DENVER —There are some 225 businesses located along East Colfax, between Monaco and Colorado Boulevard. Colfax is some 12 miles long and many say it is the longest ‘main street’ in America. While Colfax is the main street of America, this section has been suffering from benign neglect for decades.
Hilarie Portell is now heading up the Colfax Mayfair Business Improvement District, which in November was able to get 51% of the property owners to join in to help form the 11th BID in Denver.
“While there has been some $26 million in investments in the district since 2010, high crime rates, side and crossing walks are in poor condition, even tho there is more opportunity for existing business to grow,” said Portell. “We want to partner with Denver to access grants and bond investment to do things the private sector can’t do.”
City Council did allow for the creation of the BID and now businesses will be paying 7.5 cents per square foot of the property’s total lot and building size, which will help allow for an annual budget of $120,000.
From Marczy’s to the Chop Shop and Nuggs Ice Cream, there are tons of new businesses landing on the Fax. In fact, as they celebrate year one, Nuggs—owned by Brother’s BBQ—they average about 4,000 customers a week and sales are up 20%.
"It's been an amazing process just seeing it grow," said Deandre Dowell, owner of Nuggs Ice Cream.
The hope is that the BID will get planters, better lighting, planters, and crosswalks and sidewalks which encourage stopping in at some of the shops with more walking along Colfax, rather than just seeing motorists racing from red light to red light as they pass along the new district!