North Denver Neighborhoods Hope To Share In Stock Show Boom

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Photo: Globeville I-70 Overpass
The Interstate 70 overpass in Globeville. The Globeville, Elyria, and Swansea neighborhoods are part of a USDA classified food desert.

The 110th National Western Stock Show is taking place this month in North Denver. Soon, the complex where it is held will undergo a $1-billion transformation.

But what about the neighborhoods adjacent to the stock yards? Leaders in Denver have said the Globeville, Elyria-Swansea neighborhoods have been largely forgotten for three decades. But they will soon be in the spotlight as a slate of public works projects are completed, including new passenger rail lines, a re-work of Interstate 70, and the stock show complex renovation.

"We're nervous," said Vernon Hill, a resident and business owner in Globeville who's worked in the neighborhood since the early 80s.

Hill, also a member of the Globeville Civic Partners, spoke to Colorado Matters host Nathan Heffel. Listen to their conversation above, and read highlights below.

On Globeville today:

"We're more of a blue collar area. We have some meat-packing plants. There's a number of small businesses located throughout the area. We're kind of in the process of going through a transformation."

On concerns of the public works projects:

"We're concerned about the impact of how these projects are going to take place and affect them on the positive and the negative side. On the negative side, we're looking at the redevelopment of the Washington Street area. National Western is going to put in two roads on 49th Avenue and 51st Avenue, which is going to connect Washington Street -- a main thoroughfare to the Globeville area -- going into the National Western. ... [The city] has launched a study ... to see how it's going to effect things. And we're really concerned about that. Because if this project doesn't run consecutive with the National Western projects, we're going to have a situation where we're going to have millions of visitors coming in through the Globeville area. And that's going to create havoc."

On what Globeville could look like one day:

"I'd like to see a lot of things. I'd like to see commercial investment in the area, to address the food desert through tax incentives. I would like to like to see the job situation begin to get a lot better where people aren't working for the lowest-possible wages. I would like to see our schools -- right now, our areas have the lowest-rated schools in the city of Denver -- I would like to see the school infrastructure and things of that nature brought up to a par that would attract people to want to raise families in the area."