The Southeast neighborhoods of Denver (Hampden, Hampden South, Southmoor, Denver Tech Center) are family-oriented and growing rapidly. People who work in the DTC can live near their work and those who work in downtown Denver have easy access to the light rail and interstates. They are positioned near the Cherry Creek Reservoir for an urban outdoor adventure. New high-rises are being built around the area. Urbanite families that need more house, but still want to be in the city settle in these neighborhoods. Easy access to the airport and expansive green space and parks also make it desirable. Because of the lower cost of living, as compared to downtown, it is a more ethnically diverse area also. It is growing rapidly with little signs it will slow down. The Whole Foods on Hampden Ave is touted as the best in the state.
Even though they are at the edge of the city, these neighborhoods have embraced suburban ideals — even as far as litigating against the city to preserve it. But they are increasingly feeling the pressure to reform in more urban ways. The light rail, new bikes lanes and increased walkability are all being put in and developed to make this neighborhood more walking-, bike- and commuter-friendly. And people are moving here! It is one of two fastest growing areas amongst the millennial population.
Since we moved here in August, we have met many people in a similar life stage to us — young urbanites who want to live in the city, but have been priced out as they begin to raise a family. So they move here because it provides an area to raise a family and still have easy access to the city center. It may not be the hippest neighborhood in Denver, but it is one that many people strive to live in.
All this makes it a very stable environment in which to plant a church. And yet, it is largely untouched by new churches. Most churches in these zip codes are 25 years and older. With a population experiencing nearly 30% growth in the last 8 years, and only 11 Evangelical churches, it is an area that needs new churches.
However, there is a significant lack of Evangelical churches in this area. I would have thought being more suburban and family-oriented more churches would be in this area. But we know a family that moved to this area a year ago and they have found it hard to find a church that they want to call home. Most of the churches in this area are established churches; several of them are also mono-ethnic, non-white churches.
Zip Codes: 80237, 80222, 80111, 80231
Population: 113,456 (29% growth since 2010)
Density: 5,647/sq. mile
Median Age: 37.8
Median Income: $66,402
Average Income: $97,146
Home Value: $461,025
Racial: W: 71%; B: 8%: A: 5%; H: 13%; O: 3%
Evangelical Churches: 11
Church Ratio: 1:10,314*
*According to Tim Keller, a ratio of 1:500 equals a 40% churched population; 1:1,000 equals 15%-20% churched; 1:10,000 equals 1% of the population is churched. This Southeast Denver area is less than 1% churched. It is a place in need of Gospel churches.