January 25, 2023
The Westwood neighborhood, bounded by Federal and Sheridan boulevards on the east and west and Alameda and Mississippi avenues on the north and south, is awash with creativity, culture and kids.
Morrison Road, which dissects the neighborhood, is home to the Westwood Creative District, which is gaining acclaim for its street murals as well as its more traditional exhibitions—all of which reflect its Latino majority population. There’s a strong Asian community, too; the numerous Vietnamese restaurants and shops along Federal are dubbed the Little Saigon Business District. And with just over 40% of residents being less than 18 years old, it’s a family-oriented community.
Westwood is uniquely diverse among Denver’s neighborhoods. It’s a mostly younger community of about 17,771 people—the median age is just 32—who are devoted to their neighborhood and each other.
This devotion is evidenced by the community and government initiatives, from bond-funded major improvements to Morrison Road and construction of a new recreation center to smaller projects led by nonprofits that address more personal challenges in this hardscrabble community, such as eldercare and education.
Westwood Park benefitted from a $2.7 million grant from Great Outdoors Colorado to reclaim the space for a natural playground, new playground equipment, exercise areas and more. With such a large contingent of children in the area, it’s not surprising that there are several other parks, including Cuatro Vientos/Four Winds, Garfield Lake and Huston.
One community initiative, the Westwood Food Cooperative (WFC), shows how residents are working to take care of one another. With no grocery store in the neighborhood, the people joined with the nonprofit Re:Vision to open the member-owned-and-operated WFC in 2014.
Thirty-seven percent of residents own their homes, which are mainly single-family ranches, many on larger-than-average lots. The median home value according to Niche.com is $282,256, making home ownership affordable.
Westwood is part of Denver Public Schools, with one middle school and three elementary schools as well as Pascual LeDoux Academy, the first DPS Center for Early Education in southwest Denver.
Part of Westwood’s charm is its restaurants that serve authentic Mexican food, like Kahlo’s (3735 Morrison Rd.), which features vegetarian-friendly Mexican food and fresh juices, and its Vietnamese bistros, like the Saigon Bowl at 333 Federal Blvd.
Of course, the Westwood Chili Fest is another draw for foodies. This much-anticipated festival that showcases local businesses is an annual event on Morrison Road with food, live music and art.
With a fairly small business community, Westwood residents often take advantage of the great shopping, dining and entertainment possibilities at nearby Bel Mar Shopping Center, Alameda Avenue and Wadsworth Boulevard.