Bordered by Speer Boulevard, 20th Street, Wewatta Street, and the alley between Market and Larimer Streets, Lower Downtown Denver (LoDo) is the true birthplace of the city of Denver, and is currently booming with rich nightlife and a population of 21,000+. In 1858 General William Larimer built a log cabin in the spot now occupied by LoDo, and called his small settlement Denver City after the governor of the Kansas Territory. The area quickly grew, and 130 years later the area was designated as the Lower Downtown Historic District by an act of the City Council. The act encouraged the preservation of the area’s historic architecture and resources, and was passed with the hopes of revitalizing the area (1).
The efforts at revitalization were successful and today LoDo is one of Denver’s hottest communities. Located at the heart of the city, this neighborhood offers quick and convenient access to the best shops, restaurants, galleries, and nightclubs in the city. Further, if you work in the city you’ll be able to avoid the mess of rush hour traffic by walking or biking to your office building. For those traveling south to work, the light rail makes multiple stops in LoDo and can take you as far as Littleton, Aurora, Lone Tree, or Golden. As an added bonus, the light rail will also be making its way out to Denver International Airport in the coming years.
Some of the biggest attractions within close proximity to the neighborhood (which are also some of the biggest attractions in the state) include the Elitch Gardens Theme & Water Park, Downtown Aquarium, Children’s Museum, Coors Field (home to the Colorado Rockies of the MLB), Pepsi Center (home to the Colorado Avalanche of the NHL, the Denver Nuggets of the NBA, and the Colorado Mammoth of the NLL), and is also only a short distance from Sports Authority Field at Mile High (home to the Denver Broncos of the NFL.) The Pepsi Center is also one of Denver’s premier concert venues, frequently playing host to bigger name artists such as U2, Taylor Swift, Imagine Dragons, and many other talented musical acts. Because of its standing as a prime venue, and its large seating capacity (up to 21,000 for special events), other significant events in history have been hosted at the Pepsi Center, including the 2008 Democratic National Convention. With sports, politics, music and more, it’s incredible how much LoDo offers in terms of things to do and participate in, and the variety of which to choose from.
LoDo is also home to Larimer Square, the first historic neighborhood ever revitalized in America, which opened in 1969. Today, Larimer Square persists as a Denver icon with its glittering lights and ever-changing decorations. It’s home to 18 shops and boutiques that carry over 200 fashion lines from all the fashion capitals of the world. Some of its well known boutiques include Cry Baby Ranch, an absurd collection of authentic western wear, and its polar opposite ModaMan, which specializes in upscale menswear and “dressing Denver’s finest gentlemen.” Moreover, it’s also home to some of the city’s top chefs (2). Rioja brings an unbelievable amount of business to Larimer square alone, primarily with its Artichoke Tortellini, goat cheese, and fresh bacon. Another must-try is a specialty martini and aged steak at one of Denver’s best steakhouses, the Capital Grille. Or, if you’re looking for some of the best seafood in the state, Ocean Prime offers a fresh and modern menu with a world-class wine list (3).
For the outdoor enthusiast, Confluence Park brings an incredible Colorado nature experience to the big city. Named for the location where the Cherry Creek and South Platte rivers meet, this park offers panoramic views of Denver, sandy banks for sunbathing, and rapids emerging from custom-designed chutes for brave kayakers. In the summer Confluence Park hosts a free concert series every Thursday evening (4). In accordance with Confluence Park, the Cherry Creek pedestrian path is another popular outdoor attraction for walkers, runners, and bikers alike that adds another element of intrigue to the LoDo neighborhood.
Lodo – Real Estate Snap Shot
LoDo is rich with 19th century beautiful brick homes as well as newer and flashier architecture. One can find condos or lofts in converted warehouses, newer constructed hi-rises, or rehabbed historic buildings. Prices run from the $200,000’s to the multi-millions.
1) LoDo Website