Den­ver no match for five sub­urbs

Lone Tree, Com­merce City, Broom­field, Cas­tle Rock, Lochbuie set pace.

The Denver Post - - BUSINESS - By Aldo Svaldi Aldo Svaldi: 303-954-1410, as­valdi@den­ver­post.com or @al­dos­valdi

A lot of at­ten­tion is paid to how fast Den­ver’s pop­u­la­tion is grow­ing, and the city at­tracted a dis­pro­por­tion­ate share of new­com­ers to Colorado dur­ing the re­cov­ery, es­pe­cially mil­len­ni­als seek­ing an ur­ban ex­pe­ri­ence.

But a study from Lawn­starter found that five sub­urbs added peo­ple at a faster clip than Den­ver, and what they shared in com­mon was an abil­ity to add homes and apart­ments.

Lone Tree, at 19 per­cent, had the fastest rate of pop­u­la­tion growth be­tween 2010 and 2015 out of two dozen Den­ver sub­urbs stud­ied, ac­cord­ing to Lawn­starter, which re­lied on pop­u­la­tion counts from the Amer­i­can Com­mu­nity Sur­vey by the U.S. Cen­sus Bureau.

“Lone Tree grew, at least in part, thanks to the ad­di­tion of mul­ti­fam­ily hous­ing. But it could be a chicken-and-egg thing — did the peo­ple come first, or did the hous­ing come first?” said Rachel Welch, a spokes­woman for the Austin tech­nol­ogy com­pany.

The an­swer, based on the other faster grow­ing cities, looks like chick­ens need room to lay their eggs. Com­merce City ranked sec­ond af­ter Lone Tree with a five-year change in pop­u­la­tion of 17 per­cent, while Broom­field ranked third with a 16 per­cent growth rate in its pop­u­la­tion.

Round­ing out the top five were Cas­tle Rock at 15 per­cent and Lochbuie, just north of Brighton, at 14 per­cent. All five are on the metro pe­riph­ery, with room to grow.

Com­mu­ni­ties that were penned in against the moun­tains or built out and sur­rounded by other cities had some of the slow­est growth rates.

Edge­wa­ter and Wheat Ridge only man­aged to muster a 3 per­cent gain in pop­u­la­tion. Oth­ers on the slower growth list were West­min­ster, Sheri­dan and Lake­wood, with in­creases of 7 per­cent.

Cas­tle Pines, which is a small af­flu­ent com­mu­nity, had no growth from 2010 to 2015.

Nor­mally, core cities haven’t had a lot to of­fer when it comes to new hous­ing and that lim­ited their abil­ity to grow in ear­lier decades. But when it comes to apart­ment con­struc­tion, Den­ver is un­ri­valed this cy­cle. And For­est City Sta­ple­ton re­mains the state’s fastest sell­ing mas­ter-planned com­mu­nity, and one of the top in the coun­try, de­spite the bot­tle­necks it suf­fered last year.

The avail­abil­ity of apart­ments and homes al­lowed Den­ver to grow its pop­u­la­tion 13.1 per­cent in the five-year pe­riod, no small ac­com­plish­ment given that the city counted 603,421 peo­ple back in 2010. That rose to 682,545 by 2015.

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