January 19, 2024
An artsy neighborhood in Colorado’s coolest city
With all the major league sports teams, performing arts venues and the state government headquartered in Denver, it’s easy to dismiss Aurora, as well, Aurora.
But if you stick to the Denver bubble west of Colorado Boulevard, you’re missing what is arguably Colorado’s coolest city.
Shaped like a puzzle piece and abutting DIA, Aurora sprawls across parts of Arapahoe, Adams and Douglas Counties, and is Colorado’s third largest city—and most diverse—housing more than 383,000 people, the Anschutz Medical Campus, the Fitzsimons Innovation Community, Buckley Air Force Base, the Gaylord Rockies Resort and Convention Center and more than 200 independently owned restaurants reflective of the many immigrants who have made Aurora their home, among them Korean, Ethiopian, Chinese, Mexican, Indian, Thai, Vietnamese and even British.
With a wide mix of urban/suburban homes, vintage and new housing, condominium warrens and townhomes, Aurora has something for every buyer. (Bonus: Prices are lower than the Mile High City’s.) There are also dozens of neighborhoods from almost every era scattered across its 160 square miles, among them North Aurora.
North Aurora/Sunnyvale is located primarily between Yosemite Street to the west, Peoria to the east and East 36th Avenue and East 11th Avenue north to south, which encompasses a stretch of Colfax that serves as Aurora’s unofficial downtown. The neighborhood continues further south in a strip from East 11th Avenue to East Alameda Avenue, between Dayton Street to the west and Havana Street to the east.
Part of the Aurora Cultural Arts District, home to the Martin Luther King, Jr. Library, nonprofit community organizations, the Aurora Fox Art Center, numerous galleries, dance and theatre companies, North Aurora also serves up great Mexican eats, dumplings (Mason’s Dumpling Shop), Sudanese, Burmese, Nepalese, Ethiopian, Syrian and Asian cuisines in the refugee/asylee center and food court Mango House as well as brews from Lady Justice Brewing Company.
The neighborhood sits blocks from a Light Rail stop, the Stanley Marketplace with its large beer hall, restaurants and shops and the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus.
Arts, culture, public transit, access to jobs and great food. And, though prices are on the upswing in A-Town because of the great pandemic migration, Niche.com puts the median sale price of Aurora homes at $304,874 versus $459,100 for Denver. Chances are, you’ll come for the prices but stay for the vibe.
North Aurora/Sunnyvale Highlights
Location: Twenty minutes east of downtown Denver between Yosemite Street to the west, Peoria to the east and East 36th Avenue and East 11th Avenue north to south, continuing further south from East 11th Avenue to East Alameda Avenue between Dayton Street to the west and Havana Street to the east.
Housing stock: Small mid-century ranches, some multi-family
Public schools: Adams-Arapahoe 28J
Public high school: Aurora Central High School
Nearest hospital: Children’s Hospital, University of Colorado Hospital
Nearby parks: Montview Park, City Park and Spencer Garrett Park
Fun fact: John Kerry, former U.S. secretary of state who now services as the United States Special Envoy for Climate, was born at Fitzsimons Army Medical Center in Aurora, Colo.