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Wake-Up Call: There goes the neighborhood!

One of Denver's greatest draws is its strong network of neighborhoods, dozens of neighborhoods, each filled with advocates rooted to their particular patch of turf, but also to the city at large. And even in these depressing times, there's good news coming from them.

The EZE Mop Shopping District, a project I profiled last week, is a great grassroots success story: three local entrepreneurs getting a boost from the Mayor's Office of Economic Development to grow their own businesses, in their own space. And this Sunday, you can get in on the ground floor at a neighborhood open house at 4 p.m. at the EZE Mop building, at the corner of 17th and Franklin street. Fair warning: There's no plumbing on site, and the space is very, very dusty. But as you'll see, the partners' vision sparkles.

A few miles away, there's more good news in a truly blighted section of the city. The Urban Land Conservancy has closed the deal to buy the Holly Shopping Center, a defunct mall at 33rd and Holly that had defied all efforts by developers to revitalize it. The ULC's urban experiment won't be quick, but the nonprofit is in for the long-term public good.

And over in Lowry, a new neighborhood being created in an old military base, developers have come up with a plan for Hangar 2 -- bolstering it with four new buildings that will contain local restaurants. In addition to helping save this historic vestige of the Lowry Air Force Base, the approach should also save residents of Lowry from a depressing array of chain restaurants.

There goes the neighborhood!

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