Greening 1st Avenue, bringing Cherry Creek to commerce + the new UC Medical Center

Development is hitting Cherry Creek at a torrid pace — cranes have become a common view. The new direction has molded Cherry Creek North into one of the most vibrant, attractive live-work-play areas Denver has to offer.

However, an underlying tension pulses underneath the area, as longer-term residents often differ with newcomers around Cherry Creek’s changing character. As new, posh developments come in, and price points continue to rise, the area’s local, boutique character could suffer if not protected.

[Read about Denver real estate mogul Matt Joblon and his role in revamping Cherry Creek]

That was the thrust of a recent Cherry Creek Business Alliance meeting I attended. The group is unified in looking for ways to preserve Cherry Creek’s heartbeat, and local, unique humanity alive with the development.

In the last four years, the area broke ground on high-rise living and hotels in the eight-story, 201-room The Jacquard luxury hotel, the 12-story, high-end condos of Laurel Cherry Creek(71 luxury condos), 155 Steele and the ultraluxury apartment condos of the St. Paul Collection (164 units, some featuring the highest rents in Denver metro, with ground-floor retail).

Amping soul with green

At the meeting, a few suggestions for keeping Cherry Creek’s unique character alive emerged.

One suggestion is to make as much greenway as possible by accentuating the section of Cherry Creek that courses through the neighborhood.

Many of the suggestions center on making 1st Avenue more pedestrian-friendly, and facilitate a deeper connection between North and South Cherry Creek, which involves integrating the two sides across the creek, Cherry Creek.

Greening 1st Avenue may be tricky as it’s a major car thoroughfare, but if the neighborhood can work with the city on restricting traffic flow, this could really improve the quality of Cherry Creek visitor experience.

The association is not just talking about 1st Avenue, but also 2nd and 3rd Avenues, by planting trees and plants and reducing concrete.

Cherry Creek North building height restrictions under the latest 2012 area master plan. Credit: City of Denver

UC Health Medical Building

The UC Health Medical Building slated for 1st Avenue and Cook Street, right in the heart of Cherry Creek North, promises to bolster the neighborhood’s center.

The new, vibrant outpatient-only center brings a variety of medical services to the neighborhood, including ophthalmologists, podiatrists, imaging and, something not now in Cherry Creek and needed, a pharmacy.

I can’t tell you how excited I am by these developments. It’s why I work in Cherry Creek, and why I love helping buyers and sellers find their perfect Denver neighborhood home here.

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