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SIDE STREETS: Ratings confirm Springs not as hip as Boulder

By: BILL VOGRIN
September 28, 2012
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photo - Colorado Springs doesn't rank as hip as Boulder. But it's hard to argue about it's beauty. (Bill Vogrin, The Gazette) Photo by
Colorado Springs doesn't rank as hip as Boulder. But it's hard to argue about it's beauty. (Bill Vogrin, The Gazette) Photo by  

Lists are great. They make for great conversations and arguments.

Rate the best quarterback ever. The best rock album. The best Michael Jackson nose.

How about the best suburbs?

Turns out, one group ranks the bedroom communities that ring cities and so many Americans call home.

Colorado Springs and its suburbs didn’t make the top 100. But Cherry Hills Village, about 10 miles south of downtown Denver, came in first in the rating, which was done by Onboard Informatics, a real estate tech firm, partnering with Coldwell Banker Real Estate.

The companies crunched data from more than 11,000 suburban areas to rate them nationally and by state.

I’m a little suspicious of the “best suburbs” list because 30 of the top 100 are in New Jersey. I’ve been to New Jersey. Ain’t no way it’s home to 30 of the nation’s top suburbs.

In Colorado, the top five list includes No. 2 Genesee (which also finished 99th nationally), No. 3 Castle Pines North, then Woodmoor, the unincorporated community east of Monument, and Gleneagle, just north of Colorado Springs.

Rankings were based on items including home ownership, length of average commute, availability of grocery stores and banks, proximity to good schools and crime rates.

While Cherry Hills Village scored a perfect 1,000, Woodmoor earned a score of 919.34 while Gleneagle scored a 912.75, according to the survey.

Frankly, I can see why Woodmoor and Gleneagle rank high. Both are golf course communities with lots of trees and great Front Range views. They boast low population density and stable neighborhoods.

Woodmoor was given an edge in home ownership — 86.6 percent of its residents own their homes compared to 75.7 percent in Gleneagle. And it scored for having a more stable population: 33 percent of its residents have lived there more than five years, compared to 28 percent in Gleneagle.

The next Pikes Peak region suburb to make the list was Monument at No. 15. It’s score was based on 80 percent home ownership.

The real estate company also rated the best places for “social seekers” or places to live for people who consider themselves “hip, trendy and fun at heart.” Not a single place in Colorado met the criteria to land in the top 100 nationally. (Sorry, Aspen!)

Actually, Boulder was chosen the best place in Colorado for social seekers, who would rather go out any night of the week, who value public transportation, a variety of restaurants, coffee shops and nightlife options.

Colorado Springs came in 20th, narrowly edging out Lafayette in Boulder County and losing to Highland Ranch. (Really?)

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