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Denver encourages, prepares for population growth

Denver is improving infrastructure and seeking ways to revitalize its property values.

Denver is improving infrastructure and seeking ways to revitalize its property values.

Denver's population of 2.7 million will to grow to about 3.9 million by 2030, according to the Denver Office of Economic Development. With so many people moving to the Mile High City, Denver has embarked upon a series of programs designed to increase job opportunities and improve real estate value.

The FasTracks program is building 122 miles of commuter and light rail while improving infrastructure for buses across eight counties in the Denver area. And today, U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood announced FasTracks will be one of 27 recipients to benefit from $1.58 billion allocated for transportation projects.

As a participant in the Red Fields to Green Fields program, Denver received a proposal last year from the Georgia Tech Research Institute regarding how to cope with distressed real estate. Acting on the program's recommendations, the city has begun to buy property along the South Platte River Corridor. All told, the plan calls for 6,650 acres to be revitalized, leading to the creation of 30,000 jobs.

While these initiatives aim to grow Denver in the long-term, the city's near-term prospects are improving as the city recovers from the recent economic crisis. On June 24, the Denver Post reported the local labor market went from losing jobs to posting gains in the first half of 2011.