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Reader: New Downtown Beats the Empty Shell It Was Before
Courtesy of Downtown Denver Partnership

Reader: New Downtown Beats the Empty Shell It Was Before

No, it's not just you who's noticed: According to a new report from the Downtown Denver Partnership, Denver's center is filled with residents who are mostly rich, white and young. And more than 81 percent of the folks in the area are so rich, they can afford to live alone.

Readers had mixed reactions to the news.

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Ryan says:

Bunch of pretentious trust-fund babies who have wealthy parents but act like they are self-made, and homeless people getting high in bathrooms.

That’s downtown Denver.

Richard argues:

It beats the empty shell downtown was before.

Joe responds:

Low-income workers can’t afford to live and work in Denver! That’s why there are permanent help-wanted signs in front of all the restaurants. That’s why the service and wait times are a snail's pace everywhere you go...they’re understaffed! We need more low-income, rent-controlled housing for our service-industry folks, but we have a mayor with no leadership skills who doesn’t care about the future of our city. 

And then here's this from Beth:

I'm not mad at all the growth. However, I am saddened. I moved here in 1995. Within the last eight years, I went through a divorce, adopted five boys and took permanent custody of two more. I'm blessed to have them in my life. At the time I made the decision to adopt, life was affordable. I work multiple jobs, I don't receive any "assistance" and make a decent living. However, with the rising housing costs, I am having to look at moving out of state. I'm trying to save up to buy a home but the rising rental rate is making that more and more difficult. My rent has increased over $700 in the past four years and scheduled to go up again in July when it's time to renew again. I'm currently having to look at buying an RV for my family to live in for a few months so that I can save even more because moving is so expensive. I'm going to have to sell or donate most of our stuff because moving it to another state will cost a fortune.

I'm not mad at the growth. I'm just saddened that I may now have to move from the city I love and the only home that most of my boys have ever known and move them away from their biological family just because the housing prices. I need a home for my boys. A home that we don't have to constantly be concerned about getting priced out. 


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According to the DDP, 80,271 people live in what's described as the "center city boundary," while 22,801 are residents of downtown Denver proper — big numbers fueled by the arrival of more than 100,000 new Denverites since 2010.

And there's no end in sight: Downtown's residential population has tripled since 2000, and thirty more people are said to be moving to Denver every day.

Who are they? In downtown, 76 percent of them are white, with the remaining segment split between Hispanics (8 percent), blacks (4 percent), Asians (5 percent) and folks from other categories (6 percent). There's slightly more diversity in the center-city neighborhoods, but Caucasians still dominate the demo there: 64 percent white, 16 percent Hispanic, 7 percent black, 8 percent Asian and 10 percent "other."

What do you think about the changes downtown? Are you surprised by the makeup of downtown's residential population? Let us know in a comment on this post or at editorial@westword.com.

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