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Ballpark District neighbors report seeing improvements after Mayor Mike Johnston's House1000 initiative

Posted at 7:58 AM, May 13, 2024
and last updated 2024-05-13 10:00:30-04

DENVER — Last summer near 20th St. and Broadway, businesses were surrounded by tents on all sides.

In that part of the Ballpark District, the growing number of unhoused people in Denver was especially prominent.

"This corner smells like fetid urine in the morning," Scott Coors, the former owner of The Triangle Bar told Denver7 Reporter Russell Haythorn before the business closed its doors.

Now this spring, there's a noticeable change.

"This place is really promising for sure," Adoney Varela said. Varela's family just opened Olympus Discotheque in the former Triangle Bar space

The new owners told Denver7, while they still deal with the occasional unwelcome guest in their alley, the area has undergone a transformation.

Ballpark District visitors said they're noticing it too.

"You're not walking around looking over your shoulder. You are relaxed and you feel safe," Brittany Austin said.

Matt Van Sistine has lived near 21st St. and Larimer Street since 2007.

"It's been a significant change for the positive," Van Sistine explained.

As Chair of The Ballpark Collective, he said drugs are still a problem, but getting rid of the encampments was a positive step for those living and working in the area.

Since taking office, Denver Mayor Mike Johnston has moved over 1,500 people indoors. 85% are still in some sort of shelter today.

Van Sistine's goal now is to build up the Ballpark District as a destination.

"We want people to not just pass through Ballpark to get to Rino or get to Larimer Square or 16th when it's finished," Van Sistine said.

Ballpark District neighbors report seeing improvements after House1000

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