Monday 13 May, 2013
The Highlands is a neighborhood in north Denver that many consider the city’s latest ‘it’ place to be. It’s hip, trendy and posh, while still retaining its old-city, small neighborhood appeal. As its reputation as a great place to live or set up shop grows, it’s getting increased media attention and has been featured in Travel & Leisure Magazine and National Geographic Traveler.
The area that comprises the Highlands is bordered by Sheridan to the west, the Union Pacific Railroad lines to the east, 38th to the north and Speer Boulevard and 29th to the south.
A Rich History
The Highlands didn’t pop up overnight. It has a rich ethnic heritage that can still be felt today. It used to be part of the old Italian neighborhood of Denver and today many Italian-owned businesses are still there. Afterwards, it became a Mexican neighborhood and this heritage remains as well.
The area is full of little restaurants and bars that have a cozy feeling to them. There are small art galleries, churches, theaters, and several historic districts. Although chic, it has a very neighborhood-like feeling.
Highlands Business Districts
Most of the Highlands is residential but it’s dotted with small business districts. Its three major commercial districts are the Lower Highlands (LoHi), Highlands Square, and Tennyson Street. All three of these districts are very diverse, hosting a wide variety of small businesses.
The best locations for opening a business in the Highlands are on street corners, many of which are better known than the streets themselves. These include 32nd and Lowell, 36th and Tejon, 33rd and Osage, and so on.
The Benefits of the Highlands for Businesses
Although removed from central Denver, the Highlands area isn’t far at all from downtown. It’s connected to the center of the city by three bridges that cross I-25 and the Platte River – Denver Millennium Bridge, Highland Bridge and the Platte River Bridge.
The two major highways that pass through Denver are also easily accessible. Down the hill from the southern tip of the Highlands is access to I-25 and its major streets like Federal and Sheridan intersect I-70 to the north.
Development projects are always ongoing in the Highlands. Although there is some commercial development, much of it is the construction of new homes. This development mostly focuses on luxury homes, putting the Highlands in competition with Cherry Creek as an affluent, trendy place to live.
With its neighborhood feel, there’s a great deal of foot traffic in the Highlands, which is great for retail businesses. Events like the Highlands Street Fair, Cinco de Mayo, and the many block parties add to this foot traffic.
The Highlands neighborhood is nice if you like a mix of high class with old neighborhoods. The area is only expected to grow in the coming years.