Conscious Real Estate Donates to TBI:Alive!

Have you heard of TBI:Alive?

We were lucky enough to be able to donate to this wonderful organization recently, after our clients’ purchased a home and selected this organization to receive a Conscious Real Estate donation!

TBI:Alive is comprised of brain injury survivors, impacted families, and proactive health practitioners promoting cognitive and emotinal fitness through healthy social interaction, enjoyable community activities, and engaging lifestyle tools.

A conscious focus on fundamental physical, emotional, psychological, and community health is essential to realizing stability and happiness post-trauma. Educational and recreational activities encouraging worthwhile self-regard and realistic goal-setting help to build upon each participant’s positive foundation, while sensible affirmations and constructive feedback within an engaging community serve to support ideals of acceptance and evolution following cognitive trauma.

Activities and events organized within this community all share an ardent TBI:Alive philosophy to promote:

A) Psycho-social Benefits

-Consistent group communication and support

-Engaging community activities


B) Somatopsychic (Body-Mind) Benefits

-Promotion of physical health and stability to benefit cognitive function

-Nutritional awareness, education, and resources for functional health in daily life

-Scheduling consistent community physical activities and events


C) Informed Personal Health Awareness through education and support, encouraging:

-Personal abilities and responsibility to encourage healthy function

-Opportunities for conscious health-promotion in every aspect of life

-The value of structured and consistent daily practice


We are incredibly grateful for the work that this organization does in our community and we are happy for the opportunity to help support TBI:Alive! To learn more about this organization, you can follow TBI:Alive on Facebook. You can donate. And don’t forget, Conscious Real Estate always contributes 10% of agent commissions to the nonprofit of our client’s choice, so if you are selling or purchasing a home, come work with us to support TBI:Alive! Contact Allison Parks at 303-908-9873 or

An Alphabetic Guide to Denver’s Best Coffee Shops

Traditional style coffee shop in central London

Boxcar Coffee Roasters:  With two locations (at Boulder gourmet shop Cured and The Source in Denver’s RiNo district), Boxcar richly deserves the strong buzz it generates for its roasting expertise and high-altitude brewing methods, showcased in every last espresso blend and single-origin coffee.  Also, The Source is freaking awesome.

3350 Brighton Blvd.; 1825 Pearl St., Boulder, 303-527-1300 

Crema Coffee House: This is a true coffee connoisseur’s cafe, using only the French Press or lever espresso machine, they see the brewing of the brown stuff as a craft and art form that deserves great appreciation.

2862 Larimer; 720-235-2995

Denver Bicycle Cafe: This coffee shop in uptown is a bike-repair shop, a coffeehouse, and a craft-beer bar – all the things Denverites cherish most under one roof, complete with a fierce commitment to local vendors.

1308 E. 17th Ave.; 720-446-8029

 Gypsy House Café: So authentically Mediterranean in its décor and atmosphere, guests will feel like they’ve walked out of Denver and into Istanbul. Enjoy a cup of Turkish coffee, take a pull from their hookahs, listen to music, or get your tarot cards read.

1279 Marion St.; 303-830-1112

Hooked On Colfax: This hipster hangout on Colfax, (imagine that…) pours hot, simple and delicious coffee and espressos, as well as offering free wi-fi and hosting monthly local art shows.

3213 E. Colfax Ave.; 303-398-2665

Pablo’s Coffee:  A pioneer in the local roasting movement, this Alamo Placita coffee shop has it all.  (Ok, actually, they don’t have wifi.)  Well-worn space bedecked with mini-chandeliers, check; messenger bag-toting regulars, check; house blends accompanied by the requisite pastries. If you buy their reusable cup, the drink is free with additional discounts on future drinks when you bring your cup.

630 E. Sixth Ave., 303-744-3323; 1300 Pennsylvania St. Ste. 102, 303-832-1688

St. Mark’s CoffeehouseOk, I’ll be honest.  This is not the best coffee in Denver… and the food isn’t that great… but the ambiance has kept me going back for over a decade.  It just has an unparalleled charm.  If you want a similar ambiance without the coffee, go next door to the Thin Man, a bar under the same ownership.

2019 E. 17th Ave; 303-322-8384

Wash Perk: Tucked into the historic Wash Park neighborhood three blocks west of the park, this coffee shop boasts free wi-fi, lots of room for your laptop, a book and magazine library, and amazing pastries, both traditional and gluten-free.

853 E. Ohio Ave.; 720-542-9202

6 Reasons Why Backyard Chicken Keeping is Awesome


1)  Chickens Lay Eggs.  Not just any eggs, but the most flavorful eggs you will ever eat.  The recent health benefits  from the U.S Department of Agriculture (USDA) nutrient date suggests that eggs from hens on a pasture may contain: 1⁄3 less cholesterol, 1⁄4 less saturated fat,  2⁄3 more Vitamin A, 2 times more Omega-3 fatty acids, 3 times more vitamin E, and 7 times more beta carotene.

2)  Chickens don’t require a great deal of space.  One should allow for 4 square feet of space per hen in their house and 10 square feet of space in an outdoor run.

3)  Chickens are easy to care for.  Chickens need food and water and safe exercise space.  It takes a few minutes to feed them, collect eggs and clean up bedding.

4)  Chickens are fun and educational for children.  Children can experience firsthand where food comes from and learn how to be responsible with care and feeding.

5)  Chickens produce manure, which is an ideal fertilizer for flower and vegetable gardens.  Chicken manure provides more nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium to plants than horse or cow manure.  Note:  chicken manure is too strong to be used raw on your flowers or vegetables, but it can be composted and converted to “black gold”.

6)  Chickens are an all-in-one yard service, resolving most insect and weed problems. If you have a section of yard with problems – forget the pesticide and let them scratch it up. Within a couple of days, it’s tilled and ready for planting.

Local ordinances for urban chicken farming in Colorado vary considerably.  Currently, backyard chickens are allowed in Alamosa, Arvada, Boulder, Denver, Colorado, Springs, Greeley, Longmont, and most recently, Aurora.  You will need to investigate in your city to determine local ordinances.  There is a $50 fee for urban chicken farming in Denver.  You may only have chickens and hens; no roosters.

Talk with your neighbors and make sure they are comfortable with your backyard flock.  Make sure your chickens have a safe coop, as many Colorado areas have predators, such as foxes, raccoons, and coyotes.  Without a protective roof, they could even be prey for hawks.

Redevelopments Coming to Denver’s Historic Five Points Neighborhood


I was wondering when Welton Street was going to see some action – the heart of the historic Five Points neighborhood is right next to downtown and is surrounded by historic Victorian homes!  But as of last year, the commercial spaces were largely vacant.

Attempting to lure new commercial and mixed-use residential development to the Welton Street corridor, last fall, Mayor Michael Hancock offered as much as $500,000 in grants to cover pre-development planning and design in the Welton Design/Development Challenge.  This project was intended to fund projects on Welton between 20th and 30th streets; each project could receive as much as $175,000 to cover expenses including architecture, engineering, financial planning, environmental review and market research.

Funded by federal Community Development Block Grants through Denver’s Office of Economic Development, the community-based selection committee chose to fund the top five.

The project winners are:

1) The Arcade & Rosenberg’s Bagels at 2714 Welton Street received $75,000.  The historic arcade building is to be transformed into a 2,400 sq. ft. space of retail featuring Rosenberg’s Bagels and Delicatessen, with equally sized residential space on the upper floor to provide 2-4 residential units.

2) nuROOT Innovative Office Space received $75,000 for 2942-2944 Welton Street.  This space is designed for emerging businesses and will feature 4,710 sq. ft. of office space, plus 2,310 sq. ft. for an eating and drinking establishment.

3) Palisade Partners at 2460 Welton Street received $100,000 to develop two adjacent vacant parcels at 25th and Welton into 82 apartments, 14 townhomes, and 3000+ sq. ft. of ground-floor retail.

4) The Rossonian Development was awarded $150,000 to renovate and restore the historic Rossonian hotel into 64 residential units, office space, shopping, dining, and venue options.

5) Saint Bernard Properties received $75,000 to develop the vacant lot at 2950 Welton Street into a three-story, mixed-use building including four apartment units.

Denver Economic Development Update – 2014



I attended Mayor Michael Hancock’s 2014 Denver Economic Development Update, with speakers Paul Washington, the Director of Denver’s Office of Economic Development and Kelly Leid, the project manager of the North Denver Cornerstone Collaborative, so that you don’t have to!  2014 is looking pretty strong, but let’s review what Denver has already accomplished…

-Unemployment is down in to pre-recession levels

-We have experienced record-breaking home prices

-Forbes listed Denver as a Top City for Economic Momentum and a Top City for Job Seekers!

-Nonstop international flights to Denver have been increased to increase our competitiveness as an international economic contender

-We have gained 80,000 new residents since 2001

-New construction has hit the highest levels in over a decade

-Denver Public School attendance is up from 72,000 to 90,000 students

-Denver has added 15,000 jobs over the last two years

Not too shabby!  So, what are we looking forward to in 2014?

Mayor Hancock is focusing strongly on building up North Denver, including the improving the RiNo district, redevelopment of Brighton Boulevard, increasing access, transit, and services to the long neglected Globeville and Elyria-Swansea neighborhoods.  (To learn about Globeville and Elyria Swansea initiative, click here.)  Interstate 70 is also looking to receive improvements to move the highway underground and place a park above ground, similar to the Klyde Warren Park of Dallas, which has been described as “a green space arising out of thin air.”


Efforts are also being made to redevelop the National Western Stock Complex and Denver Coliseum, to turn them into a year-round destination for out-of-towners.  The Welton Corridor in Five Points is also receiving grant money for mixed-use improvements.  The Mayor is also focused on adding affordable housing, as well as mixed-income developments in lower income neighborhoods.

One of my personal favorites as an real estate agent who advocates for community building and eco-concerns is that the Mayor has recognized that many of Denver’s new residents are aged 18-34.  He acknowledged that these folks wants to live, work, and play in the same area, often eschewing vehicles for public transit.  To accommodate this, our transit system is being expanded and strengthened.

All in all, the future looks bright!

Former St. Anthony’s Hospital Site is set for rebirth as Sloans Development

Skyscrapers in Downtown Denver, Colorado.

After some controversy, the Sloans development is coming to realization.  The former St. Anthony Central Hospital located at West 16th Ave and Raleigh in the West Colfax neighborhood has been scraped and will be redeveloped as Denver’s newest urban infill.  Infrastructure will be built this spring with construction expected to begin by summer.

EnviroFinance Group has placed four of the blocks under contract with local developers who will build a mixed-use area of apartments, restaurants, shops, and a hotel across West 17th Avenue from Sloan’s Lake.  The Denver Post has recently reported that an 8-screen Alamo Drafthouse Theater will be added to the development as well.

There have been opponents to this development, including neighborhood groups who are concerned with density issues.  Around 1,200 residential units are expected with building heights rising to 20 stories.  With this potential influx of new residents to the area, questions have been raised as to whether the area can handle the additional traffic.

Developers believe the project will be a strong addition to the neighborhood.  Most Denverites would agree that West Colfax could use some work… will the Sloans development be the answer?

Love for the Mile High City for Super Bowl 2014! Go Denver!


A few days out from the Super Bowl, Denver is feeling the love.  United in Orange!  Of course, I absolutely want to crush the Seahawks, because seriously, WHO DO THEY THINK THEY ARE?  But what I appreciate even more is a feeling of unity in the city that has made itself my home… So now is a great time to show some love for our city.

We are really so lucky to live here.  We can drive an hour from our home and be surrounded by truly majestic nature.  The “purple mountain majesties” is NOT an exaggeration.  We have maintained our economy whereas many other parts of the United States been struggling.  We have fantastic sports teams to watch and a plethora of sports we can engage in on our own and WE DO.  We have developed a ton of local businesses that are a delight to support, so we make the friendly faces behind the businesses our friends.  We have no shortage of beautiful historic homes – granted, I do real estate, but I can drive down Curtis St and applaud out loud for the colorful Victorians that were built by the people who started this city and I never get sick of it.  My father taught me to appreciate craftmanship and quality and our homes have it!

So, here is a visual love poem to Denver called “Breathless,” created by Air Ball Creative for TedxMileHigh.  I don’t know these guys, but they are welcome to come over for coffee any time!  I always have at least a couple of tears by the end of this video and I have seen it at least 8 times.  If you like Ted, check out this love letter to the Mile High City written by TedxMileHigh fellow Sam Faktorow.

And here is a mashup video of the “Orchestra Show Down” made for the 2014 Super Bowl, with the Denver Philharmonic Orchestra playing against the Seattle Philharmonic.  Denver is playing “Rocky Mountain High,” versus Seattle’s “Raindrops Keep Falling on My Head.”

And finally, a bit of my own “art.”  (Do NOT quit your day job, Allison.)  I attended an event for Project Valentine, which is a local organization which makes Valentine’s Day care packages for people receiving chemotherapy on Valentine’s Day.  A GREAT nonprofit organization – click here if you would like to get involved. (The event was at The Art Salon in City Park West – also a place worth checking out!)


I love you, Denver.  Thank you for supporting me.


Denver Receives 7th Place in “Quirky City Ratings”


Photo of Sandy Root

The good people at the Movoto Real Estate Blog would appear to have a lot of time on their hands, as they decided to embark upon a meta-analysis of city rankings which included categories such as “Smartest Cities,” “Best Cities for Movie Lovers,” “Funniest Cities,” “Most Steampunk Cities,” and “Best Cities for Meat Lovers.”  (A meta-analysis utilizes statistical methods to reanalyze existing statistics to find new interpretations.)

In some categories, points were awarded for the cities who were the “losers,” such as “Worst-Dressed Cities” and “Most Unhealthy Cities.”  (I don’t mind being a loser in those categories.)  50 cities were considered across 15 categories.

Denver actually ranked highest in the “Meat Lovers” category, receiving 5th Place.  Denver placed 6th in “Funniest” and “Steampunk,” 9th in “Healthiest” and “Smartest,” 14th for “Most Exciting,” 22nd for “Hardest Working,” 23rd for “Most Saintly,” 39th for “Family Friendly,” and 45th for “Home Buyers.”

To expound upon our low score on home-buying in Denver, I agree that the last year’s real estate market in Denver was competitive and sometimes frustrating for home-buyers in Denver.  Even now, we still seem to not have enough sellers to bring us to what would be considered “a balanced market.”  However, we have historically and consistently enjoyed higher real estate appreciation rates than many cities.  (I will take an increase in home values any day over a little extra work!)  And sure, you can purchase a home for less money in many other cities, but will that city boast a strong economy to launch and maintain your career?  Plus, once you buy a home, you want your home’s value to rise.  After all, your home is one of the greatest investments you will ever make!

If you would like further amusement, check out Movoto’s blog for America’s 10 Most Sinful Cities.  Hint: Denver is NOT on the list and Las Vegas is NOT #1.

Are Denver’s Globeville and Elyria-Swansea Neighborhoods Headed for Change?

I-70 East Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) Project - Visual Simulation of the Partial Covered Lowered Alternative

I-70 East Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) Project – Visual Simulation of the Partial Covered Lowered Alternative

Many people living in Denver have never heard of the Globeville and Elyria-Swansea neighborhoods, although these neighborhoods are almost as close to downtown as the Highlands.  These neighborhoods are north of downtown Denver and are dissected by the junction of I-70 and I-25.  Globeville and Elyria-Swansea consists mostly of smaller Victorian homes built in the late 1800’s which housed the workers of the Globe Smelting and Refining Company which processed raw minerals brought from the Colorado Rocky Mountains.

The Globeville and Elyria-Swansea neighborhoods have faced many problems in the past, due to a lack of urban planning in the neighborhood as well as environmental issues caused by the nearby industries of what is now Denver’s River North or RiNo area.  However, Denver Mayor Michael Hancock and Denver City Councilwoman Judy Montero seek to transform the area into a “Corridor of Opportunity.”  “This part of the city has been long avoided by planners, mostly because there were easier projects to tackle,” states Kelly Leid, project manager.

This project, the “North Denver Cornerstone Collaborative,” seeks to provide sidewalks, new drainage, new roads, and new infrastructure including vertical buildings to bring jobs and investment to the area.  A total of four new light-rail stations will be constructed in the neighborhood and the East Commuter Rail Line will cut through on its way to Denver International Airport.  Another project could remove the aging interstate viaduct over the neighborhood, burying it underground and replacing it with a sprawling park, which is a $1.8 billion dollar proposal.

Even if the projects come to fruition in their current form, it will take at least a decade before they’re all fully realized.  In that time, multiple administrations could come and go.  Major improvements have been announced for these areas in the past and then simply did not happen.  In addition to lack of follow-through on past promises, KUNC, a community radio station for Northern Colorado, interviewed several residents in the area and found that area residents are concerned about the gentrification of the Globeville and Elyria-Swansea neighborhoods which occurred in the Denver Highlands neighborhoods. 

Mayor Hancock is pushing for change – to turn what has been called the back door of Denver into the new front door.

Posner Center for International Development


On one of my adventures through my neighborhood, The 80205, I saw the horse barn a couple years ago and thought, “Someone should really develop this.  It would make great condos.”  Thankfully, someone did develop this building and they had a much better idea than condos!

Denver’s Historic Horse Barn in Curtis Park has been renovated into a hub for local and international development.  The Horse Barn was built in 1882 at 33rd and Arapahoe to house the horses and horse cars used for transportation at that time.  In 2008, this was the last building standing of its kind, was in major disrepair, and had been vacant for years.  The Denver Housing Authority purchased this building intending to scrape it and build housing.  Joe Noble of the Curtis Park Neighborhood Association argued that the building has historic value and should not be destroyed – Thank you, Joe!


The barn was developed into the Posner Center for International Development by tres birds design/build firm, which houses over 40 international development organizations, such as Elephant Energy and PowerMundo, as well as the local nonprofit, Denver Urban Gardens.  The design accommodates both private and shared work spaces, including former horse stalls transformed into private rooms, and sports an open modern kitchen for fundraisers and Urban Garden cooking classes.  The Posner Center also hosts the Curtis Park Neighborhood Association meetings.