I was recently on assignment in Denver, CO. What a vibrant market! The much discussed LODO/Union Station area exceeds its lifestyle-forward reputation. It is a sophisticated space reminiscent of European cities like Vienna, Geneva, Munich, and Budapest. The timeless interior is at once a step back in-time and a step toward the future.
Union Station is a refined transit-hub for commuter rail and Amtrak. Proudly situated among the high-rise condominiums and office buildings, Union Station is home to The Crawford Hotel; Alex Seidel's Mercantile Dining and Provisions; The Kitchen Next Door founded by Hugo Matheson, Kimbal Musk, and Jen Lewin; Jennifer Jasinski's Stoic & Genuine; and many other boutique food, coffee, and retail shops.
What I found refreshing was the strong presence of unique, local, difference-defining food, entertainment, and retail businesses. The shop and restaurant owners are largely entrepreneurs based in Denver, Boulder, and the surrounding area. And their community-centric, down-to-earth, vibe is sensed the moment you smell the fresh baked baguettes, hear the sizzle of food on the grill, and walk among your brothers and sisters in this marvelous space.
Moreover, these businesses offer high-quality products at moderate price points. They undoubtedly enjoy a broad pocket-book appeal to young singles and couples early in their career; families; and empty-nester's. For example, The Kitchen Next Door has $3, $4 and $5 snacks during "community hour". That is such a great concept!
This atmosphere isn't just isolated to LODO. The Highland District, in Western Denver, is an area on the cusp of a spring season with young singles and families revitalizing gentrified neighborhoods anchored by a Spouts Farmers Market. RINO (River North) District, near Coors Field, is an artsy Bohemian-like neighborhood of 20-something's. And, because of the light rail backbone, places like Lincoln Station in Lone Tree, CO, is developing into a transit-oriented destination market vibrant in commercial, medical, retail, hotel, and other uses.
New-to-market restaurant, retail, and hospitality concepts by energetic entrepreneurs, a multi-model transportation system, thousands of new apartment and condominium units, location of numerous tech companies, and a lively arts and culture scene places Denver in a category-defining market all by itself!