Have a knack for naming things? It's time to put your talent to work. A group of Wheat Ridge merchants is searching for a memorable moniker to market themselves and the historic area they call home. The unique mix of retailers is located on West 29th Avenue between Sheridan Boulevard and Fenton Street and includes West 29th Restaurant and Bar, Twisted Smoothie, People's Market, Wheat Ridge Poultry and Meat, Styles Hair and Nails, DSH Gas and Food, TJ Wine and Liquor and Stat Automotive.
The shops have narrowed the list of names to six options and need you to weigh in. The choices range from the straightforward - the Shops on 29th Avenue - to the geographically-focused Edge Ridge, which refers to the merchants' location near the border of Edgewater. Stop by any of the shops during the month of February to cast your vote for one of the names or write your own suggestion on the ballot. Everyone who participates will be entered into a drawing for a gift certificate from one of the participating retailers.
|Twisted Smoothie and People's Market (pictured below) need a name for their new merchant association|
Voting ends February 28th and the retailers expect to select a winning name by March 15th. Whatever name is chosen will mark a rebirth of sorts for the retail hub tucked into a residential area filled charming cottages and brick bungalows. While Wheat Ridge Poultry & Meat has been a neighborhood staple for decades, West 29th Restaurant & Bar and Twisted Smoothie are new entrants hoping to create a long history.
And speaking of names, the city of Wheat Ridge is also in the process of creating a new tagline to describe the great amenities the city offers businesses and residents. Expect to hear more about the city's marketing efforts this spring.
Congratulations to LoHi SteakBar, which captured the top prize in the LoHi Merchants Group Third Annual Wreath Contest. We're not sure how they did it, but the folks at LoHi SteakBar managed to weave together a ton of french fries to form a festive wreath. Though the shellac used to keep the fries intact made the wreath inedible, the judges gave LoHi SteakBar props for actually incorporating food into its holiday decor. The restaurant now "owns" the contest trophy for the next 12 months.
This year's runners up included: Laughing Latte, which won the contest in its first year, the realty firm Trelora, Jezebel's Southern Bistro and Bar, which highlighted it's New Orleans roots in its wreath and Bob Bell at Mile High Property, who recycled license plates in a creative way. Check out a few of the entries below.
We were lucky to attract a diverse group of judges this year, which included 9News Traffic Reporter Amelia Earhart, Westword Editor Patty Calhoun, Jordan Jacobs from Outfront Colorado and Laurie Dunklee, a writer with the North Denver Tribune. We were also pleased to see the increased interest in this year's contest, with twice as many LoHi businesses participating compared to 2012. If you'd like to read more about the wreath contest, check out Westword's coverage of the competition here or the North Denver Tribune's article here.
Happy New Year to all our LoHi neighbors!
At The Stasko Agency, we get to work with some of the region's most innovative and inspiring companies. And over the past few months, a few of our clients have been recognized for their achievements.
In October, Little Man Ice Cream Owner Paul Tamburello received the Georgia R. Imhoff Philanthropist Award from Blacktie-Colorado. The award, given every two years, honors a special humanitarian and recognizes his or her work in the community.
A Colorado native, Tamburello is devoutly committed to various efforts that are beneficial to the communities they serve. Little Man is named for Tamburello's father, who was small in stature, but big in heart. Making a difference in the world was his legacy, and Little Man is Paul's way of keeping his father's legacy resilient. Through its "Scoop for Scoop" program, Little Man helps fight hunger in developing nations. For every scoop of ice cream Little Man sells, one scoop of rice or beans is donated to a community in need.
|Paul Tamburello and Little Man staff deliver rice to Cambodia|
In addition, Tamburello is a co-founder and board chairman of the GrowHaus, a non-profit indoor farm, marketplace and educational center in Denver's Elyria Swansea neighborhood and board member of LiveWell Colorado.
|Local residents tour the GrowHaus|
The Georgia R. Imhoff Philanthropist Award was named for the late Blacktie-Colorado co-founder, who supported a large number of Colorado charities, many committed to caring for women and children.
Zocalo Community Development also deserves congratulations for landing a 2013 Mayor's Design Award for 2020 Lawrence, it's LEED Gold certified apartment project in Denver's Ballpark community. The multi-family development was one of 15 Denver projects honored for excellence in architecture design and place-making by Denver Mayor Michael Hancock at an awards ceremony November 6th.
The innovative apartment building boasts an array of "green" features, including Energy Star-rated appliances, high-efficiency water fixtures, low-e windows and flooring and other finishes made of recycled and locally-sourced materials. The 10-story apartment complex is also the first in Denver to offer composting and an electrical vehicle charging station.
Zocalo is busy completing Cadence Union Station, the 220-unit apartment community at 17th and Chestnut street and we wouldn't be surprised to see that project win a few awards as well.
We're so proud of all Zocalo and Paul have accomplished and consider it an honor to work with such pioneering Colorado entrepreneurs.
The Stasko Agency took a tour of the project's models and encountered light-filled, modern units, offering outdoor space - a rarity in downtown apartment buildings. Check out the photos below.
|The view from one of Cadence's corner units|
|An open kitchen and dining room provide space to entertain|
|A bedroom in one of the model units|
Cadence is offering studios, one-bedroom and two-bedroom apartments, ranging from 553-square feet to 1,081-square feet. Units will rent for an average of $1,892 per month and Cadence has already secured leases for one two-bedroom unit and several one-bedroom units. The LEED Gold registered building will offer a number of green amenities as well as a rooftop pool, indoor parking, rooftop fitness center, a lobby-level lounge complete with a kitchen and bar. The rendering below offers a peek at what the finished lobby will look like.
The opening of Cadence leasing center isn't the only exciting news Zocalo has shared recently. The company announced last week that Director of Real Estate Susan Maxwell has become an equity partner in the Zocalo. We congratulate Susan and look forward to announcing the opening of Cadence in the near future.
Little Man Ice Cream attracted a record turn-out for its 4th Annual Hula Hooping Contest September 8th. This year's contest, held at Highland's Hirshorn Park, featured Denver elementary school students battling by age group in a variety of categories. Lucky winners walked away with passes to Elitch Gardens and the Downtown Aquarium as well as tickets to Justin Timberlake's upcoming concert at the Pepsi Center and free ice cream for a year!
The goal was to get the kids moving on a hot day and encourage exercise at a time when physical activity among children is on the decline. (Less than half of Colorado school children ages 5 to 14 get the federally recommended 60 minutes of physical activity a day, according to data from the Colorado Department of Health and Environment). Proceeds from the event's $5 application fee benefited physical education programs at Denver's Brown, Edison, Sandoval and Valdez Elementary schools and North High School. We're excited to share that $875 was raised for the schools through the event.
The media also took note of Little Man's unique effort to get the masses moving. The contest was featured as one of 5280's Best Picks, in the North Denver Tribune, and YourHub, as well as on Fox31 and 9News' weekend broadcast. You can watch a clip of young hoopers showing off their skills, here.
The response to the event was so strong, we can't wait to see the how many kids turn out next year. Until then, enjoy these photos from the competition.
You may be surprised to find out that one of the metro-area's newest brewpubs is located in Wheat Ridge, not LoDo, and that Denver's northern neighbor is also home to one of the region's premiere bike shops. Once a sleepy suburb, Wheat Ridge is now becoming a hub for unique businesses,
thanks to a slew of economic development efforts.
|Teller Street Gallery & Studios, one of Wheat Ridge's new businesses.|
Using a combination of tax rebates, grants and loans, Wheat Ridge has attracted a net 35 new businesses since 2011. The Stasko Agency began working with the city this past spring, helping to shine the light on Wheat Ridge's "open for business" agenda and its efforts to revitalize a stretch of 38th Avenue from Wadsworth Boulevard to Sheridan Boulevard.
|Right Coast Pizza opened on Wheat Ridge's "main street" in 2012.|
We're pleased to say that media outlets are starting to take note of Wheat Ridge's initiatives. The Denver Business Journal highlighted the city's business growth last month, while the Wheat Ridge Transcript examined the success the city has had in luring businesses from Denver. You can read that article here. The North Denver Tribune and the Colorado Real Estate Journal both turned the lens on Wheat Ridge's revival on 38th Avenue, an area city officials have dubbed the "Ridge at 38."
In addition to spurring business expansion through a slew of economic incentives, Wheat Ridge has also lured entrepreneurs by expanding community offerings. The list of programming includes cruiser crawls, a Wines and Dines event, an annual Wheat Fest to highlight the city's agricultural roots and the Mid Century and Modern Home tour, which is slated for Saturday, September 7.
|The interior of one of the homes that will be featured in this year's Mid Century and Modern Home Tour|
If you haven't visited Wheat Ridge recently, we encourage you to make the trip. In the coming months, we'll also be spreading the word about the city's growing housing options. So, stay tuned for more updates!
If you're an entrepreneur looking for capital to grow your business, we've got good news. In September, Denver-area business owners will have the chance to impress a panel of angel investors at an event modeled after the ABC show, Shark Tank. Sponsored by a group of Southern California investors, The Guppy Tank bills itself as more of a funding opportunity, rather than a competition among entrepreneurs vying for cold hard cash.
In fact, Darrin Ginsberg, founder of The Guppy Tank, views the unusual funding model as a way of "jump starting the economy and spur the growth of local businesses." The Stasko Agency has been working with Darrin and his firm, Super G Funding, LLC, to spread the word about The Guppy Tank, which is slated to provide up to $500,000 in equity investments and loans to as many as 10 Denver-area entrepreneurs on September 12 at Galvanize, a co-working space for independent firms.
|Darrin Ginsberg promoting The Guppy Tank to media outlets|
The Guppy Tank is searching for businesses that have been operating for at least a year and employ less than 75 people. Entrepreneurs must also have a clear-cut plan detailing how they plan to use potential funds and how those funds will advance their businesses. To participate, interested business owners should fill out an online application at www.guppytank.com by September 8.
Denver's Guppy Tank will mark the first time Super G Funding has held an event outside California. The Denver event will also be open to the public, who will get to see eager entrepreneurs make their case for funding. In addition to much-needed capital, business owners who win funding, will also have the opportunity to work with the "Guppies' to gain guidance on how to best grow their businesses.
The Guppy Tank has already captured the attention of the Denver Business Journal, which wrote about the event in its July 20 edition. Click here to read a preview of the article.
Help us raise awareness about this innovative event, by urging your entrepreneurial friends to apply.