036 220916 Werk Creative CCN 72 DPI 1

How One Neighborhood Mastered the Balance between Luxury, Residence and Commere — Creating the City’s Most Sought-After Locale

Launching in 2023, MAWD’s Magnets series will profile cities that have caught the eye of architects, designers, and real estate professionals as centers of innovation, excitement, and development. Magnets aims to discover the source of their distinctive allure, united by their recent growth, influx of residents, and appreciation for high-caliber design.

About Cherry Creek

Cherry Creek is a stand out neighborhood in Denver, situated on the banks of the Cherry Creek River. The neighborhood is predominantly residential, with integrated retail, commerce, and entertainment mixed in. What has made Cherry Creek historically desirable, is the neighborhood's close proximity to downtown Denver, coupled with its own residential feel.

To understand what is driving an influx of residents on a micro-level, MAWD sat down with Nick LeMasters, President and CEO of the Cherry Creek North BID, to discuss one of the Denver's most attractive neighborhoods.

What makes Cherry Creek a unique place to live? What does the neighborhood offer that is unique compared to other neighborhoods in Denver?

The neighborhood is arguably the most walkable in the entire city. At the most basic level, residents want to know that they are residing in a community with an extremely high quality of life.

Cherry Creek certainly delivers on this promise, with a pedestrian-friendly character, and classic ‘neighborhood’ feel. On the flip side, Cherry Creek provides an urban living experience close to Denver’s central business, entertainment, and retail districts. It is this proximity to downtown that makes our district a first choice for many residents.

How has city and architectural planning added to the neighborhood’s livability?

In order to preserve the views and open skyline that many of our residents have enjoyed for decades, Cherry Hill has concentrated the greatest building height and density along First Avenue, with a tiering downward of building height as we near Second, and then Third Avenue.

This intentional tiering was prompted by requests from within our community, later gaining support from both the city and county. Working with local government, we were able to amended zoning code to allow for greater density along First Avenue, while maintaining lower heights adjacent to our residential community. This amendment has allowed us to sustainably add several new developments, without impacting our community’s quality of life.

261 220916 Werk Creative CCN 72 DPI
Image courtesy of Cherry Creek North BID.

What is the demographic that is currently moving to Cherry Creek?

The neighborhood demographic has historically been defined by luxury seeking “empty nesters.” This is beginning to change, however. Today, many of the newest residents in Cherry Creek are considered up-and-coming professionals.

Locus of Growth: Denver by the Numbers

There’s no place like home: 71% of millennials who lived in Denver at age 16 decided to stay or return by age 26 (US Census Bureau, July 2022).

According to the most recent census figures, millennials in 2021 made up about 33 percent of Denver's population—a four-percentage-point jump from five years earlier. In raw numbers, the city saw an influx of more than 30,000 millennials between 2016 and 2021, an increase of roughly 15% (5280 Mile High Magazine).

With a population increase of nearly 18.5% in the past ten years, Denver has joined the ranks of “Magnet Cities” in terms of desirability, investment and growth (World Population Review, 2022).

Boasting a rich cultural fabric and vibrant city life, Denver has become a well-priced alternative to traditional urban hubs, and due to its business-friendly environment, strong university system, and airport connectivity — the city has become a leading contender in attracting top financial firms and tech giants.

Within the past five years, various industries, tech giants, and notable creative and financial firms such as Amazon, Facebook, Salesforce and Zoom, have all established offices in Colorado. In fact, U.S. News and World Report has ranked Colorado as second in the country in terms of economic strength (U.S. News and World Report).