Before Green Valley Ranch (GVR) was a master planned neighborhood, the land belonged to a booming farm and ranch community. One of the earliest residents of the area is known as Mr. Ebert. According to Mygvr.com, in 1868, Mr. Ebert homesteaded a large plot of land for his ranch that stretched along both sides of 56th Avenue. Over the next 30 years he and and his family members cultivated approximately 1,400 acres of what is currently Green Valley Ranch and supplied much of the agriculture needs to Denver and Aurora.
In 1973, GVR was annexed from Adams County and incorporated into the City and County of Denver. The original annex included 3,078 acres and sprawled from Tower Rd. to Picadilly Rd and from 38th Avenue to 1 mile north of 56th Avenue. In 1978, Adams County sued Denver and regained 642 acres (north of 56th and west of Picadilly).
And so it begins… The Alpert Corporation obtained a portion of the land and began the development of their master plan community in the early 1980’s. In conjunction with the master plan, three Metro Districts were created “to provide a framework of major streets, water and sanitary sewer lines, drainage, open space and operation and maintenance services” (recited from Mygvr.com) to include “Parks and Recreation, Residential areas, Commercial areas, Sanitation Sewer and Storm Water Improvements”. The three metropolitan districts are as follows:
- Town Center Metropolitan District: northeast corner of Tower Road and Green Valley Ranch Blvd which includes the GVR Golf Course.
- Ebert Metropolitan District: 120 acres north of Green Valley Ranch Blvd
- Green Valley Ranch Metropolitan District: south of Green Valley Ranch Blvd
The transformation from empty pastures and tumbleweeds to a thriving and culturally diverse Denver suburb has been a long stretch with its fair share of bumps in the road. During the first 19 years, Green Valley Ranch slowly grew to approximately 8,000 residents. From 2000 to 2010, this number wildly jumped to 21,000. With this boom came trouble when the housing market collapsed in those last two years. Green Valley Ranch was named by USA Today as one of the neighborhoods that was most affected by the country’s foreclosure crisis. According to the Denver Post, “lenders had taken action on nearly 1,000 of the 8,000 Green Valley Ranch homes. Owners had defaulted on more than $171 million in mortgages.”
Like the rest of Denver, GVR recovered from the housing crash and is in full bloom with over 35,000 people (2015 census) and homes still being built. In the last 10 years, GVR has acquired highly rated public and charter schools, developed great areas for shopping and created a sense of community with neighborhood events such as free outdoor movies and concerts in the summertime.
Denver Mayor Michael Hancock, who has lived in Green Valley Ranch since 2004, isn’t surprised by the recent growth (Denver Post).
“It’s the affordability, the opportunity to have more house, and it’s a growing community,” Hancock said. “People want the newness. We like it because we can shop, eat and recreate without having to travel far from home.”
Want to learn more on what Green Valley Ranch has to offer and what the future of GVR holds? Stay tuned for more on The Evolution of Green Valley Ranch.
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