Arvada Newcomers Guide

Pond Panorama ArvadaWith its clear blue skies, pristine lakes and rivers, majestic mountains and vibrant cities, Colorado truly is one of the most spectacular locations on earth. If you’re thinking about moving to The Centennial State, you’ll certainly want to consider Arvada. This first-ring Denver suburb has a small-town ambience, a family-oriented attitude and a full range of civic, cultural, recreational and essential services. Arvada has first-rate schools, an abundance of public parks, a lively arts scene, a low crime rate, a diverse economic base and a business-friendly environment that combine to provide a superb quality of life – all within easy access of metropolitan Denver and Boulder. Our newcomer’s guide is a good place to start your introduction to Arvada and your search for Denver homes for sale.

Arvada’s Golden History

Sometime in the early summer of 1850, a wagon train bound for California stopped along Clear Creek. One of its members, Lewis Ralston, dipped a pan in a mountain stream nearby and came up with gold. Although Ralston continued west, the creek was named in his honor. He returned eight years later with a party of settlers and touched off the Rocky Mountain gold rush. The site of Ralston’s discovery was the birthplace of modern Arvada.

Many of those who came for gold stayed on to work farms, growing wheat, corn, oats, melons and vegetables. One of the crops was so successful, that Arvada became known as the world’s celery capital. The farmers’ output fed the mining camps and the citizens of nearby Denver. In 1869, hoping to gain a U.S. post office, B.F. Wadsworth developed a plat for a nine-square-block town and named it Arvada, after his brother-in-law, Hiram Arvada Haskins. Over the years, Wadsworth worked tirelessly to attract homeowners and shopkeepers to Arvada. His little town included doctors, a bank, restaurants, grocers, a hardware store, a pharmacy and livery stable, a blacksmith shop and other services – what is today historic Olde Town Arvada.

The town continued to grow, but it wasn’t until the end of World War II that the Arvada experienced its first housing boom. With a population of 2,359, Arvada officially became a city in 1951. It has continued to enjoy rapid growth as suburb of metropolitan Denver and exceeded 100,000 residents at the turn of the 21st century.1

Relocating to Arvada

Water Tower ArvadaB.F. Wadsworth’s little town is now a city of nearly 110,000. Those nine square blocks have grown to almost 33 square miles. The scattered homesteads have been replaced by charming neighborhoods on quiet tree-lined streets. Arvada boasts a robust mix of business, strong civic leadership that encourages economic development and an excellent variety of public amenities. Arvada has earned accolades as a great place to live, work, play and raise a family. It was voted one of America’s most beautiful, friendly and fun places in Rand McNally’s “Best of the Road” 2013 Best Towns poll.2 It was one of five Colorado cities named in Money Magazine’s “Best Small Cities” in 2010. Money emphasized the historic feel of the city and its noteworthy attractions including the annual Gold Strike Festival, the Arvada Center for the Arts and Humanities, and the city’s celebrated cultural center.3 StreetAdvisor.com ranks Arvada as the third best of Colorado’s cities, giving it 8.4 points out of a possible 10 and calling it great for peace and quiet, eating out, shopping options, gym and fitness and neighborly spirit.4 And in 2013, Denver Life Magazine included Arvada in its “Denver’s Best Places to Live” list. They wrote:

“The ninth most populated city in Colorado, with the median home or condo price at $241,800, this is one of Denver’s most popular areas for getting a taste of city culture without the hassles of a metro hub. With the Arvada Center showcasing musicals and art classes and Old Town Arvada offering festivals, pottery studios and playhouses, this is a charming enclave. ‘Arvada has a great, cozy, small-town feel,’ says Colin Stok of RE/MAX. ‘With it’s amazing historic Old Town square lined with restaurants, a library, and pubs to the many parks and shopping strip malls, you will always find something to do.’”5

Arvada Real Estate

If you’re interested in new Arvada homes for sale, award-winning home builder Taylor Morrison is currently building three different collections of ranch and two-story single-family homes on large sites with spectacular views in the new community of Leyden Ranch:

Leyden Ranch is located at 16249 West 84th Drive, Arvada, CO 80007. Call 303-325-2442.

Arvada Economy

The majority of Arvada’s residents commute to jobs in metropolitan Denver, and Denver’s economy is healthy. The Metro Denver Economic Development Corporation issued the following state in February: “2013 was a year of records in areas such as employment growth, housing, commercial real estate and the stock market…we do expect similar growth and expansion in the upcoming months.”6 Forbes is equally optimistic about Denver’s economic future, citing the area’s central location that makes it a natural distribution hub for the American west and its strength in the energy sector.7

Arvada itself has been recognized at the Colorado and national levels for its business retention program and its historic downtown, whose eclectic shopping and dining experiences support a thriving visitor industry. Arvada’s primary employment is in construction, professional, technical and scientific services, public administration, and finance and insurance.

Arvada Schools

Arvada is served by Jeffco Public Schools, Colorado’s largest school district with 166 campuses and nearly 88,600 students. JPS is rated 7 out of 10 by Great Schools, based on recent test scores, which are generally at or above state averages. Public schools in Arvada include West Woods Elementary (K-6), Drake Middle (7-8) and Ralston Valley High (9-12). Arvada residents also have access to several excellent private schools.

Colleges and universities near Arvada include: Regis University; Front Range Community College; Red Rocks Community College; Colorado School of Mines; Community College of Denver; Metropolitan State College of Denver and University of Colorado at Denver. All are within 12 miles or less.

Arvada Living

Bicycling ArvadaWith its small town charm, proximity to big city amenities and abundance of natural beauty, Arvada is the perfect place to live. Here’s a short list of what makes Arvada so popular with its residents:

  • Access to more than 140 public parks, including 90 within the city limits that include special places for picnics, play, skating, disc golf and dogs.
  • 3 public golf courses.
  • Apex Field House, a new facility for all-season indoor soccer, lacrosse, flag football and more.
  • Over 230 miles of trails for hiking, biking and horseback riding in and around Arvada.
  • Boating and fishing on 180-acre Arvada/Blunn Reservoir.
  • Olde Town Arvada, the city’s original business district with shops, cafes and attractions is listed on the National Register of Historic Place.
  • The Arvada Center for the Arts and Humanities, an award-winning venue for concerts, live theater, exhibitions and events.
  • Dozens of grocery stores and supercenters, hundreds of full-service restaurants and wide variety of services.
  • 3 major medical centers/hospitals within 9 miles.
  • 35 minutes from Denver International Airport.
  • Access to major regional transportation corridors including I-70, I-76 and U.S. I-25.

Make Yourself at Home in Arvada

Does Arvada sound like your kind of town? For more information about new homes for sale in Arvada or to schedule a personal viewing appointing at a Taylor Morrison community in the Denver area, contact Internet Home Consultant Becky Hunt at 303-656-7692 or send an email request.

Photo credit:
pond panorama: USFWS Mountain Prairie flickr cc
bicycling: Joint Hometown News Service flickr cc