Sloan's Lake and Berkeley Neighborhoods (Denver, Lakewood: real estate, apartment, renters)
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The school on 44th and Utica when I was growing up ( just a block down ) was Holy Family.
The area where the shopping center the previous poster is talking about was (again when I was growing up) was called..Lakeside Shopping Center.
My mom was a store detective at the Denver Dry when I was in school!
Strange that it is torn down now!!
The area that another previous posters friend sold their home (50th & Tennyson is/was right along Willis Case Golf Course..or on the edge(SE) of Berkeley Park. My first job ever was Willis Case Golf Course!!
On the westside of WCGC was Inspiration Point..off of 50/52cnd & Sheridan (yes, my name!)....it was where the wealthier lived!!
I have absolutely no idea what these neighborhoods are like now!
The Homes around Inspiration Point are still fantastic looking and must be expensive. Certainly, the area has improved in value in the last few years as all the area around where you grew up. Utica is dead ended at 44th and there is that senior residence, which I assume was not there when you where growing up.
Just North of Inspiration Point, The Camp Fire Girls' Camp, Camp Rollandet, has been acquired by the City of Denver as a Wildlife Preserve and they are remodeling the main buildings. It is not yet open to the public.
I seen a big chance in the character of Berkeley Lake area in the 24 years that I have lived North off Tennyson, in Arvada. Today, it is normal to see more families walking, mothers with strollers--it is much more sedate and calmer area.
It is quite a nice little neighborhood and is much better when they redevelop all of the Lakeside Amusement Park. I think the Lakeside Mall area redevelopment is just a result of the collapse of the markets. Eventually, it will pick up and we will see the redevelopment of the old speedway and the closing of the amusement park. The current owners have kept it quiet what is really happening.
The Homes around Wilis Case Gulf course are still in great shape and expensive. There has been some remodeling of the homes bordering Tennyson to the east. That area is another hidden treasure in Denver.
Thanks Livecontent! How very interesting! It will be strange when Lakeside Amusement park is no longer there!!
I just googled my home on Utica and printed pics and sent them to my Mom...she's in Florida now. She was shocked!!
I am the reason Berkeley Lake doesn't have piers/docks. When I was in 3rd grade, I was breaking ice while on the pier with a friend. I fell thru the ice and was saved by that friend. The Denver Post did an article on that and, they tore down the piers!! Stupid, i know!!!
I can't believe the Oriental Theatre is still there!! What memories I have of the whole area!!
I need to take a road trip!!!
Speaking of Sloan's Lake, what's the latest you all have heard about the St Anthony's Hospital area redevelopment project?
The public meeting has ended a few years ago. The issue has not really gone away but has gone underground. I suspect that there are varied interest vying for development rights. It will properly pick up quickly, next year when the hospital closes. In addition, the west corridor rail is nearing completion in 2013. It is close to this area and will certainly impact the development. I think that West Colfax east of Sheridan will see significant development because of the rail and the proximity to downtown. Certainly Colfax west of Sheridan has changed with the building of the Walmart and the attraction of more stores that feed off the Walmart shoppers.
Lakeside Park is a treasure to savor, not wish away.
"[quote=livecontent;12763385] It is quite a nice little neighborhood and is much better when they redevelop all of the Lakeside Amusement Park. I think the Lakeside Mall area redevelopment is just a result of the collapse of the markets. Eventually, it will pick up and we will see the redevelopment of the old speedway and the closing of the amusement park. The current owners have kept it quiet what is really happening."
Lakeside is a rare treasure of a classic amusement park which should be supported by the entire metro area if not listed on the National Register. While the land under the shopping center, the office park and for that matter under I-70 was once all part of the parcel owned by the amusement park, they have been under separate ownership since the 50s when I-70 was planned through the area. The mall property and buildings have had many owers over the years; some more or less sucessful. At one time the mall was owned by the Resolution Trust Corporation (the guys who had to bail out the savings and loan industry when Washington loosened the rules on the banking industry the last time around.) The mall like Buckingham Square before it and now Westminster Mall are part of a dying breed.
The amusement park is here to stay (with proper support from the community) under the same family management which has run it through three generations since 1934. This historic property is a gem of art deco archtecture, 20th century Americana and organic Denver. The loss of which would be equal to the demolition of the May D&F Plaza downtown, the bulldozing of original Elitch Gardens, subdividing City Park or building a Star Bucks atop Mt. Evans. Yes, the disused and unsightly race track should be leveled, the parking lot paved and the Sheridan side of the property could use some serious landscaping. Yes, the tower shoud be refitted with new, fully functioning (LED?) lighting. Yeah, there are a lot of things which would make Lakeside Amusement Park a more attractive part of the community. BUT I think the management has made some good improvements inside the grounds and I think they take safety and the money it takes a priority. They spent last summer and I am sure a good bit of money rebuilding the roller coaster. They probably didn't get as many customers with their star attraction shut down but they made the safe choice. It did run at the very end of the season. If they were going to close down I think they would have just left it alone. You never hear of anyone getting hurt there. The gang activity which once may have been perceive by suburbanites afraid of people whose skin is darker than theirs is more under control there than at Six Flags (you don't have to pass through a metal detector to get into Lakeside.) I have taken my kids there for over 12 years since moving within 8 blocks of the place and we have always had a good time without feeling broke when we left.
Denver without Lakeside and other unique features just starts to look like another Los Angeles. One of those is enough for any country.
I agree that the outstanding art deco buildings and tower of Lakeside Amusement Park should be preserved. I do not believe that the Amusement Park, itself, should warrant the same protection of preservation.The area would be better served if the whole property was developed as a mixed use development, accented with specific protected buildings of the old.
The Old Elitch property is an excellent redevelopment that needed to happen. It was not all bulldozed; the gazebo is still there as well as the theater. You cannot preserve every parcel and piece of the pass, just for nostalgia. It has to makes some sense economically and fit into a good scheme of the future with parts of the past preserved.
I do enjoy North Denver and the adjoining Western Suburbs because it has much of the older buildings and the many big lake parks of Denver; I think we should encourage preservation, redevelopment and renewal. The renewal of West 38th in Denver and into Wheat Ridge is an ongoing project that was stimulated by the redevelopment of the old Elitch's into Highlands' Garden Village Highlands' Garden Village which is the name of the development. It certainly helped accelerated the renewal of Tennyson, just north, in the Berkeley Neighborhood.
The redevelopment of Lakeside will also stimulate the renewal of West 44th and the adjoining areas of Sheridan Blvd. There is much potential in that area. I think we should see big interest when they start the building of the Gold Rail Corridor, which will have a station just north, near West 60th and Sheridan. Also, there is the soon to be completed station of the West Rail Corridor on West 13th and Sheridan. So that area between those two stations will see significant improvement on and adjacent to Sheridan.
I'm sad to hear Lakeside will be torn down. I have a lot of happy memories of my kids participating in the summer reading program at the library to earn their Lakeside ticket. Then we'd all go down there for a fun evening. Maybe an amusement park isn't the best use of the land, but a lot of kids have had a lot of fun there over the years.
Lakeside Amusement Park is NOT going to be torn down!
The mall which was failing for the past 20 years was knocked down before the crash and now sits as a windblown, moonscape eyesore. (Not that the mall was much more attractive when it was standing.)
The amusement park is a successful, local business that has been under the same family ownership for the past 76 years. They have owned it outright for all this time. I'm pretty sure the mortgage, if there ever was one, was paid off decades ago. Therefore, if they make a dollar it is theirs to keep after paying the taxes on it. This is a sound business model which requires no tax incentive dollars from you and me.
When Elitches moved to a prime chunk of downtown development land the City of Denver paid out big bucks for infrastructure and subsidies from tax dollars. Elitches incurred so much debt from the move on their part they had to sell out to Six Flags who had to pay current market value for the property and assume the massive debt. Six Flags, due to this purchase and the reckless acquisition of dozens of other properties, racked up billions of dollars in debt, raised entrance, parking and food prices to cover it, lost attendance because of price increases and is now in bankruptcy with their stock trading under a dollar. The City of Denver lost our tax dollars, the stockholders lost their investment, and a couple of banks got sucked into the current financial morass because of this failed business model. Little ol' Lakeside keeps drawing people who pay a reasonable amount for an evening's entertainment and keeps (most of) the lights on and the owners fed. Yep the place needs cleaning up and more support from consumers would allow them the money to do so. The park should become and an anchor to redevelopment not an impediment to it. As I said before, the racetrack should go and the parking lot should be paved, the Sheridan Blvd side should not be used for parking but should be landscaped to make the park and the street more attractive, the tower should be repaired and be a model of energy use - maybe even solar powered. The amusement park makes a great, quiet neighbor about 250 days a year since they are only open during the summer. Some of the businesses at the Elitches site run 24/7.
Whether the redevelopment of the Elitch site was a good thing or not depends on your taste in architecture and the built environment and the idea of cramming as many uses onto three city blocks as possible...elder living, apartments, section 8 housing, condos, tacky houses trying to blend with the neighborhood but only three feet apart, an abandoned theater building falling into further disrepair by the day and no future use plan, all with the constant traffic of national chain retailers in the backyards of the residential components.
The redevelopment of 38th and for that matter 32nd started much further east with the reutilization of some of the existing and funky buildings and the redevelopment of some parcels. All of this work went on because of market prospects, not some 10-pounds-of-potatoes-in-a-5-pound-sack development, tax incentive scheme. The owners of the properties have done what they thought would be successful and have made a success of the venture. They came to the neighborhood BECAUSE of the neighborhood and the customer base of people who saw the potential of the housing stock in the neighborhood not because of how they wanted to change it into Cherry Creek West. Cherry Creek is victim of its own success. Those of us who were pioneers in that neighborhood because of bargain housing prices ended up surrounded by McMansions and unbearable traffic and parking from the mall and CC north. Most of us moved on to other quite and funky neighborhood such as Berkley and Highlands.
The worst case scenarios of tax incentive, public funded and enforced redevelopment are to be seen in the redevelopment of Villa Italia into Bel Mar. The mall was dying and something needed to happen but what was built there was a cheap copy of the old fashioned downtown which we worked to demolish in the urban renewal of the 60s. This project was commenced when the market was good and still couldn't fully sell or lease out. It is surrounded by unsightly parking garages that look like Soviet housing blocks. The Wheat Ridge Urban Renewal Authority is another planning nightmare. That group has all kinds of plans for redeveloping other peoples' properties with still other people's money. They have five, FIVE, urban renewal areas in their city with all kinds of pie in the sky concept plans drawn up and not one dime to execute any of them let alone all of them. Wheat Ridge has done a nice job of putting in cutsie little street lights that harken back to an age the suburb never saw and some neon signs letting you know you have just had the privilege of entering their little burg (or warning you that you are about to do so) but not much else. One of these monumental signs was built on the southwest corner of Kipling and I-70 completely blocking a business from view. But Iíll bet the geniuses at town hall will be scratching their heads as to why they suddenly see a downturn in sales taxes collected from that location. Politicians always make bad business partners.
Don't get me wrong. It isn't that I don't like change and think that there are plenty of areas that need scraping to achieve urban renewal because they are truly blighted. Not bringing in enough tax money for the city is NOT a determination of blight no matter how much the grubby little politicians would like to think so. RTD getting into the real estate development business while abusing their power of eminent domain is not a cause for taxpayer funded "urban renewal". If the gold line or any other part of the shell game that is not-so-Fast TrAXs is such a good deal for development it should be left to the private sector to make a profit on it, not the bunch that mismanages our miserable bus system. A perfect location for scorched earth, 60s style urban renewal is Federal Blvd from about 80th avenue south to at least Alameda There are maybe six buildings that merit saving in that stretch. The landowners should form their own cooperative to level the entire strip and start over with private funding. That kind of project would much improve Highlands and Berkley.
The whole Fast Trax program is an over-built, out of control government pork (your tax dollars) project. RTD claims that the overall cost has risen. REALLY? Look around for a minute. We are in a world-wide recession. Commodities prices have fallen: the steel for the rails, the copper for the electric lines, the aggregate for the road bed and concrete ties are all cheaper now than when the project was conceived. But they tell us the lines will cost more to build. There is rampant unemployment in the construction trades and workers can be had for less money but RTD tells us it will cost more still. The design for each part of the Fast Trax program is astoundingly over priced and not all of it necessary. RTD has dozens of busses running up and down Colfax every day each crossing hundreds of intersections without getting hit by cross traffic. BUT each and every grade crossing for light rail now requires a multi-million dollar bridge rather than a $100k crossing gate. Allegheny transit in the Pittsburg area uses rapidly closing and opening crossing gates to protect their trans from idiot drivers. RTD should run light rail and express bus service to and from their park and rides and on a few arterial streets not on routes which could be run with a minivan due to low ridership None of these rail lines are a panacea as they are proposed to landowners to be. I was in favor of Fast Trax and voted for it last time but when it hits the ballet in November I am voting against more spending and voting against each and every member of the board. No light rail line will improve the value of my neighborhood.
I read your whole post, slowly, and got through it all-then I fell asleep;too much for an old man. Though, I disagree on many points, it was well written and it is a welcomed opinion, so I gave you a rep.
We can talk about this or that development, good or bad but one thing is certain, there will be big changes along the Sheridan corridor and Northwest Denver. For now, I just enjoy the mix of old and new. I like the many parks and lakes, some are not very well known to many new people in Denver. Once you get off the main streets, there is just some many hidden gems in this area of metro Denver.
I do hope that we do not change the area to an over-hyped, expensive stretch of fluff stores without the essential mix of basic stores that serve most people. I find Belmar to be just that--stores that do not serve the general populace but a select few. Old Villa Italia, I liked. It had basic stores and a King Soopers to the south with good priced condos and apartments nearby. It was walkable with all the stores you needed, a Montgomery Wards, a Walgreens and even a Library on the edge of the property. King Soopers, and the Library are now across Wadsworth and Belmar is just not as inviting to me as Villa Italia.
But what do I know; I am just a spectator and what will happen, will happen. I just hope there is enough of the old, the plain and the simple to exist for this old, plain and simple man, until I say good bye.
As a licensed Architect, Registered Engineer and having worked in Urban Planning all spanning a 42 year career, I've seen this "gentrification" senario work out time and again. What you end up getting with too much government "help" is the original status of the neighborhood being turned upsidedown and inside out. It has happened in LoDo, Cherry Creek, and Washington Park. The old people like us get priced out of the market or the tax levies; the artists, cafes, galleries, mom & pop shops all move to the next marginal, funky neighborhood and the entire charater of the place changes to look like every other average or less place. At least the people around the Elitch site had the good sense to stand up to the City of Denver and the Walmart Corporation and say no to that outfit of global disrepute. Walmart is still sniffing around the area (there isn't one for at least 3 miles in any direction). Safeway is looking to expand their store on 44th and is trying to buy up residential properties. They did the same thing on East 6th Ave by the Esquire Theater. Walgreens is looking for sites that include both existing commercial properties and properties to demolish and build another clone store. Fuller and Company real estate brokers appears to be up to something as well. It would appear they are in cahoots with RTD, Wheat Ridge, Golden and others in quietly buying up properties before some of these changes are in the spotlight and the legitmate owners stand in the way of their plans big and small. Change is coming but managing it at every turn is the only way to keep the best of the old and keep out the worst of the new.
In addition to helping preserve and restore Lakeside Amusement Park NW Denver folks should get behind the Oriental Theatre and the Federal Theatre to bring a good art film house and live theatre, music and dance to this side of town. Tennyson Street has a great start to make a great organic "downtown" for this neighborhood.
For a lesson on how light rail will not help any neighborhood look no further than Five Points. This area is the kind of mixed use, tranist oriented terminal Golden, Lakewood and Wheat Ridge are begging for. It did nothing to help Five Points. Light Rail is about transportation NOT land development or redevelopment. When transportation and development are combined and confused in this way nothing good can come from it. For the greatest worst case senario of this you can look to Baltimore, MD. Their light rail system was run down a street with a number of good, small businesses. By the time the dust cleared not one of them was in business and the city was left with block after block of vacate store fronts. To see how things are going here in Denver look at the blight RTD is laying across Lakewood and Golden right now. It is starting to look like a Los Angeles freeway nightmare. Nothing says progress like thousands of cubic yards of concrete bridges and walls. I have decided on only to vote NO on any more funding of this boondoggle (I voted yes the first time around) I've also decided to throw my hat in the ring for RTD Board of Directors to directly put the breaks on this misdirected, overbudget, over-designed trolley. It needs to be built for what they promised us in the first place or not built at all.
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