1) Glissade Coffee Opens in NW Aurora
The new Glissade Coffee Company that recently opened on 25th and Galena offers specialty coffee for customers and a gathering space for residents. The coffee roastery and café was founded by Sean Harwin, and the term Glissade refers to the activity of sliding down a steep slope of snow. Harwin’s affinity for glissading down mountain slopes provided the inspiration to incorporate the glissading concept into his café by having the coffee slide down the white espresso machines and glide right into the coffee cups. After spending six years overseeing a coffee company in Seattle, Harwin is now excited to develop his own specialty drinks for Denver customers with beans that are derived from Brazilian, Ethiopian, and Costa Rican importers and that are then roasted on-site in his cafe.
The interior of Glissade is designed to offer a community space for Northeast residents. The café features a couch and chairs to provide a living room atmosphere, a countertop bar that surrounds a cozy fireplace, small tables for friendly conversations, and a large table for group gatherings. While some areas have electrical outlets so people can work while using their electronic devices, other sections are purposely devoid of outlets to instead encourage social interactions. For Harwin, offering residents a comfortable environment to meet with friends and engage in conversations is the most important benefit of opening the café and serving the coffee. Glissade recently began serving alcoholic beverages by adding beer and wine to the menu, and in June the café will expand its hours by staying open until 6:30pm Monday-Saturday.
2) Alexan Montview Plaza Progress
The construction for the new Alexan Montview Plaza project is making significant progress. This luxury multifamily development is located north of the Montview and Clinton intersection, which would position residents within walking distance of the Stanley Marketplace and the Westerly Creek Greenway. The buildings along the south side of 22nd Avenue and stretching across Chester Street will offer 395 residential apartments and townhomes that consist of studio, one-bed, two-bed, and three-bed units. The amenities of the complex will feature a pool, spa, clubhouse, and community garden. Residents will also have access to pickleball courts, fitness studios, work offices, and rooftop decks.
Additionally, the buildings along the north side of Montview Avenue will provide 14,000 square-feet of retail space. This Alexan Montview project is being constructed by Trammell Crow Residential, which develops multifamily real estate properties throughout the Denver Front Range. The business tenants for the retail space will be announced in the summer, the apartment units for residents will start opening in the fall, and the entire project is expected to be completed by next spring.
3) East High Con-Law Fourth in Nation
The East High Constitutional Law (Con-Law) team culminated their season by winning fourth place in the national We the People competition. The Con-Law team consists of students in the East High AP Government and Politics class. The annual competition fosters a passion for civics while the students are judged on their knowledge of constitutional, government, and political issues. East High has traditionally performed well in the We the People competitions, and after winning the state contest during the fall semester, the students traveled to Washington DC to compete in the national competition on April 22.
The National Finals competition involves simulated congressional hearings that require the students to testify in front of judges while answering their questions and discussing the topics. The East High class was led by teacher Mandy Hostetter, and the Angels were competing against more than 50 other schools that had also won their respective state or regional contests. The program took first place at nationals in 2019, and winning fourth place in 2023 was an especially exciting victory because it was the best finish that East High has reached since the Covid pandemic and it reflected a remarkable achievement for this generation of Con-Law students.
4) Northfield Drones
Students at Northfield who spent the entire school year developing a drone had their hard work rewarded with an exciting event. The Career and Technical Education (CTE) program enables students with a passion for engineering to construct a drone and design its features with the assistance of faculty members who lead the program and serve as mentors. The students collaborated to develop the drone, all students in the class earned FAA 108 pilot licenses, and on April 28, the students delivered a presentation to Lockheed Martin representatives to showcase the features of their design and fly their drone.
5) Suncor Update
The Suncor Energy oil refinery in Commerce City has again released some potentially harmful chemicals that may have impacted the surrounding neighborhood. On Friday April 28, the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment announced that Suncor had a malfunction with the equipment and that it released excessive levels of hydrogen sulfide and sulfur dioxide into the air. Exposure to these chemicals can cause severe respiratory illness, breathing difficulties, and asthma attacks. As a result, the state issued an alert to warn residents in the area to remain inside their homes and keep their windows closed throughout that weekend until the emissions subsided.
Recent reports also demonstrated that Suncor has been consistently exceeding the state’s permitting regulations. The state establishes limits regarding the quantity of sulfur dioxide and other dangerous chemicals that Suncor can emit. But according to data in Suncor’s Environmental Reportable Events Summary, in March the refinery violated the state regulations and exceeded the emission limits on more than 60 separate occasions during that 30-day period.
In May, Suncor also closed one of its three plants to perform a maintenance project that could persist through June. Suncor says that the $100 million maintenance project is intended to improve equipment operations and reduce air emissions, but during the project residents can expect frequent flaring from the smokestacks, increased noise in the community, and heavy traffic on the roads.
6) Denver Discovery Classrooms
In the spring, Denver Public Schools announced that Denver Discovery School would be closing due to low enrollment numbers. Denver Discovery shared a building with Swigert International, an early education and elementary school with 575 students. Swigert will take advantage of Discovery’s closure by expanding its student population and by utilizing some of those empty classrooms. Whereas Swigert currently has one classroom for 4-year-old Early Childhood Education (ECE) students, next year it will grow to three ECE classrooms. Swigert will also provide an additional kindergarten class and second grade class in the fall, and the school will add another first grade class the following year. This expansion will eventually enable Swigert to have four classrooms for each grade level from kindergarten through 5th grade.
7) Costco Opens in Green Valley Ranch
Northeast Denver residents will soon be able to get groceries at a new Costco in Green Valley Ranch. The location at the intersection of Peña and Green Valley Ranch Boulevards positions the store in an area that has generally been considered a food desert and where residents have long been pleading for grocery options. The Costco will open on July 1, and the full-service grocery store will also provide a pharmacy, food court, gas station, and tire service center.