THE TRIP

BELMAR

Bonfils Mansion at Belmar

Before there was a town of Lakewood, wealthy Denver families came here to get away from the city. They built extravagant country homes. And one of the most extravagant of all was Belmar, the estate of Denver heiress May Bonfils. Built in 1930, the great house remained a bastion of Denver high society until it was torn down in 1970--making way for such popular attractions as Belmar Park and the new Lakewood City Commons and Civic Center.

In 1966, the corner of Wadsworth and Alameda entered its next stage of evolution. Villa Italia opened to great fanfair and became the largest and most successful shopping mall in the mountain/plains region. For 35 years, "Villa" was viewed as the commercial and social center of Lakewood. However, the life cycle of Villa taught the citizens and civic leaders of Lakewood a valuable lesson: big shopping malls tend to become obsolete.

The City of Lakewood is undergoing a renaissance as a new cultural and commercial district as it grows around the intersection of Wadsworth and Alameda. This district already includes the Lakewood City Hall, Civic Center, Public Library, Cultural Center, Heritage Center and Lakewood City Commons retail center. Belmar provides the critical mass and diversity of uses necessary to create a true downtown experience in Lakewood.

Belmar is a 104-acre mixed-use development located at Wadsworth Blvd. and West Alameda. The project is being developed through a public/private partnership between the City of Lakewood and Continuum Lakewood Development Company LLC.

» visit Belmar’s website here