“From the jazz clubs on Friday evening to the church pews on Sunday morning and all the soul food you could eat in between, Denver’s Five Points neighborhood represented the heart and the hub of the city’s black community for more than half the 20th century.
In the new millennium, the place where five streets meet is viewed by some community and city political leaders as a dead-end on preserving the old neighborhoods. Higher property values driven by the desire of monied white millennials to live and trade here makes it hard for people with roots to stay.
Wellington Webb, Denver’s first black mayor, understands why people sell their homes and leave the neighborhood. There’s no logical way to stop it.
“Let’s say, hypothetically, I paid less than $100,000 for my house, but now it’s (valued) at $900,000,” said Wellington Webb, Denver’s first black mayor. “Do you know what the taxes are on that? If you have someone on Social Security, how can they pay the taxes on that?
“Then you have these people putting cards in your door all day long saying they’ll buy your house, and they’ll give you $400,000 cash if you get out by Friday,” he went on. “Many times, they’re going to take the $400,000. And then the developer comes in.”
Pressed on gentrification, the city’s senior statesman, who said he never goes off the record, made clear: “I just don’t want to talk about it.””
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Alvarez, Alayna. Colorado Politics 25 February 2020.