Efforts to revitalize Ballpark neighborhood near Coors Field still ongoing

Our Colorado: Ballpark helped development in '90s

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DENVER -- It's the day before Rockies baseball returns to Denver. But even on a quiet day at Coors Field, the Ballpark neighborhood is bustling with construction. New businesses are moving into old, historic buildings.

"There are some wonderful buildings here that really are closer to the city, between LoDo and RiNo, so there's a lot of focus I think between the restaurant and bar and brewing community on these buildings," says Cherry Cricket owner Lee Driscoll.

The Cherry Cricket is opening its second location in the historic building across from Coors Field. Many in the community would like to see more businesses do the same. They say this neighborhood hasn't seen as much revitalization, compared to other areas like RiNo.

"Stadiums go up in other cities, and there's all this new development that goes up around them. We haven't had that here," says Ballpark neighborhood resident Dennis Ryerson.

The Ballpark neighborhood has unique challenges. One in particular is the homeless population. There are three shelters in this small area. Some feel that has held back development.

But there are signs of renewed interest in the area. Companies like Rocky Mountain PBS chose Arapahoe Square in the Ballpark neighborhood for their new office. Randy Thelen with the Downtown Denver Partnership says that's not all.

"There's a new apartment complex, the Kenect Tower, that will go up about 28 stories in the air. And of course the Dairy Block has just opened up with a new hotel, new restaurants new residential, office. So really that sort of continuation of development from LoDo, RiNo, Highlands, is really starting to circle the entirety of the ballpark."

The Ballpark neighborhood is still growing and changing. But it's come a long way since the Rockies first came to town.

"It was an unsafe area," says Driscoll. "And that's part of the real change that took place in the late '80s and early '90s, was gradual development of LoDo, RiNo, and the Highlands. And this is really, in my opinion, the last piece that really needs to have the same kind of level of vibrancy."

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