By:  Denis Storey

Few areas personify Denver’s urban revival as well as the River North Arts District.  Known as the poster child for the movement, RiNo made Lonely Planet’s latest list of top neighborhoods to visit and has become popular place to live.

“Through it all, RiNo is cultivating its unique personality and character, and playing center stage for the resurgent arts and cultural scenes that have transformed Downtown into the cultural dynamo of the American West,” the travel guide book publisher declared in its breakdown of the nation’s best neighborhoods.


RiNo, as it’s referred to by locals, is bordered by I-70 to the north, I-25 to the west, Park Avenue West to the south, and Arapahoe Street on the east. In the early 1900s, the industrial area just north of the historic Five Points area was populated with foundries, warehouses and other early manufacturers.  All of which helped power Denver’s early economy.

During the 1980s and 1990s local business started to leave.   The result was vacant warehouses, factories and an old infrastructure. Soon after, artists lured by low rents and a central location, began setting up shop in RiNo. It’s now a local Mecca for art galleries, craft breweries, boutiques and a growing number of condos and apartments.

Daryl Oliver, a longtime champion of Denver’s urban core has witnessed the area’s rebirth firsthand.

“The River North Arts District started out as an area for the millennial crowd and the artists truly used the area to display their talents,” Oliver said.

RiNo is home to a creative workforce, including architects, designers, artists along with coffee shops and co-working spaces. The area features free parking and light rail service to access local businesses.  Additionally, city officials continue to work on infrastructure updates to make it more pedestrian and bicycle friendly.


The median home value in River North is $421,100 – higher than the Denver metro overall. Home values are up 7.2 percent over the past year, with  experts predict a 3.2 percent jump next year. Residential rental properties are doing just as well, new comers can expect to pay a median rent price of $2,000, slightly more than the Denver median of $1,995.  Although this growth is encouraging for the area’s homeowners, a new comer might find it challenging.

Once known as a “rough area”, RiNo is has become one of Denver’s in demand revitalized neighborhood.