8th Annual Best Places to Live

In the Spotlight: Stapleton
Urban Development Gem continues its expansion

Illustration: Amanda Lenz

Illustration: Amanda Lenz

The apple of Denver’s real estate eye, and an envy of smart development across the nation, Stapleton recently launched two new neighborhoods to expand its breadth of housing beyond I-70. The former Stapleton International Airport certainly is one of the largest urban redevelopments in the United States, with the core objective to create a living example of progressive, sustainable neighborhood design. The result is a walkable mix of energy-efficient new homes, retail districts, schools, offices, six swimming pools, sports facilities and an extensive network of parks and open spaces.

Started in 2001, Stapleton is home to a mix of singles, empty nesters, young couples and plenty of families. In total, about 19,000 residents live in the development, and that number is growing steadily, with close to 30,000 homes predicted to be completed by 2025. The rise is so steady that the area struggles to keep up with enough schools to serve the influx of kids. However, it’s this massive amount of grade school-age children that drives much of the focus and activity of Stapleton. From youth recreational teams at one of the area’s 50 parks to thousands of swimming lessons offered at the pools come summer time, Stapleton is eternal youth captured in a colorful 7.5-square mile development.

The 25-year action plan for the area is about two-thirds complete. Home owners can purchase a resale home from one of the sold-out neighborhoods such as Bluff Lake, South End, Westerly Creek Central Park North, Central Park West, East 29th Avenue or Eastbridge Neighborhoods, or build a new home in Willow Park East or Conservatory Green. Additional new neighborhoods will be launched later this year, offering homes from numerous builders, a variety of floor plans and array of price points, architectural styles and builder features. And, just this month, Punch Bowl Social announced plans to move in to one of the old airport towers.

The first two neighborhoods north of I-70, Conservatory Green and Willow Park East, the eighth and ninth neighborhoods respectively in Stapleton, are priced from the mid-$100,000s to the $800,000s and will vary in size from 1,000 to more than 3,500 square feet. Look for both to offer all the lifestyle benefits Stapleton has become known for. stapletondenver.com


In the Spotlight: Cherry Creek
High-end shopping, dining and hotels sure to draw crowds

Illustration: Amanda Lenz

Illustration: Amanda Lenz

“I have always enjoyed living and working in Cherry Creek,” says Patrick Finney, owner of FINN Real Estate. “There are so many conveniences including shops, restaurants and commerce.”

However, new building in the neighborhood has put a serious strain on businesses, with many local shops and retailers experiencing sharp decreases in revenue due to the construction. But new development in Cherry Creek, along with an upcoming luxury hotel in Cherry Creek North, likely will have visitors flocking to the already bustling shopping district with an even more distinct community filled with apartments, condos, additional retails shops and oodles of office spaces.

Mixed-space redevelopment in the area including retail, residential and office space is under way at 3300 E. First Ave. and 3033 E. First Ave. and 250 Columbine St., while early tenants in the $100 million 250 Columbine eight-story development from Western Development Group—expected to be completed in May–include restaurants SOL Cocina and Blue Island Oyster Bar, slated to open this summer, a new Starbucks and Arc’Teryx, a company specializing in technical outerwear and equipment. Located between Second and Third avenues on Columbine Street, the site will host 71 condos, 80,000 square feet of office space and more than 30,000 square feet of retail space. 250columbine.com

Also of note: 100 Saint Paul, corner of St. Paul Street and First Avenue, an eight story $60 million premium office/retail building from Pauls Corp. that will host a FirstBank branch, Del Frisco’s Grille and Fuller Sotheby’s International Realty office among its 149,000 rentable square feet. Meanwhile, Steele Creek, at the southeast corner of First Avenue and Steele Street, is a 218-unit residential building with more than 17,000 square feet of ground floor retail space from BMC Investments. And the old Cherry Creek Post Office at 245 Columbine St., is to be transformed into a seven story, $60 million luxury boutique hotel. The project, a joint venture from Elevation Group, Sullivan Group, BMC and Sage Restaurant Group, also will feature restaurant and retail space.

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