225 on Alameda Pkwy?

I would really appreciate any tips you can give me... even if it is only "dont live south/north/east/west, etc.

Here is a map of the surrounding areas to make it easier.

http://www.mapquest.com/maps/map.adp...ode=80045-7240

Last edited by pcollins22; 12-16-2007 at 10:49 PM..
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Old 12-16-2007, 10:58 PM
 
Location: Denver, CO
5,608 posts, read 20,670,324 times
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Are you talking about living in an apartment complex? Here's what I'd recommend: Look for something between Iliff and Smoky Hill Rd, east of 225, west of Tower/Reservoir Rd. There are a lot of apartment complexes in this area, a lot to explore. Not that this area is totally peachy keen (there are individual apartment complexes which are bad-- be picky when you go apartment hunting), but anything along Mississippi or further north and you're in the "bad" part of Aurora.
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Old 12-16-2007, 11:18 PM
 
56 posts, read 172,359 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vegaspilgrim View Post
Are you talking about living in an apartment complex? Here's what I'd recommend: Look for something between Iliff and Smoky Hill Rd, east of 225, west of Tower/Reservoir Rd. There are a lot of apartment complexes in this area, a lot to explore. Not that this area is totally peachy keen (there are individual apartment complexes which are bad-- be picky when you go apartment hunting), but anything along Mississippi or further north and you're in the "bad" part of Aurora.
Yes I am talking about an apartment complex. And thanks for the info, this is the area that I am taking a look at right now.

Also, this area is plenty reasonable for a daily commute to the Anschulz campus, correct? I believe this is only about 4-8 miles out, depending how far I look, but there aren't any hidden traffic horrors out there along this stretch are there? Mapquest tells me that from the campus to Illiff & Chambers would take 11 minutes and is 6 miles away. Is this a fairly accurate estimate given the daily traffic?

I know you said anything on or North of Mississippi is the bad part, however, this apartment complex looks very nice and its north of Mississippi on Cimarron. Is this just a fluke? Take a look at the photos:
http://www.retreatatcitycenter.com/ (broken link)

Sorry for all the questions!!

Last edited by pcollins22; 12-16-2007 at 11:36 PM..
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Old 12-17-2007, 12:37 AM
 
Location: Denver, CO
5,608 posts, read 20,670,324 times
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Let's just put it this way... I can't remember exactly which one "The Retreat at City Center" (that's what it's called, right?) is, although chances are I've been right past it before, but I personally would NOT live there, regardless of how nice or new the complex may or may not be. It's just a little too close the Aurora mall for my tastes. Keep in mind, it's not just the complex you're living in, it's the whole surrounding area that counts. There are a couple of things in the central Aurora area that I feel totally comfortable going to-- like the Aurora Central library (which is a great library btw) or the newer shopping center just north of Alameda, but I personally would not choose to live in that vicinity. Now, who knows, my fears could be completely unfounded and reactionary, but just letting you know how I feel as an Aurora native. If it was me, I'd choose something around Hampden & Tower, Parker between Quincy and Belleview (a couple of really new and nice ones there, where you can walk to Cherry Creek State Park), Chambers and Quincy (there's a complex called Quincy Ridge I think that's middle of the road, decent looking), or way out on Smoky Hill Rd. Iliff & Buckley, Iliff & Chambers probably, although I'm drawing a blank right now on what apartment complexes are there exactly. Iliff is as far north as I'd be willing to live personally.

In terms of commutes-- you could take surface streets the whole way, Chambers to Colfax (that's what I recommend), or even skirt over to 225 and take that up. There definitely will be traffic, rush hour being worse of course, but not as bad as Tucson (I've been there a couple of times, and Tucson rush hour traffic is horrendous). 11 minutes with no traffic and if you're able to ride the lights. From Iliff and Chambers, I'd give yourself 20 minutes to drive to Fitzsimmons.
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Old 12-17-2007, 01:07 AM
 
56 posts, read 172,359 times
Reputation: 20
Wow. Vegaspilgrim, I cannot tell you how thankful I am for your very detailed and timely post. This is a tremendous help to me and you definitely gave me some SPECIFIC areas to check out. Thank you soo much.

I will definitely give these areas a look when I head out that way for a visit of the school/area. With all those places you listed there will definitely be some sacrifices made depending on my choice. I will have to pick between longer commute time and better location, or shorter commute time and not-as-good location. I think I will probably just have to "see it" to really tell what it will be like. The biggest thing I "fear" is having to drive in the winters. Being raised in the valley of Arizona, I havent had to deal with snow much, so that should be a new experience That is the main reason I would like a shorter commute.

Anyways, One more question for you... since you have been to Tucson (Im sorry by the way haha), how would you compare the bad areas of each city? The area surrounding UofA is not very good in my opinion in Tucson, but is that relatively the same as the area around Colfax and the medical center? Or is that area worse? Any estimate based on your experiences?

Sorry to take up so much of your time but you have been such a great help to me and I really appreciate your details!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by vegaspilgrim View Post
Let's just put it this way... I can't remember exactly which one "The Retreat at City Center" (that's what it's called, right?) is, although chances are I've been right past it before, but I personally would NOT live there, regardless of how nice or new the complex may or may not be. It's just a little too close the Aurora mall for my tastes. Keep in mind, it's not just the complex you're living in, it's the whole surrounding area that counts. There are a couple of things in the central Aurora area that I feel totally comfortable going to-- like the Aurora Central library (which is a great library btw) or the newer shopping center just north of Alameda, but I personally would not choose to live in that vicinity. Now, who knows, my fears could be completely unfounded and reactionary, but just letting you know how I feel as an Aurora native. If it was me, I'd choose something around Hampden & Tower, Parker between Quincy and Belleview (a couple of really new and nice ones there, where you can walk to Cherry Creek State Park), Chambers and Quincy (there's a complex called Quincy Ridge I think that's middle of the road, decent looking), or way out on Smoky Hill Rd. Iliff & Buckley, Iliff & Chambers probably, although I'm drawing a blank right now on what apartment complexes are there exactly. Iliff is as far north as I'd be willing to live personally.

In terms of commutes-- you could take surface streets the whole way, Chambers to Colfax (that's what I recommend), or even skirt over to 225 and take that up. There definitely will be traffic, rush hour being worse of course, but not as bad as Tucson (I've been there a couple of times, and Tucson rush hour traffic is horrendous). 11 minutes with no traffic and if you're able to ride the lights. From Iliff and Chambers, I'd give yourself 20 minutes to drive to Fitzsimmons.
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Old 12-17-2007, 02:05 AM
 
Location: Denver, CO
5,608 posts, read 20,670,324 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pcollins22 View Post
Wow. Vegaspilgrim, I cannot tell you how thankful I am for your very detailed and timely post. This is a tremendous help to me and you definitely gave me some SPECIFIC areas to check out. Thank you soo much.
No problem. For some reason I can't fall asleep tonight, so I might as well post on city-data! Plus, it's fun.

Quote:
The biggest thing I "fear" is having to drive in the winters. Being raised in the valley of Arizona, I havent had to deal with snow much, so that should be a new experience That is the main reason I would like a shorter commute.
I've been living in Tempe, going to ASU for the last 3.5 years (graduating in May!)-- I come back to CO for winter and summer breaks- but I haven't had much experience driving on snow either. Main thing is drive slower, brake really smooth, and leave a huge distance between you and the car in front of you. The key thing is to anticipate patches of black ice before you hit them. Even though Denver is on the plains, it's actually slightly hilly, up and down, up and down, especially in the eastern suburbs. If you hit a patch of black ice heading downhill, you are screwed-- your brakes won't do anything. You have to learn to anticipate what can go wrong... before it happens. Last winter the roads got EXTREMELY icy at times. We're talking where when the light turns green at a stoplight you'd have to start going literally at 2 mph or your wheels would start spinning. Fortunately, conditions that bad are rare. The day after a snowstorm the freeways and major arterials will be completely dry-- it's mainly the neighborhood streets where packed down snow and ice hangs around for a while.

Quote:
Anyways, One more question for you... since you have been to Tucson (Im sorry by the way haha), how would you compare the bad areas of each city? The area surrounding UofA is not very good in my opinion in Tucson, but is that relatively the same as the area around Colfax and the medical center? Or is that area worse? Any estimate based on your experiences?
Colfax is a really long street (read the recent thread about Colfax for more information) spanning from one end of town to the other. Parts of it through Denver (especially from Colorado Blvd to downtown) are actually pretty cool. The Aurora part is the worst part IMO and rock bottom. I know several people who own property in that area who worked there for many years and I've heard many horror stories. Some of the worst violent crime in the Denver metro area, drugs everywhere, hookers, cheap old motels, real poverty. The Aurora part of Colfax, unlike say, Capitol Hill in the Denver part, is not even "edgy" or "hip"-- it's an area to stay away from. The area around UA is like a country club in comparison. Think "Miracle Mile"-- actually, better yet, South Tucson-- that's probably the closest comparison I can think of. Although I'm not even sure which one's worse! Fitzsimons is not exactly in the heart of the storm-- it's actually slightly east of the really scary part, but close enough where you wouldn't want to live nearby.

Aurora as a whole best compares to Mesa, AZ. A giant suburb of a large city, with an old, bad part on one end and newer, suburbia-suburbs on the other end. Except that Aurora, despite having some bad parts, is actually a well managed city, whereas Mesa is going steadily downhill.

I actually like Tucson, in a way. The Catalina mountains there are drop dead gorgeous! In terms of scenery and climate, I think it even tops Denver! I love going down to Tucson during the monsoon season-- it is usually a good 20 degrees cooler than Phoenix, and much rainier. Tucson, despite it's problems and often "junky" look, feels like what an authentic desert southwest city should be. Although, maybe that's just my impressions as a day tripper-- maybe if I lived there day in, day out I'd think different. Of course, the mountains were there before the city of Tucson was ever thought of-- and you "can't eat scenery," as they say. There's a chance I could be going to UA for a one year master's degree program. As of right now, though, I'm not sure.
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Old 12-17-2007, 07:12 AM
 
56 posts, read 172,359 times
Reputation: 20
Quote:
If you hit a patch of black ice heading downhill, you are screwed-- your brakes won't do anything. You have to learn to anticipate what can go wrong... before it happens. Last winter the roads got EXTREMELY icy at times. We're talking where when the light turns green at a stoplight you'd have to start going literally at 2 mph or your wheels would start spinning. Fortunately, conditions that bad are rare. The day after a snowstorm the freeways and major arterials will be completely dry-- it's mainly the neighborhood streets where packed down snow and ice hangs around for a while.
Well its good to know that it isnt terrible all the time. I just dread that day when I go to hit the brakes and nothing happens!


Quote:
Colfax is a really long street (read the recent thread about Colfax for more information) spanning from one end of town to the other. Parts of it through Denver (especially from Colorado Blvd to downtown) are actually pretty cool. The Aurora part is the worst part IMO and rock bottom. I know several people who own property in that area who worked there for many years and I've heard many horror stories. Some of the worst violent crime in the Denver metro area, drugs everywhere, hookers, cheap old motels, real poverty. The Aurora part of Colfax, unlike say, Capitol Hill in the Denver part, is not even "edgy" or "hip"-- it's an area to stay away from. The area around UA is like a country club in comparison. Think "Miracle Mile"-- actually, better yet, South Tucson-- that's probably the closest comparison I can think of. Although I'm not even sure which one's worse! Fitzsimons is not exactly in the heart of the storm-- it's actually slightly east of the really scary part, but close enough where you wouldn't want to live nearby.
South Tucson?! Yikes!

Quote:
Aurora as a whole best compares to Mesa, AZ.
Funny you say that! This is where I grew up and where my parents still live. East Mesa around Power and Brown area.

Quote:
I actually like Tucson, in a way. Maybe if I lived there day in, day out I'd think different.
Yeah possibly. The main reason I dont think its so great is because I live in the UofA area, which is traffic nightmare center, and it is where the homeless thrive. Sometimes I think they get so much money for begging that they could afford a better meal than I could.

Quote:
There's a chance I could be going to UA for a one year master's degree program. As of right now, though, I'm not sure.
Cool! Its a great school, great campus, and you would not be disappointed!
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Old 12-18-2007, 12:33 AM
 
56 posts, read 172,359 times
Reputation: 20
Anyone else have any suggestions as to NICE and SAFE apartments close to the Anschutz campus?

Thanks!
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