DENVER — Construction noises in Elyria-Swansea are as expected as is the sunrise.
Construction on the Central 70 Project has been happening for months, and as it gets closer to wrapping up, neighborhood residents are starting to feel the impacts.
Gisela Juarez, who's lived in the neighborhood for more than 22 years, is among those affected by construction. Months ago, Juarez was forced to move into her parents home in the neighborhood after previously living in her own home not too far away with her three children. She, like many others, put up with the growing pains of the Central 70 Project and hoped to never have to move.
Her parents settled in the neighborhood after moving to Denver from Mexico years ago. Having people around them who are of the same race, speak Spanish and who eventually became friends were all reasons they chose to stay.
Juarez said her landlord told her in June that he'd be increasing her rent by $400. She was previously paying $1,600. A rent hike was her biggest fear when construction on the Central 70 Project started, and it was becoming a reality.
She said the Central 70 Project improved the highway, and while it aims to improve the neighborhood, too, its forced people out because of increasing rent prices. Juarez said she's had lots of friends who were once neighbors opt to move to homes in Aurora, Thornton and even Commerce City because of this.
So now, Juarez and her three children are left sleeping in one of her parents' bedrooms. She said she's already applied for an apartment in the neighborhood and is hopeful she's approved.
Her goal is to keep her kids in the neighborhood she grew up in, but, more importantly, keep them in the same schools they've attended their entire lives.