Hosted by W. 38th Avenue Merchants Association
I am excited to announce the re-launch of the West 38th Avenue Merchants’ Association with the sponsorship of the Plaza38 Inaugural Festival and The Grand Opening of the Food Hall. The food hall presently features Joe Maxx Coffee, The Milky Way Ice Cream Shop, and The Bar at Plaza 38. Four restaurants will join them in the coming year.
The event also celebrates the grand opening of Commerce Bank.
This celebration will take place on November 9, 2019, in the parking lot of Plaza 38 at Lowell, 3550 W 38th from 12:00 to 6:00 pm.
It will feature the North High School drum-line, face painters, Sounds by Sanchez, a DJ, Denver Firetruck, the Denver Police Lowrider, Freddie Rodriguez Jr and the Jazz Connection with Special Guest, Freddie Rodriguez, Sr, “An Afternoon with Frank Sinatra” and Bad Candy, the band, will headline and close out the event. Three local food trucks will provide delectables. Other activities are planned.
Come on down and share in the excitement of the festival reminiscent of the association’s Festival 38 events of previous years.
Any merchants along 38th and its cross streets who would care to join the association are welcome to like this post.
Latin Life Denver
August 31, 2018
As a young man, Gene Lucero didn’t buy a flashy car to impress the girls. He bought a customer contact list to find clients.
After graduating with a Business Degree from the University of Colorado at Boulder he started the Lucero Financial Group, comprising of Lucero Tax and Accounting; Colorado Tierra, a mortgage company; and Lucero Real Estate for more than 24 years on 38th Avenue. He will relocate his core business back to 38th Avenue, on the same ground the new Plaza38 at Lowell now stands. He’s focused on real estate development and has joined forces with Keller Williams Realty to create the Lucero Financial Group powered by Keller Williams Urban Elite.
He now owns Plaza38 at Lowell, a shopping experience that’s shaping into the hot new development in northwest Denver’s Highlands neighborhood. “In 1978, I bought a list of clients,” said the longtime north Denver businessman. “I was a saver. I developed a work ethic early on.” Plaza38 at Lowell is just one of about a dozen businesses Lucero, 62, has owned during an enviable career in northwest Denver.
In addition to his 30,000 square feet of retail space – shaded below a 322-unit condo complex on the corner of 38th Avenue and Lowell Boulevard – Lucero has made some core changes to his business. He says he’s taking it “to the next level.”
But when Lucero started building his empire, few aspired to be in his neighborhood. “It was considered blighted,” Lucero said. “There was cruising on 38th and gangs. My building got tagged (with graffiti). We just painted over it and continued on.”
His perseverance paid off, and others noticed how hard he worked and his dedication to the neighborhood, including fellow businessman Ron Beall. “He’s one of the most accomplished businessmen I know and his ethics are beyond anything I’ve seen in anyone else,” Beall said. “He’s involved and has done so much for so many.”
So why did Lucero stick around and invest in the neighborhood? Why did he stay long enough to realize the gold mine that is now called the Highlands? “Geographically, it has a good, cultural mix,” he said of the area. “It’s convenient to everything. There are smaller neighborhoods. You can venture out to Rocky Mountain Lake, Elitch Gardens, Lakeside, Potter Highlands, 32nd Avenue, Sloan’s Lake. Its all surrounded by tree-lined streets. I love it here.”
Lucero’s strong sense of community has kept him in the neighborhood. He was active in the Civil Rights and Chicano movements of the ‘60 and ‘70s. He was a member of the Crusade for Justice where the Chicano movement in Colorado was led by Corky Gonzales. Lucero has helped Latinos get elected to public office, and he is striving to give Hispanic-owned businesses space in Plaza38 at Lowell.
“Gene has been involved the area’s transformation,” said Lucero’s partner Tammie Daily at Keller Williams Urban Elite. “He has a very strong desire to elevate the Hispanic community.” Today, the Highlands retains all the character of a community-within-a community – characteristics that made it into one of the most vibrant and desirable places to live in the nation.
While Lucero shies away from suggestions that he did much more than “be in the right place at the right time,” and is quick to give his partner Teresa Lucero equal credit, it’s impossible to look at the Highlands and not see the Lucero influence. And while he is certainly not resting on those laurels, today’s most vivid reminder of his decades of hard work is right there at 38th Avenue and Lowell Boulevard: the new residential, retail and entertainment experience of Plaza38 at Lowell.
Stay tuned for the Grand Opening coming this fall.
Gene Lucero builds to stay true to his roots
By Kelcey McClung – Reporter, Denver Business Journal
Aug 10, 2018, 7:00am EDT
Longtime Denver resident and businessman Gene Lucero is revitalizing the West Highland neighborhood, but don’t call him a developer. He doesn’t want it on his business cards, and he “cringed a little bit” when somebody referred to him as such.
Lucero is CEO and Principal of Lucero Financial Group, which includes Lucero Real Estate, Inc., Colorado Tierra Mortgage, Inc. and Lucero Tax and Accounting. He hopes his passion project, Plaza38, at Lowell Boulevard and 38th Avenue— the same street he worked on for more than 24 years — will benefit both the long-standing community and the influx of newcomers.
“I’ve been trying to fill some needs for the [Highland] market based on my perception of having lived here,” Lucero said. “It’s where I started in 1983, and my presence has still been there in some form of ownership.”
He owned the lot Plaza38 is on and sold it to Trammel Crow Residential to turn it into a 324-unit apartment complex. It will also include 31,000 square feet of new retail and over 170 retail parking spaces. Lucero bought back the retail part of the project.
Once Plaza38 is finished, he’ll move his core business back to 38th, in the new plaza — his legacy project.
The founding chairperson of the Colorado Association of Hispanic Real Estate professionals, Lucero served as Secretary of the National Association of Hispanic Real Estate Professionals Board of Directors. He’s been involved with the West 38th Avenue Merchant Association since the 1980s.
It’s where he’s lived, worked and played.
“Being a small businessman, and a Latino businessman, that’s where my roots have been,” he said. “Being the special place northwest Denver is, it’s got so much ethnic history and its geographic location is outstanding.”
The proximity to cultural centers and distinctive neighborhoods is another reason he’s always chosen to stay.
“I’m from here, so I really want to be a thoughtful developer and give back.”
Part of that is being thoughtful about what vendors Lucero selects for the retail portion of Plaza38.
“[I’m looking at] what they’re bringing to the neighborhood, how they contribute to its vibrancy and how they create a sense of community,” he said.
Though exciting things are ahead for 38th Avenue in the Highlands, Lucero said that there was a time it was a “challenged street,” in terms of gang violence, cruising and graffiti. Things changed after rezoning and reshaping, part of which Lucero attributed to Blueprint Denver — a neighborhoods plan created by the city in 2002.
“That helped reshape things – it created more density and brought more activity to the avenues,” Lucero said.
Population growth and Denver’s burgeoning development have helped improve 38th, he said, but it was a gift and a curse.
“Affordability has gotten a little more challenged and controversial through that whole [development] process,” Lucero said. “Part of gentrification can be viewed as negative, because people that previously lived there can’t anymore because of new construction.”
He said his real estate company, which aims to service the Latino community, has consistently seen wage earners “left out of the ballgame” in bidding on houses.
This extended cycle of development hasn’t helped that, he said, as wages haven’t kept up with the financial costs of growth.
“It hurts the renter to have to move where the rents are lower,” he said.
As for the future, he is looking forward to his next projects.
“I just don’t know what they’re going to be yet,” he said with a laugh.
By La Voz @lavozcolorado.com
Longtime North Denver businessman and entrepreneur Gene Lucero is combining his business with Keller Williams Urban Elite, taking his real estate brokerage to the next level.
Stocked with multiple high-producing brokers, possessing strong roots in the community, Lucero’s longtime independent real estate firm, Lucero Real Estate, is combining with Keller Williams to establish the new Keller Williams Realty Urban Elite, a company providing residential and commercial real estate services. It will be the anchor tenant at Plaza 38 at Lowell in the new high-volume, multi-use shopping center at the busy corner of 38th Avenue and Lowell Boulevard.
Plaza 38 at Lowell is Lucero’s most recent development project. Under Sonrisa Holding, LLC, another Lucero-owned entity, Lucero and partner Teresa Lucero worked with Trammel Crow Residential to develop the Alexan West Highland luxury apartment community, a 322-unit apartment building at the same corner where Lucero had one of several offices in north Denver over the years.
Plaza 38 at Lowell is an ambitious project even in an age when multi-use development projects dominate the Denver construction scene. While the apartments are controlled by Alexan, Lucero’s Sonrisa owns the retail component, 30,000 square feet of retail, dining and entertainment space below the residences. Unlike some other recent projects that lacked adequate parking in the Highlands, Plaza 38 at Lowell has 175 spaces. It currently houses 38th Modern Dental, Rush Cycle, Bishops Cuts/Color, Mountain West Financial, Colorado Tierra Mortgage and Snappy Nails & Spa.
As the principal operating officer/partner, Lucero will tap into his long and successful history in finance management, tax and accounting and real estate to provide the guiding hand needed in a highly competitive market. His is a diverse business background with humble beginnings, shining shoes and working construction as a youth.
Those early jobs instilled in him the ambition to be the boss. College education at Georgetown University in Washington, D.C. and the University of Colorado at Boulder fueled that ambition and led to 40-plus years as a business owner and entrepreneur in his hometown neighborhood, learning winning business techniques along the way.
In addition to his business ventures and acumen, Lucero also is known for elevating the community, helping people realize the American dream of home ownership, making sure Plaza 38 at Lowell fits northwest Denver residents’ needs, and ensuring the development attracts diverse tenants, while staving off national chains.
Beginning his financial services career in 1976, he has seen it grow to be a multi-million dollar financial services group. The Lucero Financial Group was recognized as the Small Business of the Year in 2015 by the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce of Metro Denver. He has been appointed by both Govs. Bill Ritter and John Hickenlooper to the Colorado State Housing Board. He’s been honored by the Denver Board of Realtors and has served as president, as well as division vice president for member policy of the Colorado Association of Realtors. He was on the Board of Directors for the National Association of Hispanic Real Estate Professionals, as well as the founding chairperson of the Colorado Association of Hispanic Real Estate Professionals, to name just a few.