About Arvada, Colorado
City of Historic Preservation and Modern Goverment
Nestled at the foot of the majestic Rocky Mountains, Arvada enjoys a rich history, quiet tree-lined neighborhoods, and a robust mix of business. Established in 1870, the first place in Colorado where gold was discovered is now the City of Arvada. Today, Arvada is by no means a forgotten gold rush town. It is a modern first-ring suburb of Denver with acclaimed civic leadership, which balances quality of life with business and economic development.
In 2010, Money Magazine ranked Arvada as 58th among America’s Top 100 Best Small Cities. In 2011 the PublicTechnology Institute recognized Arvada as one of 17 governmen entities as leaders in applying innovative Web technologies to citizen engagement, government citizen engagement, government accountability, and operational efficiencies. The International city managers association recognized Arvada in 2008 for their “Outstanding Achievement in Local Government Innovation.” To see what the excitement is all about, check out Ask Arvada FAQs.And in 2010, Government Technology Magazine chose Arvada as one of “25 Top Doers, Dreamers, and Drivers in the Nation.” View more awards for Arvada.
Even with its population of 106,400, the city retains a small-town feel. Arvada's award-winning governance, superb quality of life, and highly educated workforce have helped shape the community into one of the best places to live in Colorado.
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Qualities which make Arvada a good choice to live include:
1. Cost of Living: An extremely livable city, Arvada has excellent amenities, top rated schools, low crime rates, and many employment opportunities. These factors keep property values at a steady high.
2. Educational System: Situated in Jefferson County, Arvada is home to some of the top schools in the state. In addition to a challenging and engaging K-12 curricula, most schools offer Advanced Placement courses and programs for the gifted-and-talented. One school, Meiklejohn Elementary, has one of the highest ratings in the state: Colorado School Grade ranks this school 14th out of 998 and gives it an A+. Expenditures per student of $5,084 are higher than the state average, with a superior student-teacher ratio of 16.0. More than 90% of students graduate from High School and 21% of the city population has a 4-year college degree.
Colorado School Grades ranks these K-12 Schools with a grade of A:
Elementary Schools: Meiklejohn, West Woods, Sierra.
High Schools: Ralston Valley.
Colorado School Grades ranks these K-12 Schools with a grade of B:
Elementary: Campbell, Fitzmorris, Warder, Vanderhoof.
Middle Schools: Excel Academy Charter School, Oberon, Drake, Lincoln Charter Academy.
See more at Colorado School Grades.
World-class research institutions are in easy reach, including the University of Colorado and the Colorado School of Mines. The Arvada campus of Red Rocks Community College offers a wide variety of educational programs to meet the needs of residents and employers.
3. Employment Opportunities: The ninth most populous city in Colorado, median household income in Arvada is 9.5% higher than the state average. Although the city is often a commuter city for Denver and Boulder, 89 companies in Arvada have 50 or more employees, many of which are retail establishments. The largest, non-retail companies are the following:
Sorin Group USA – a medical technology company with 351 employees.
World headquarters for Sundyne Corporation, manufacturer of high-speed pumps and compressors, with 353 employees.
New York Life Insurance with 250 employees.
As well, future job growth over the next 10 years is projected to be better than the state average, at 3.6% per year.
4. Real Estate Values: The median home value of $204,800 is slightly higher than the state average of $200,300. An unusually high percentage of residents, 70%, own their own home, which is well above the state average of 58%. Likewise, home vacancy rates are among the lowest in the state: 3.9% compared with 10.9% overall.
5. Health and Safety: Two Urgent Care facilities reside in Arvada itself. St. John’s Hospital is just across the city line into Wheatridge. Arvada’s public safety departments and their investigators have been recognized numerous times for high achievement. For example, in 2009 the Colorado Association of Chiefs of Police awarded the Arvada Police Department the Professional Standards Compliance Award. Not surprisingly, property and violent crime rates in Arvada are among the lowest in the Denver Metropolitan Area and significantly lower than both the state and national averages. Get more information on Arvada crime rates.
6. Commute Time and Public Transportation: Largely a commuter city to Denver and Boulder, Arvada is located just 7 miles northwest of Denver and 20 miles south of Boulder. The average commute time is 28 minutes, similar to the state average of 27 minutes. Arvada is thoroughly accessible. Highway I76 and I70 run through the city as does several state highways. The Amtrak California Zephyr passes through Arvada and runs through the scenic heart of the Rocky Mountains, which is one of the most popular rail routes in the United States. Arvada will receive a commuter rail Gold Line along the old Colorado Central Railroad route by 2016. The League of American Bicyclists designated Arvada as a Bronze Level Bicycle Friendly Community in 2008.
7. Culture, Entertainment, and Shopping: With the Rocky Mountains forming a spectacular backdrop, Arvada offers a rich variety of natural, historic and cultural resources that shape and define the community's exceptional quality of life. The city provides arts and cultural events throughout the year. Since its inception in 1976, the Arvada Center has offered year-round concerts and performances in theater and dance, art exhibitions, and classes in various forms of art. The Arvada Center serves more than 350,000 visitors each year, with more than half of its patrons coming from outside of Jefferson County. View their website atwww.arvadacenter.org Shopping needs are well supported along the primary retail corridors of Wadsworth Boulevard, 52nd Avenue, Ralston Road and Kipling Street. Arvada takes pride in its beautiful parks, trails and open space. The city sports more than 140 parks and 125 miles of hiking, biking and horseback riding trails, which run through scenic natural landscapes and recreation areas. With easy access to U.S. 36 and I-70, residents are just a short drive away from attractions throughout Metro Denver and the Rocky Mountains.
8. History and Development: On June 22, 1850, on a wagon train bound for California, Lewis Ralston dipped his gold pan in an unnamed mountain stream and sifted out $5 worth in gold in his first pan – the site of the first gold strike in Colorado. Later named Ralston Creek, this stream runs through what is now Arvada. A 10-mile bike and pedestrian trail follows the creek and crosses over the spectacular 400 foot Gold Strike Park Pedestrian Bridge. The city has won many awards for its historic downtown. In 2002 Olde Town Arvada was recognized as a “National Main Street Community.” In 2003 the city won the Special Achievement Award in Economic Development for “Partnering to Revitalize Historic Olde Town Arvada”. And in 2009 Arvada received the Governor’s Award for Downtown Excellence. Once known as the “Celery Capital of the World,” the city was famous for its pascal celery, which was served for holiday dinners at the White House in the early 1900s.
A few “historic firsts”:
- Lloyd J. King opened the first King Soopers was in Olde Town Arvada in 1947.
- The first traffic signal in Jefferson County was at the corner of Wadsworth and Grandview in 1941.
- Arvadan T. H. Krause invented the automobile turn signal.
- “Babe” Didrikson Zaharias, Olympic champion and voted the greatest female athlete of the 20th century, called Arvada home.
Quick Search Homes for Sale in Arvada Neighborhoods and Subdivisions:
Double E Ranch
Blue Mountain Estates