Denver to transform part of Westwood neighborhood into Mexican cultural district

Posted at 8:29 PM, May 15, 2017

DENVER -- If you’ve driven on Morrison Road in southwest Denver, you probably don’t remember much about it.

Denver City Councilman Paul Lopez says the road is often overlooked.

“It's a road that people would pass through as a shortcut to get from one side of southwest Denver to downtown Denver,” said Lopez. 

For decades, the Westwood neighborhood where Morrison Road runs was riddled with vandalism.

“About 10 years ago this was the epicenter for graffiti after graffiti,” Lopez said.

But now, Lopez says the area around Morrison road is getting a makeover.

“We’ve turned a lot of plighted parcels into property that's going to the serve the community rather than a junk yard,” Lopez said.

Medians will be added to the road to make it safer, but Lopez says that’s just the beginning.

The city is now in the process of turning this already Hispanic populated part of Denver into a Mexican cultural district.

“It’s 81 percent Latino, a majority of which are Mexican-American,” Lopez said.

Noe Bermudez is among the first business owners to paint a Mexican inspired mural on his restaurant in the area. He says business is still slow, but he sees potential.

“I believe in change. Morrison Road used to be bad but that doesn't always have to,” he said.

Lopez says the revitalization project will attract more businesses to an abandoned part of the city.

“We want to make it into a place where people can actually live, where they can go on a date and enjoy a nice dinner and go hear music,” Lopez said.