Historic neighborhood lights up for the holidays, a rare listing comes on at $625,000

Real Estate

Historic neighborhood lights up for the holidays, a rare listing comes on at $625,000

Denver’s historic Highlands neighborhood, where hopes run high for its reemergence as a dining hub after coronavirus moves into the rearview mirror, is suffering both sides of the pandemic’s economic effects this holiday season—lights-out at its legendary restaurants; and absolute pandemonium in its real estate market.

“It’s insane,” says Amy Berglund, managing broker of RE/MAX Professionals’ City Properties office, in the heart of the Highlands’ Berkeley neighborhood. “We’re seeing less attractive properties going for larger amounts of money than we could have imagined. It’s depressing for buyers; I feel for them.”

Berglund has a home that’s a rare bright light back on the market this week, one that shows just how intense the competition has been: At 2724 W. 37th Avenue in Potter Highlands, she’ll arrange to show you a remodeled bungalow, four bedrooms, and two baths, 1,964 sq. feet on an oversized lot. It had come on the market three weeks ago at $625,000—drew 70 showings that weekend and went under contract for tens-of-thousands more; but then saw the deal fall through. It’s back on now—“A chance,” says Berglund, “for somebody who lost out before to have another try at it.”

Potter Highlands, north of W. 32nd Avenue’s restaurant row and east of Federal Boulevard, shows some of the best of Highlands’ appeal, says Berglund. The neighborhood inside a protected historic district lies adjacent to LoHi, the area that slopes east down the hill toward the Platte River, with its own hub of dining attractions. Collectively, the two areas are known as Highland.

Berglund and other neighbors have arranged a tour of holiday lights in Highland, on you can map out via their neighborhood association site at DenverHighland.org.

Berglund says that buyers, many of them from out of state, arrive already knowing about Highlands and its restaurant districts—not just in Potter Highlands and LoHi, but Highland Square at W. 32nd and Lowell; along Tennyson Street in Berkeley; and in the new Sloans area south of Sloan’s Lake.

Next week, Berglund and her 15 agents are moving into 4272 Lowell Boulevard in Berkeley—another emerging restaurant area, already with Ginger Pig, Tocabe American Indian Eatery, Cafe Brazil, Ragin’ Hog Barbecue, and Billy’s Inn.

Berglund, who is noticing an uptick in calls from those out-of-state buyers, many who have already done scouting trips to Denver, says 2021 will do nothing to change the upbeat market, even as the virus ebbs.

“The vaccine will shift the economy,” Berglund says, “but with work-from-home a reality, people will continue to leave high-priced areas and migrate to where can get more space for the money. Denver will continue to be a destination.”

That Bungalow on W. 37th, a five-block walk from dining at 32nd and Zuni, is at the lower end of the Highlands market, but shows features that support the price, Berglund says.

You’ll see brick construction from 1922—well within Potter Highlands’ historic period of significance ranging from the 1880s to 1943, and well protected by the sellers, who have held it for nearly three decades.

The home has the characteristic bungalow porch, a recently updated kitchen, a family room addition off the back with a gas fireplace that opens to a big backyard with pergola, and a one-car alley-load garage that can be expanded under the building code; even have an accessory dwelling unit added on.