freedom service dogs, kimberly mcaleenan, the conscious group, conscious real estate, denver real estate, denver nonprofits

A guest post from Conscious Real Estate Agent, Kimberly McAleenan

 

freedom service dogs, kimberly mcaleenan, the conscious group, conscious real estate, denver real estate, denver nonprofits

Kimberly McAleenan (right), presents her donation to Freedom Service Dogs, with her client Brandon (right)

 

Freedom Service Dogs is an amazing organization!  

 

Even though we just missed the latest graduates of puppies, we got to hear all about them and the amazing things they do for their new human partners, even laundry!!!

 

Dogs are meticulously trained to match the needs of their new human companion and go through months and months of learning everyday tasks that can be difficult for some people.

 

Freedom Service Dogs helps Veterans and people with special needs get the help they need by providing them with incredible dogs. It costs around $70,000 to feed all of the dogs for 1 year, so every bit helps them out.

My client, Brandon has an adorable dog named Lilo. He comes from a military family, so he wanted the donation from his home purchase to support Veterans and animals.

 

This was such a fun donation and I really hope I can bring them more money in the future.



Congratulations Brandon and Lilo to being Colorado homeowners and thanks for picking me, Kimberly McAleenan with Conscious Real Estate and Freedom Service Dogs for your donation!

No properties found

belmar mansion, lakewood colorado, belmar, lakewood

About the Author: Conscious Real Estate is a local, philanthropic real estate agency dedicated to donating 10% of each agent’s own commission to a nonprofit of their clients’ choosing. Learn more.

belmar mansion, lakewood colorado, belmar, lakewood

 


 

Belmar in Lakewood, Colorado, is a thriving area many people shop and live near now, but it wasn’t always like that.

 

In fact, Belmar has received numerous accolades and awards for its development from a failing mall into a revitalized suburban “downtown.” The Urban Land Institute says that it “exemplifies the potential for transforming…suburbs into more diverse, compact, sustainable, pedestrian oriented and transit oriented communities.” Let’s learn a little more about Lakewood and how it all began.

 

A Little About Lakewood, Colorado

 

Lakewood, Colorado is a wonderful place to look when you are searching for homes for sale in Denver. Townhomes start around $250,000 and single family homes from $375,000 and up to the millions in Lakewood, Colorado. So, you can find a home a little closer to your budget if you need to. Similarly, your funds can go much further in Lakewood than they can in Denver. You can find yourself in a mansion in Lakewood, where you may have to compromise for a smaller home or even a town home in Denver. (PS, if you want to, you can browse for yourself right here.)

 

Lakewood, unlike older metropolis cities in the nation, is a close suburb to the main city of Denver. You can get to Lakewood from Denver, in no traffic, in about 15 minutes. On high traffic days, 30 – 45 minutes can be usual, yet in other parts of the city, it can take up to 2 hours to get across town. Lakewood is also situated next to the foothills, making it a breeze to get onto I-70 to get up to the mountains. Golden is also a hop, skip and a jump from Lakewood. It’s a great place for recreation and entertainment, as well as learning about our Colorado history.

 

Speaking of….

 

Back to the History… What was Belmar Before?

 

Well, back in the day…. Not too far back, but about 1936, ground broke on a replica of Marie Antoinette’s Petite Trianon Palace in France. After a year of construction, May Bonfils, the heiress of the Denver Post founder’s fortune (long story there), was able to move into her estate, yes, Belmar, located in Lakewood, Colorado. Many of the area’s affluent would build large estates outside of the city as natural escapes (including the famous Unsinkable Margaret “Molly” Brown) who had her summer estate right down the way from May.

 

belmar mansion, lakewood colorado, belmar, lakewood, mary bonfils

Left, Belmar Mansion, Right, Owner Mary Bonfils Stanton

 

The estate was gorgeous. Belmar Mansion had 20 rooms, including a walnut-paneled dining room, art salon, small chapel, fountain, boat house, flock of peacocks, and a working farm boasting award-winning black angus cattle. May Bonfils also had a solarium, and many pieces of furniture owned by famous people of the past such as a bed slept in by Marie Antoinette, a crested chair of Queen Victoria, and a piano played by a piano played by Frédéric Chopin. The tree-lined drive was wrought with iron fencing and metal shields reading: Belmar.

 

The stairway inside Belmar Mansion

Inside the Belmar Estate

A dining room inside Belmar Mansion

 

The view across Kountze Lake featuring Belmar’s fountain.

Belmar Embodies the Spirit of Giving

 

This beautiful dream home of May Bonfils was her pride. She helped conserve wildlife in the area and was generous about sharing the land with various organizations, especially the Girl Scouts, one of her favorite organizations. She created the Clinic of Ophthalmology at the University of Colorado Medical Center, the library and auditorium of Loretto Heights College, the Bonfils Wing at the Denver Museum of Natural History, and the interior décor of the Catholic Chapel at the U.S. Air Force Academy.

 

Belmar was originally located at the spot that is now 777 S. Wadsworth, in Lakewood. Now the home of the Ironclad Executive Office Park. Back then, there was no development aside from these estates, yet, as time went on, suburban sprawl began.

 

Perhaps it is sad that a glorious historical home was demolished to become a generic parking lot and office building. Yet, when May’s executor was approached about turning the home into a museum, he stated that museums were for the dead, homes were for the living.

 

belmar mansion, lakewood colorado, belmar, lakewood

Belmar area in 2013, being continuously developed.

 

Rather than allow May’s beautiful pride and joy to become a tourist attraction, he decided to donate the land to government and philanthropic organizations, beginning the grounds for the buildings that are there today, including the Belmar Library and City Hall.

 

Belmar in Modern Times

 

Ed Stanton, Mary’s second husband, long-time friend, caretaker, and trusted executor gave much of the estate to the Catholic Church and various charities that were favorites of May Bonfils Stanton. When some of the organizations were having trouble financially maintaining the properties, more of the land was leased to various entities. One of Stanton’s most notable and lasting impressions is his leasing of the area now known simply as “Belmar” but yet was once a shopping mall called Villa Italia. Is this why they have an Italian street fest every summer at Belmar? We’re not sure, but it could very well be a nod to the retail area’s predecessor.

 

The mall, Villa Italia, was a huge success at first. In fact, when it was built, it was one of the largest malls in the world. Built in 1965, malls were in their prime. In the early 1980’s, a second story was even added. Yet, by 2000, the mall, like many others across the country, were starting to fail. In 2002, Villa Italia was demolished to make way for a new, novel idea: a Downtown Lakewood.

 

Funny how they say, “And the rest was history!” when it was actually everything that came before, but hey, the rest was history (at least you probably know this part). It ended up being a huge success. It expanded the suburban offerings and added a residential cluster to the whole area. Property values increased and it added employment options for many Jefferson county residents.

 

 

Do you want to live in Lakewood? Browse real-time listings of homes for sale in Lakewood, Colorado by clicking here.

 


Resources & More Reading:

History Colorado, May Bonfils and Her Lost Belmar Mansion: A Lavish Lakewood Estate Housed a Wealth of Benevolence, October, 19, 2018. (Wonderful article PS!!! She would drive to the convenience store with a chauffeur in a Rolls Royce and buy her pup an ice cream cone according to legend!)

DeadMalls.com, Villa Italia, May, 27, 2002.

Continuum Partners, The Making of Belmar, The History of Belmar.

Colorado Women’s Hall of Fame, Mary Bonfils Stanton.

Channel 9 News, “There used to be a mansion based off Marie Antoinette’s chateau where this mall is now”, September 8, 2017.

the gathering place, the gathering place denver, denver nonprofits, conscious real estate, kimberly mcaleenan
Conscious Real Estate agents donate 10% of their own commission to a nonprofit of their clients’ choice. These awesome clients chose: The Gathering Place.

 

socially conscious businesses, socially conscious real estate, real estate, the gathering place, the gathering place denver, denver nonprofits, conscious real estate, kimberly mcaleenan, s

Kimberly McAleenan, Conscious Real Estate Agent, with the Hubbards, who chose The Gathering Place for their donation.

 

I had the most amazing joy helping Teri, Kyle and their daughter Kasey purchase their first home. The Gathering Place helped Teri get her life situated when she needed help and it felt incredibly full circle to be able to donate money back to them after Teri and Kyle closed on their home.” – Conscious Real Estate Agent, Kimberly McAleenan

 

The Gathering Place: A Refuge For Building Lives

 

The Gathering Place was a safe place for my kids and me to spend our days and get a good meal, while I tried to get back on my feet. I was pregnant at the time and I don’t know if I or my daughter would have survived without them. It’s very hard to better yourself without a support system. The Gathering Place filled that role for me. I can never thank them enough for all they did for us!” -Teri, a former Gathering Place member, current amazing human.

 

A Denver Non-Profit Gets a Boost From Conscious Real Estate

 

Conscious Real Estate is a local real estate agency that loves their clients and the community, showing it in a big way by personally donating 10% of every commission to a nonprofit of their clients’ choosing. This programming allows for large, lump sum donations that make a big difference for the nonprofits they pick.

 

For the recipient charities, this can help one more person into the program, help purchase supplies, secure a contractor, help with building maintenance or any of their current needs. You’ve heard it before, but sharing is caring and at Conscious Real Estate, we are honored to be a part of supporting the nonprofit community here in Denver.

 

Donations Aid Programming…. Like This One! (Yep, They Do Even More!)

 

On top of all the amazing things The Gathering Place does for people, I love that they have an artist program that allows people to create art and cards. The art/cards are then sold and the artist gets the majority of the money. I bought a bunch of these cards, not just because the money supports a good cause and helps the people who created them, but also because the art was fantastic!” – Conscious Real Estate Agent, Kimberly McAleenan

 

Donations can help nonprofits expand into new areas. Such as social enterprise. Art Restart is a new way for homeless women to make money (they make 50% commission on their art, the rest goes back to The Gathering Place to support programming), and get a sense of acknowledgment and accomplishment for their artistic skills through their custom and original greeting card program. Find out more about Art Restart (or purchase some cards!), right here.

 


Learn More: 

Our Giving Programs
Buy a Home in Denver
Sell a Home in Denver
Donate to The Gathering Place