You may have noticed some of your neighbors having a decidedly southern drawl and adjusting to life in a “small town.”
After data mining the U.S. Census Bureau last year, Westword found that out of the total population of Colorado residents, 5,695,564, which increased by 88,410 from 2017, only 2,388,284 million were born in the Centennial State. So where did half the state move from?
200,481 Colorado residents are from Texas, second in size only to California with 365,982 residents.
Companies moving to Denver may also have had a role to play for these trends. Over 200 BP employees have now settled in Denver from Houston as a result of the energy giant’s relocation of its Lower 48 Regional Headquarters. The Mile High City is now a key location for BP and its management of two-thirds of the company’s onshore oil and gas properties. In addition, it’s likely that BP will invest in further development across the Rocky Mountain West.
The new headquarters is located in the Riverview Building, 1700 Platte St., in LoHi. These new employees are treated to a work environment in one of the most vibrant areas of the city, with all of the best Denver has to offer quite literally in their backyard.
It may take these Houstonians awhile to acclimate to Denver and not just because of the change in elevation. Houston is the largest city in Texas and encompasses a whopping 634 square miles, which is four times bigger than Denver. The Mile High City’s arid climate is drastically different than the humidity-soaked H-town, and our Rocky Mountains offer a much different backdrop than the Gulf of Mexico.
While there are many differences between the two cities, many of the Denver neighborhoods bear striking similarities to those found in Houston, helping ease the transition for our Texas transplants. And keep in mind, what the Denver neighborhoods lack in size, they make up for in western hospitality. Whereas driving from one end of Houston to the other can take hours, Denver’s commute is half the time. Furthermore, Denverites have access to exceptional public transportation, unlike our Houston counterparts.
Both cities share similarities in their popular neighborhoods. If you are looking for homes for sale in Denver and are curious whether a Denver neighborhood mimics that of a Houston ‘hood, listed below are six Houston neighborhoods and their Denver “cousins” at 5,280 feet above sea level.
Six Houston Neighborhoods and Their Denver Counterparts
West University | Washington Park
Boasting a high quality of life, both of these neighborhoods are favorites among professionals and families. Charming bungalows and cottages can be found next to new contemporary and “popped top” renovations. West University features several small parks in the neighborhood unlike the massive Washington Park which provides a central gathering place for all its residents. Both neighborhoods are close to major universities (Rice and University of Denver), downtown and professional sports venues.
“The Heights” | Highland
In 2013, CNN ranked Houston Heights or “The Heights” fourth in its Top 10 big city neighborhood rankings. Dating back to its origins in the late 1800s, it enjoys close proximity to the city much like Denver’s Highland neighborhood. After a long period of urban demise, these two communities have now been gentrified and feature a hot real estate market, upscale boutiques and popular restaurants. Residents enjoy walking along inviting tree-lined sidewalks and viewing the varied architecture. Both neighborhoods are situated on the north side of the the city, but the Highland is much closer to the center of Denver.
Bellaire | Cherry Creek North
You’ll find small 2 bedroom, ready-to-be renovated homes next to exclusive multi-million dollar mansions in these two popular neighborhoods that feature a central location, shopping, good schools, wonderful parks and endless restaurants. Unlike the Cherry Creek North and Hilltop neighborhoods, Bellaire is a massive city (3.6 square miles) located southwest of downtown Houston, and has a mix of light industrial as well as commercial operations. Unlike Bellaire’s notoriety as “The City of Homes,” both Cherry Creek and Hilltop offer more diversity as a mixed-use area, being able to walk to shopping and its “city within a city” feel.
Woodlands | Denver Tech Center (DTC)
Both of these areas are sub-cities with office buildings, shopping, golf courses, hotels, restaurants and housing bundled together in a thriving package. The Denver Tech Center was developed in the early 1970s and is home to many large cable, technology and financial services companies. Housing developments soon emerged in the surrounding areas. Homes can have addresses of both Denver and Greenwood Village, and feature not only single family homes but townhomes, condos and apartments. The Woodlands, located 28 miles north of Houston, is a master-planned community with a population over 100,000 and is home to many of the major energy companies. These neighborhoods feature beautiful trees, large lots and wonderful parks, and pride themselves on their culture and entertainment offerings. The Woodlands Express provides express bus service to downtown Houston while the RTD light rail in Greenwood Village transports residents to Denver.
Memorial | Cory Merrill | Cherry Hills Village
There is no one Denver neighborhood that matches Houston’s Memorial — it’s more a blend of Cherry Hills Village and Cory Merrill. Memorial is well-known for its forested neighborhoods, much like Old Cherry Hills Village but there is great diversity in prices and styles of architecture, like Cory Merrill. As with most Houston neighborhoods, Memorial is HUGE (almost 11 square miles). Unlike both Cory Merrill and Cherry Hills Village, Memorial is at the center of a large stretch of the Energy Corridor, home to many oil and gas corporations.
River Oaks | Denvers Country Club
These old, coveted and pricey neighborhoods offer stately homes and exceptional access to the downtown areas. Both are considered havens of the wealthy and have access to exclusive golf clubs — River Oaks Country Club and the Denver Country Club. Real estate values are over $1 million in these residential communities that were both established in the early 1900s. Denver’s Country Club neighborhood is a Historic District and, as a result, has strict architectural guidelines. Likewise, the planning and restrictions of River Oaks neighborhood has distinguished itself as a hamlet of privilege.
(Editor’s note: This blog was originally published in March of 2017. It has been edited and updated to provide current information).