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  Where Are They Now?
A look at Denver’s Sunnyside neighborhood
La Voz Photo

By Joseph Rios

Bounded by I-70, Union Pacific Railroad line, 38th Avenue and Federal Blvd., Denver’s Sunnyside neighborhood is one of Denver’s original neighborhoods. Toward the latter half of the 1800s, immigrants from southern Italy moved to the neighborhood to work on the railroad.

By the 20th century, Latino immigrants began to move to the neighborhood, and the neighborhood’s Latino population doubled during the 1960s and 1970s. The Federal Theater near 38th and Federal was built during the start of 20th century, a building that hosted popular movies and newsreels. The 1980s recession hit Sunnyside hard, causing property values to fall, and neighborhood crime increased.

Today the neighborhood has seen a hefty amount of new development and businesses like restaurants and breweries—homes that have modern designs, and some that still have historic features.

“The shop, restaurant and brewery owners all take a lot of interest in the neighborhood,” Jennifer Superka said. Superka is a board member of the neighborhood organization Sunnyside United Neighbors and has lived at Sunnyside since 2010.

While Sunnyside is known for classic Denver entities like Chubby’s, and the now closed 3 Sons, other restaurants like Sunnyside Burger Bar are also worth visiting. The restaurant has a menu filled with different burgers, salads, beer, cocktails and wine.

Sunnsyide is home to notable parks like Columbus Park, Ciancio Park and Chaffee Park. The parks are well utilized by neighborhood residents who use them for exercise, picnics and for places to spend time with family.

Breweries like Diebolt Brewing are popular to the neighborhood, and it hosts birthdays, meetings, fundraisers and other events. People can come on Thursday nights at 7 p.m. and test their trivia knowledge.

The neighborhood is home to more than 10,000 people, and Denver is getting ready to build more apartment complexes in the neighborhood. The apartments will be called Zia, meaning sun or light in Arabic, and it will add 431 residential units boarded by Inca and Jason street, and 40th and 41st Avenues. The project is expected to have a price tag of around $110 million and construction will begin spring of 2018. The Golden developer Confluence Cos will handle development and the apartment complex is expected to bring in new residents to the neighborhood.

The neighborhood has quiet streets, a unique vibe created by its residents, and it is in a prime location for those who wish to venture out and explore Denver.

Superka said Sunnyside United Neighbors is always hosting neighborhood events where both new and old residents are welcomed.

“(Sunnyside) is a friendly neighborhood. Neighbors are out and about and always smile and say hello,” Superka said.





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