Thursday, August 30, 2012

Denver’s Strong Economy Profiled in New Report

The Metro Denver Economic Development Corporation recently published its Metro Denver Economic Profile report, a publication that highlights Metro Denver’s accomplishments in business development and key economic factors. The report is often used as a marketing tool to persuade companies to locate business operations here, but it also reminds us that Denver’s economic conditions continue to grow and prosper when compared to other markets across the country.

Some of the important, and optimistic, highlights mentioned in the report include:
• In 2012, major company headquarters such as Coleman Company (outdoor products) and TriZetto Group (healthcare technology) decided to relocate their headquarters in Metro Denver.
• Forbes ranked Metro Denver fifth among the 25 “Best Places for Business and Careers” in 2012. Criteria for the ranking included costs of doing business, educational attainment, and projected economic growth.
• Metro Denver is a magnet for young, smart, and diverse workers. In fact, the region of 2.9 million people is one of the fastest growing in the country and is the top location for relocating adults ages 25 to 34.
• The City of Denver has one of the largest public parks system of any U.S. city.
• Metro Denver was listed among the Brookings Institution’s nine “Next Frontiers,” or metro areas with the highly educated and diverse population needed to support future growth in a technology and diversity-driven economy.
• Metro Denver students have access to a wide range of higher education options including world-class research institutions, graduate and professional schools, and a broad spectrum of undergraduate programs.
• Metro Denver ranked third among 116 metro areas for smallest decline in median home price between 2010 and 2011.

“Metro Denver has a national reputation as a place that stimulates business. There is continued interest in our region from international and national C-level executives, thanks to our pro-business environment, highly educated workforce, and status as a high-tech hub,” said Tom Clark, CEO of the Metro Denver Economic Development Corporation.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

East Colfax Development

The shattered, and nearly forgotten, stretch of East Colfax Avenue is getting an updated makeover, thanks in large part to Sprouts Farmers Market. A massive project is in the works for the site of the long-vacant Rosen-Novak and Elway car dealerships, near Colorado Boulevard, reports a recent Denver Post article.

The site was originally set to host a Sunflower Farmers Market, but when the two companies merged, Sprouts was the surviving name. The Sprouts Market, estimated at 26,000 square feet, will take up the north side of Colfax between Garfield and Monroe. The adjacent block, what is now used as a parking lot for National Jewish Health, is going to see the addition of numerous restaurants and shops, according to plans unveiled by the retail developer, Evergreen Development, and the landowner, the Rosen family of Denver.

The big picture for the grocery store is to help boost the neighborhood’s redevelopment, while maintaining a low impact on the people. Small details are being taken into big consideration, as Sean Mandel, a part of Rosen Properties, wants the parking lot hidden behind landscaping and a brick wall. Other architectural features were designed with the public in mind.

Demolition for the new Sprouts was scheduled to begin on August 20th of this year, with completion in April of 2013.

Friday, August 24, 2012

You just bought your first what?

Buying your first home is undoubtedly one of the most exciting events in one’s life. But sometimes, it can seem overwhelming. A local homebuilder, Allen Shulman, with over 25 years experience, decided to help “rookie homeowners” by putting together “The New Homeowner Guide “, a book that explains the basics of home care.

In a recent Denver Post article, Shulman explains some of the important tips in home maintenance and how to settle comfortably into that brand, new property:

If you spend now, you’ll save later: By spending a few dollars on a tube of bathroom caulk and replacing that around the walls of your bathtub, you can help to prevent water damage and avoided an ugly bill upwards of $10,000. Shulman teaches how small, immediate maintenance can save you a lot of money in the long run.

Just because it “works,” doesn’t mean it works: Even though your dryer may turn on and appear to operate normally, clogged dryer ducts cause your appliance to use up more energy and boost your energy bill. But most people never inspect these ducts and thus, never know about the problem! By regularly maintaining the dryer ducts and connections, you can avoid a hefty energy bill.

Things you don’t see CAN hurt you: Some seemingly invisible things-like mold, radon, and termites-can cause major problems for both you and your house, if you don’t know that they are there. Radon is an odorless and tasteless gas that can cause serious health issues, like lung cancer. And termites, although small bugs, can cause extensive damage to the structure of your house. But you’ll never know if any of these invisible dangers are there unless you get your home tested. A simple test can save you big bucks!

Check out Shulman’s company, BrightNest, for other expert tips and relevant reminders to help make your new home the best it can be!

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

HGTV Host Gives Advice for High Style on a Low Budget

Sabrina Soto hosts HGTV’s “The High Low Project,” a show where she helps people find affordable solutions to add cool, unique design elements to their homes. A recent article in the Denver Post highlighted some of Soto’s secrets and advice on finding bargain items and creating stylish settings.

• Bargain shop. Soto's favorite haunts are thrift stores, but she also frequents online auctions, Craigslist,,, Target, and HomeGoods.
• Look for new uses for common items. Next time you see an old birdcage, imagine, ooh, a cool chandelier. Likewise, when you find an ugly glass table at a thrift store, buy it for the glass, which is often worth more. Put the glass on a new, fun base. Look twice at ugly lamps. Many can be transformed with a new shade. Buy bad art if it has a cool frame.
• Read the reviews. Because pictures can be deceiving, when buying a product online, read all the customer comments. "When I've made a mistake, or been disappointed in an online purchase, I often find the warning was in a review," she said. "Right there, it will say, color not as it appears! Now I religiously read them."
• Search for design features, not names. When searching for low-cost alternatives to high-end-looks, don't search for the item by store name. For instance, don't search Restoration Hardware Tufted Headboard. Search for tufted headboards with bronze nail heads. "You may find one that has the same character, only it's covered in microfiber not Belgian linen, and it costs a lot less. Also try searching by manufacturer, not store, and see if the item shows up elsewhere for less,” says Soto.
• Only make what you can't find or afford. "I'm very time-sensitive," says Soto, whose first choice is to find ready-to-go deals locally. When she can't, she shops online. If she still can't find what she wants, then she gets crafty.
• Worst corners to cut: Spend real money on upholstered items that look and feel good, said Soto, who doesn't like to buy upholstered items used, unless they were very gently used. She has bought bargain furniture off of film sets where they were used for a shoot.
• Best corners to cut: Wood furniture. "The most awful looking pieces can be sanded down and painted." She talked a friend, who was expecting a baby, out of buying a vintage wood dresser for her nursery that cost over $1,000. "It's insane to spend that on nursery furniture." Instead, Soto told her friend to buy an unfinished dresser and paint it high-gloss teal like the dresser she wanted. The friend reluctantly took her advice. They added vintage knobs from Anthropologie, "which we spent a little money on," and it looked gorgeous — for $125.