A tale of two ‘hoods

Whether buying or selling, tuned in to the real estate world or not, Washington Park looms large for both residents and visitors. Denverites want to live there and tourists flock to it. It is Denver’s hottest neighborhood.

Wherever you find yourself in the neighborhood you’ll enjoy what makes it great: the glorious park and proximity to downtown, the Cherry Creek Bike Trail, and cute neighborhood shops and restaurants.

Buyers pay a premium to live here; it has the highest price-per-square-foot in the city. Residents deal with the park as year-round magnet and the traffic and joy it brings.

While Washington Park has great renown, many might not know it is really a tale of two ‘hoods.

West Washington Park

Heading west from the park, you’ll find yourself on Downing Street, the beginning of West Wash Park. Bordered by Speer Boulevard to the north, Broadway to the west and I-25 to the south, shorter blocks and smaller lots characterize this side of the neighborhood.

880 Sherman Street

The smaller lots and more rentals makes this neighborhood a bit younger — in many homes the owner lives upstairs and rents the downstairs. It has a buzz in the air. Good coffee and dining, such as Wash Perk, Vert Kitchen and awesome breakfast spot Cafe Europa, dot the landscape. You can also find classic eateries like the Italian staple Carmine’s on Penn.

Lots average 4,690 square feet. A typical home is a two-bedroom, one-bath bungalow with a one-car garage. These go for from $750,000 to $800,000.

An older neighborhood with many homes built circa 1925, there is not a lot of new construction in West Wash Park. These older homes come with older plumbing and electrical systems, so updating is often in order for buyers.

Sellers should highlight their home’s vintage charm — expose original brick walls, highlight arched doorways — while also providing modern conveniences such as fresh tile and a stand-up shower rather than a clawfoot tub. This will maximize appeal.

East Washington Park

The hood’s fancier side extends east to University Avenue, south to I-25 and north to the Denver Country Club.

Graced with larger lots at an average of 6,250 square feet, East Wash Park has a calmer, more settled vibe and more owner-occupied homes, many with mature landscaping.

Because many homes have been remodeled, it’s one of my favorite areas to drive or stroll — each house is different. This unique character gives the area a fun, fresh vibe. Some of the builders active here include Chalet, Larson Development, Squibb and Henry Development.

1216 S Williams Street

Homes are larger than in West Wash Park. A typical home has two or three bedrooms and two bathrooms on the main floor and one bedroom and one bath in the basement. Two-car garages are also more common.

Homes here start closer to $850,000 and shoot up from there. Some builders have paid $700,000 to $850,000 for just a lot!

At higher price points, homes take longer to sell on this side of the park. As the luxury market begins to cool, sellers need to hit the market correctly when they list. No dipping toes in the water without a smart strategy.

Gaylord Street offers provides the neighborhood with its own cluster of amenities, featuring cozy restaurants such as Max Gill and Grill and Agave Taco Bar, boutique fashion from Barbara & Company, and spa day services from Salon Theory.

Regardless of which side of the park you end up on, you’ll have a good day, however distinct.