The questions come in all the time about what the old Denver airport, the New urbanism development Stapleton is all about. There are skeptics out there, after all how can you make 4700 acres of old airport space and runways and a rickety old airport an urban suburbia minutes from downtown?
Master developer, Forest City Enterprises, pulled this one off, making the vision of a neighborhood brimming with new homes, quick downtown access, socially interactive blocks and huge open-space parks and rec paths into a reality. They are not only pulling it off but it is really turning out to be a cool community. Stapleton has the parks--and lots of 'em, they build green with sustainability at the top of their priority list, and they have homes to fit most all pocketbooks.
Stapleton is located to the Northeast of downtown, south of I-70 & Quebec which is about a 10-15 minute drive into the city. The location is a coin flip that seems to be it's biggest draw and biggest deterrent at the same time. Many urban dwellers searching for a place to call home complain that the 'east' location is just too far from the action--action in the mountains that is. This couldn't be further from the truth, actually Stapleton's location gives direct, immediate access to to I-70 to fly you directly west and get you into the hills in less than 25 minutes which is better than many other neighborhoods that are 'as the crow flies' closer to the Rocky Mountain Range. The area also has it's vantage point to gaze at the Front Range from afar which more often than not equates to a more spectacular mountain view.
I am a huge fan of green building and those who are leading the pack to what our eco-friendly future looks like and Stapleton gets a pat on the back for their green efforts. The developers require that all home builders in Stapleton must build to meet the government's Energy Star program which promote energy efficient homes. The voice of the community is heard here and the voice states loud and clear that efforts to promote a better environment now and in the future really do make a difference. One of my favorite recycled aspects: The "Staple Stone" is huge blocks of the old runways and airport parking lots used as curbs, drainage systems and in landscaping throughout the 1100-acre park system and through Metro Denver. The smaller home lots conserve space and the provide a neighborhood that is connected and made for easy walking. I noticed people out on the street walking their dogs and children playing on each block.
The development will be celebrating the grand opening of it's 80-acre Central Park which will be a public park, the third largest in the Denver Parks & Rec system, this coming Fall (2007). The community already has a lengthy list of events from the summer concert series to the Sunday farmer's market. The interactive, 'meet your nieghborhoods' vibe is clearly apparent in Stapleton. All events are open to the public and are a great way to enjoy the summer days, experiencing one of Denver's newest additions to the list of pretty cool neighborhoods. There are events for everybody, click out www.StapletonDenver.com for the full scoop. They even have a baby stroller exercise conditioning class for mom's & dad's to get fit, meet other parents and take advantage of the parks--Do you have to have a baby to participate?!
Currently Stapleton is five years old with 12,000 residents. The area has about 15-20 years more of growth, residential and commercial. When it's all said and done the 4700 acre area should have 30,000 residents and 35,000 workers. Summer of 2008 will bring 15,000 employees to Fitzsimons, many of whom will be searching for a home sweet home and Stapleton is a great option. Those who will be working at the new Fitzsimons hospital complex can say goodbye to a long commute, well unless one considers 10 minutes a long haul.
Currently there are 17 builders in Stapleton selling condos, lofts, single-family homes & estate homes. The homes range for affordable living (it's income qualified) to park-front estate homes. The price point starts in the high 100's and go up from there. I enjoy the mixed architecture of the community which promotes different styles home after home, giving a varied look to the community. The culmination of classic and modern styles gives Stapleton a unique look and doesn't look similar to many other neighborhoods in Denver.
Stapleton is change, a change in the right direction to a more sustainable Denver with the look and feel of a contemporary community. Stapleton looks good on Denver.