9NEWS has been visiting the 10 metro Denver areas nominated in the Denver Regional Council of Government's (DRCOG) Live Work Play 2011.
Live Work Play celebrates great places, events and projects in livable communities in the Denver area. The winner will be selected by votes placed on their website.
Anyone can vote as many times as they want.
This week, 9NEWS is at Belmar, located in downtown Lakewood near Alameda Avenue and Wadsworth Boulevard.
Since its incorporation in 1969, Lakewood never had a "traditional" downtown.
Belmar grew from a collaborative effort of the city of Lakewood, developer Continuum Partners and residents of Lakewood.
"The first phase opened in 2004," CEO and Founder of Continuum Partners Mark Falcone said. "We started demolition of the mall in 2002, and we've opened subsequent phases almost every year since 2004."
Now, the area has a mix of shops, dining, entertainment, schools and housing.
"We have over 600 residential units here now and we have over 2,000 employees actually on the site, working here everyday," Falcone said.
Downtown Lakewood is also home to Lakewood City Commons.
"We also have the fabulous cultural center across the street with the municipal offices, we've also got the Bel Mar Library," Executive Director of Alameda Gateway George Valuck said. "We've got a theater, beautiful state of the art theater, 316 seats there."
The downtown area continues to change and grow. The city approved a plan to build a new corridor for Wadsworth Boulevard. A downtown banner and way-finding signage program is also in the works.
Later this year, the city will start a study to determine how to make better pedestrian, bicycle and light rail transit in the area.
"Most of our communities have been really organized around pedestrian access a variety of activities that meet the needs of people's everyday lives," Falcone said.
So why should you vote for Downtown Lakewood/Belmar?
"This is a great group of people. I love our chamber. I think it's one of the best in the country, a very nurturing group," Owner of Wynstone's World Tea Wy Livingston said. "As a new member coming in, you know you're kind of antsy about how people are going to accept you. And my God, it's been wonderful."
To vote or see the other nominees in Live Work Play 2011, visit http://www.liveworkplay2011.com.
(KUSA-TV © 2011 Multimedia Holdings Corporation)