DENVER (DP) - Colorado's poorest neighborhood is about to take a step toward a transformation that officials hope will lift up the impoverished residents, help connect them to the rest of the city and turn the area into one of Denver's jewels.
The Sun Valley neighborhood on Denver's west side sits near Sports Authority Field between Federal Boulevard and the South Platte River. Ninety percent of its 1,500 residents live in subsidized housing, where the median household income is only $8,000 a year.
Change is coming to the area next week with the debut of the West Light Rail line. On Monday, the Denver City Council is expected to approve a sweeping land use plan that officials hope will foster a radical metamorphosis.
The Decatur-Federal Station Area Plan is a high-level vision for how the area a half-mile around the light rail station should develop in the years to come. It foresees high-quality housing for both the poor and middle class, a riverfront park, streets that connect to downtown and a new entertainment and cultural area around the Broncos stadium.
"I am just as excited about the potential of this area as I am for the area around the (National Western) Stock Show," Denver Mayor Michael Hancock said. "This is going to be transformational for an area that has been written off for so long."