Fellow Citizens I'ilul Inh:~l'ested Readers:

It is wilh great pride .fhm we presen; to you rile SlapleloN Oel'eiopmellt Plan. This document and us .mpportiug material ttave beer, dcltdop,e.d by 0111" commllnity to provide a bliieprim for tile reuS'e of the 4.700 acre Stapleton InterJlal;OJI,a{ A irport site.

Stapleton has SCI"II(J(lllie {lVI:(I,II~Oilllei?(I.~ of 0/11" ccnmllli,ij,y JOI' mote ,IIetll 65 years. The relocation.of tll,jaliou activities to Denver intemotiona! Airport provides an ,III/pre 'cdemecl opportunity. Tile Sir/picton site is a c01,mlllluil'y - owned asset wilose ,lise will have enormous hllplica.litJlIs fOl" "he ji/ll/l"e qf Delli!'!'; Ihe regiou wid Colorado. Our Roof is 1'0 insure "WI the reuse pl'08mm lor ttlis selieI'! and one half square wife'site addresses impm"lmll community objeCfj'l'e;s and C(/I./ be SIICcesJjidl)1 supported over time by Jlle markctplace atu! our communay.

TI,e Development Piau presented here describe, the conversion oj SftlplefOH 01'4:1' (I 30 to 40 year period to a series of v;bmm, nvxe« use c{)Iw}/Imit.ies connected by al'l (!xJcNsil'(: .~'ysl,em oj open spa C (Juri {r(Uispoflatio/l hnprovements,

Tile e/(!/'Iwn(s of the Deve!o/JIIU;/!( Pial! are 111Ii/ed by a cOJInNi:tmeilf [0 tl sltsu#urliJle fon» of.~lel'elol'me,,', As a I'l!.wil" 'he Plan empl:f(lsizes such IhblgS (IS the integration of honsing and reereatton withill a regionat ,employmellt center; walknb/e scale cOI'lIIl.!mlitie.s that promote ciil'ersi,l), mid reduce dependence ml Ihe automohii«, reduced ccm.tllillption of resources 011(/ i/'i,!lwcts Oil/lie /loren/Iat' of each citizen. Stapleto» lIIiII be (I place of economic" sociol and environmental'wl'fiol'l lhat will pwvide a !lew dew:toprnCIII mode! for the region .

.1l1addif':Ol!al streugtl: of I'I./e D >I'elopmeUl Plan is in the connections il/cngt'/': between StaplelVIi and I'lk slIrrmmc!i/lg cOIwmmilji, Stapteton ha« been ajeliced (mel secured isiand for two tI,;rds.of a cenmrv. The former Rocky MOl/l1tt/;1I Arsef/(,I'I to lhe liG.nh and Lowry llir Force Base to tile sOHII,' relJll}llcd WI addi,iomr! 30 sqfl{frc miles of laud from p.I{lJlic access. 'J1le;:,'(J jacililles loge/her have created enormous holes and di"sco,wimliJies ill' the m'bltnlabdc of northeas:

Denver: The conversion O'l'er {rme !~r al! three alII/esc sties will produce s!lbsl(mtial chaug«. The Staplelm,l Development Pian creates strong ties between {his site and {he fli/we wildlife refllg,e ai' th« Arsenal and the education(It, recreation(tT, residentia! and bsslness activities at Ihe tllll'l)' sae. Iu addition, the Pkm seeks 10 reunite 'he Slap/elm! site 111M, adjacent neighborhoods ln Denver; AWY,l'fa alld Commerce CifY.

Tkis plan is the product ala subsmntia! commitmen; ollime, eNergy (mr/ //Iolley by many panicipmlis, Tile effurl' lias I)cile}iled {tom the dedicafed participafioll of i'llml)' elecfed official. (Nid SlaJ! ollhe CN)' Clnd Cmlllly.of Denver; as Ivell CIS Ih'e Stapieton R(!\'(dopmenf Foundation, a talented team of Jocat and 1/(/1101./(/1 te Imica} cousuhants, anti many other publ«: ami priv(I(e ol'gtllliZ{J110ilS'. Tlu: creation Qf Ille Development Pia" has also {),(mej/Jed fmm au 1IJ1J)I:ecec:iellteli investment by file local pill'tCIIUhi'Opic commullity who provided a large flOrrioll of,lhe resource;'! necessary to J'1~p1l0fl the Fmmd(llion s,llIjJm,ld professional COII.SIt!t(I/!,I.\' involved, Most importantly, (he ,DclidolJmelllPlan has been elll'icht!d by the ,hOiISWItf.I: (Jf"()lli~~ oj effol" c(lIItJ'ibuted by members of/he Cititen lit/visory Board, aml by fire J"1I'C/il'id· ua! CiliZ'(?IIS who have taken the lime 10 participate in Ihe process. The ej)on made collectively hy aI/these people rlemonstr.ales the aJJe{~tiou the)~ "hare lor this COIutJIllJlity aud their desire Ul8"(~fJe its /Jllm-e"

1'lIe Develonmen: Plan Iws becli/ormally approved by file Deliver 1)lmmill8 Board (.INd ((dOllied as em «meudmnu to the Cfty and Cmmly of Denver's OI1lPl7fdWIlSil'l'! PlaIT by the Cby Conuci], The Plan is one p(m of a package: (i (Iu/iI.iNc.\" lIecessar)' to advance this l"e(/evcloplIl(,mJ (1fOgmm. Concurrent wil'lllhe adoption o/fhe Nan (Ire tile tasks ()le:~lablisiling a lie IV public development elitity to pm\'itie loug-tenn stewardship oJthe site and 1)J;qje'l. marshalillg the human G1Id/illclllcial resources nccessw'j' /0 j'II'i/ia(e red 'l'eJopmem aud pursuing the iuitia! pl:ojects tha: will (Jegin' to give life 10 ,Ihe Flail.

Ssapleto« wit! be paffa! the legacy II'C leave jorJillw"(! gel/(?;wtiolls .. Y'i" ptovi(tcs a model J01" addmssillg (hc economic (md social needs cfpeopk: II'I,i(e respecting ow natrJra/ll'orld. it wm I)(! a legacy 0/ wl,iell we can (II{ be proud. We bCJI'(ifjl (/ail)'ji"(;m th« beamy and opprJi"tillli.!y cn:aled by 11m visio» of Detioer. Specl; Cranmer and so /I1a1/>, otl:rers OI'er 'lie In.\'{ c(!umry. In Ifreil'spirit. we must ensure that a C€lllIiry !mm.lOd(IY StClll/cUm will be making a simi/III" r.:omribll't'io1/ 10 th« beauty and I';fali.ty of thls Quee» il)' at the ouvergence of the iI/()I,lUaili.\' and (,laim.


Wcllingloll ',Webb

MaYDI·,. Cily and County of Denver


Allegra "Ha~)py" Haynes Dislrict 11, Denver City (}1I11Cil


Hairy 'I: wis, ~r. 7

Clminmm. Srapleton Redevelopment Foundation

Reverend Panl Martin

Co-Chair, Citizens Advisory Board


Co-Chair, Cirizens Advisory lBotll'(I

B. Community ·olllex1, ..... , ....•.••..•••• , .•• 3-4 .1. Local Resurgence

2. Local Challenges

1 Local Markel Condirions


I., Execlltive S'IIIllmuu'Y , ' .......•... l·t

A. h~lrodllction

B. Context and Objectives

. The Development Irllll

D. Managemera Slnlclure

E. Early Action henl);

F. Conclusion

n., Intrcduetlon and nnd gl'Olllld , , ' 2~1

A. ~lllll'mllUl.cnOIl , 2-2

1 .. A New J\ppronch

2. Go,~ls

3, How the Development Plan is Used

13. B ackg rOll nd , " . " . . .. . . .. 2-6

1 . Process Ui.SIOfY

2. Relationship 10 the 19'89 Denver Comprehensive Pbn

3. Stapleton Tomorrow

4. Cityand Connty/Stapleton Redcvclepmem

Found]a! ion Panncrshlp

5. Chizens Advisory Bo,1!'(1

6. Technical onsulting Team

7. Community Outreach

III. Context , , .. , 3,.[

A. Nl'Ililionill and lntenuuional Context ..... , . • . . • •• -2 t;lIviI'OllmC:llt.~1 Challenges

2. Economic ChlHIICltg'cs

3. Social Challenges

C. Site Context , , 3" \0

I. Site History

2. Changes jill [{,cg:ional Land Usc

3. Surrounding Neighborhoods and Uses 4 .. Site Character

5 .. Legal Framework

A. Major Questions and ommuuity Objectives ..... 4-2

B. Guidilng Principles .. " .... , .• , . , , • , , . , ...•. 4-4 I. Euvi;·onmclllal Responsibility

2. Social Equity

J. Econnmic Opporsanlty 4, Physical Design

5. J mplcmentation

V. Development J'lilll , , , 5-1

A. Vis;ion , , .. " 5-.

I, . Key Featuees of tho Vision

B. Highlights ........•..............•••. , .• , 5-8 I. Link Wilh Nature

2. U r ban Villages

3. Mobility

4. Besl Tecllllologilc,8 and Practices

5. 'Green" Business Environment

6. Community Linkages

7. Governance, Service Delivery and Parlicipnli:on

C. Structuring Elements , 5-10

L Inrroductlon

2. Open Space mid Parks 3 .. Transportation

4. Services

5. I' .1'11)<1 Usc and Urban Design

D. District Descriptions 5-40

J _ District I

2. District II

3. District ill 4 .. District IV 5 .. District V

6. Districts VlNll 7 .. District vrn

E. Social and Economic Initiatives , 5-68

]. Introduction

2. Goals and Principles

3. Criteria and Next Steps

4. Employment Base

5. Economic Program

6. Education and Training Systems

F. Financlal Analysis . . . . . .. .. . . . . . . .. . . . . .. . . .. 5-73

1. Infrastructure Costs

2. Description of Facilities

3. Overview of Financial Strategy

4. Funding Sources

G. Regulatory and Market MedlanJS111S 5-85

1. A New Approach

2. Examples

Vl. Redevelopment Management Structure


A. The Need . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. 6-2

B. Roles and Possible Structures , 6-2

C. Recommended Approach . . . . . .. . . . .. . . . . .. .. 6-3

VII. Phasing Strategy and Early Action HelD'S 7-1

A. Phasing Strategy , 7-2

L Location of Development

2. Timing of Development

3. Type of Development

B. Phase 1 Development Recommendations ...... 7-2

C. Early Actien Items , . , . , , 7-3

1. Redevelopment Manegement Structure

2. Regulatory and Institutional Structure

3. Finance

4. Marketing/Communications

5. Planning and Infrastructure Design

6. Project Management

7. Asset Management

8. Demonstration Opportunities

9. Additienal Studies

10. Social and Economic Straregies

D. Current Work on. Action Items. , , 7-5

1. Bluff Lake Environmental

Education Center

2. Rocky Mountain Wildlife Refuge

3. Sand Creek Corridor

4. Westerly Creek: Multiple Use Greenway and Water Quality Area

5. Residential Development Pilot Project

6. "Groundswell" Comrnnniry Farm and "Just Say

Whoa." at the Urban Agriculture Center

7. B[!viromuental Remediation

8. 56th Avenue

9. Runway Recycling LO. Terminal

I]. Industrial Land Sales

12. Asset Management

13. The Denver Smart Places Project

VITI, Conclusion·· Images oftbe Future 8·1

A. A New Approach

B. Stapleton Technology lncubator

C. Westerly Park Neighborhood

D. Green Builder

'8. Stapleton Parks and Open Space

lX. A(:knQwledgmelllts ...••.•.•................ 9'al




After 66 years of aviation activity, Stapleton International Allport is about to undergo a transformation which will take at least 30 to 40 years to complete. The Stapleton Developmem Plan describes a physical. social, environmental economic

and regularory framework intended to guide this transformation over the next several decades. lL describes a new approach to development, a real world example of sustainable development of significant scale .. Emerging over time oa the Stapleton site will be a network of urbsn villages. employment centers and significant OpeIDI spaces, all linked by a commitmen~ 10 the prorectien of nafural resources and the developmenr of human resources.

After 65 years of avialion activity" Stapleton International Airport is about to undergo a transformation ... ~

The Development Plaa bas been. adopted by the City Council as an amendment to the City's Comprehensive Plan, It is supported by the Development Plan Resource Document which contains illustrative examples as well as extensive detailed technical support material Tile Resource Document was not inrended mo be adopted by the City Council.

Planning for the future of Stapleton has been ongoing since 1989 beginning wilh the Stapleton Tomorrow process and culminating with tim Development Plan, This PIM is the product 01' a partnership between the City and County of Denver, the Stapleton Redevelopment Foundation, a Citizen's Advisory Board appointed byjhe Mayor and a highly skilled technical consulting team. 'Throughout the process, more Ihan EOO community presentations and meetings were held to lnsure community-wide participation and input.


The redevelopmenr program will be presented wiLh many challengesand opportunities, The national and international context requires anention to the economic realities of a more global and more competitive well as the worldwide challenge to reduce natural resource consumption and the potential for global climate change, Locally, tbe

Stapleton site provides an opportunity to address important ccmmnniry needs resulting from a shifting job base, demographic change and renewed pressures on the stability of many neighborhoods. The Plan must also distinguish the site from other large seale projects within the City and COUJ1IDty such as the Aitrplrt Gateway, Lowry, the Central Plattt.e VatUey and downtown, In addition, the Development Plan must respond to the specific matket and neighborhood context of the site, and the significant changes resulting from conversion of the nearby Rocky Mountain Arsenal and Lowry Air Force Base to new civilian IJISe,o;,

Overihe course of ~he last six years, there has beea a great deal of discussion of the variety of objeetives held by the community for the reuse of'lffil,e Stapleton site, The principle questions have been,

- What is the appropriate role of the Stapleton site in the regional economy and its relallollsfllP 10 other community centers?

- How ctil:! Ssapletan comribtue to improvement oj"JJu!: enl'ironmem for sW'l"ollmJing neighborhoods and increased access and op{JOrtllflitiesfor (hei.1" residents?

• How can Stapleton respond to the development and environmental challenges we face locally GIrd globally?

- 11(11IV can Stapleton respond to the significant social and demographic changes taking place (JJ!d cresue diwtrse, surcessful urban rommunuies?

• How can Stapleto« succeed in the marketplace Gild fulfill the disposition obligations of the Deliver airport system?


If! 1991, the City Council adopted the Stapleton 'Iomorrow Concept Plan, which identified the following eight basic objectives for reuse of the sire. These objectives continue to enjoy broad community SUpp0l1 and have provided the foundsrion upon which the Stapleton Development Plan has beea built:

1. Generate significam economic development

2. Producea positive impact on cxistililg 'neighborhoods and businesses.

3. Enhance environmental quality '11l1rongtlOlit ~he site and. surrounding areas.

4," Create a positive identity unique to Denver and the surrounding region.

5. Promote high standards of urban design.

6. Generate revenues through appropriate asset management to help fund DlA.

1. Create substantial educational and cultural opportunities and support systems.

The Stapleton site will be a network of urban villages, employment centers and significant open spaces, all linked by a' commitment to the protection of natural

resources and' the development of human resources.

8. Provide balanced transporta-

tion options and spacious parks and open space .

Creation of the Development Plan was guided by a set of pnnciples developed by the project team staff and the Cmzens Advisory Board. These pnaciples address the economic" social and environmental objectives. of the project. as well as the physical design ofthe community and the methods used to manage and Implement the project over time.



HI5TC,RY QF :1'1;5 VIJLLAO':;;:S

'-1\fOODROW WIL:SON~ 1900



'Ihe Development Plan created for Stapleton is a direct response to the project's community context and the adopted principles. Stapleton will. be a unique mixed-use community capable of supporting more 'tillan 30,000 jobs and 25,000 resident>. More than one third of the property will be managed for parks, recreation and open spare purposes. Developed portions of the site will. provide an integrated mil': of employmem, housing, recreation andaccess to public transportation. Stapleton's reuse will. SLIp port the health of surrounding llIeigiitborhocds and provide strong lies 'Co [he adjacent R0Cky M()'untain Arsena'! Nafional Wildlife Remge and the Lowry education campus,

Development is organized in eight distinct districts. Each d.i~mct contains an idrntif.iable center and emphasizes the integration of employment, housing, public Irmilsportation tnt wajlkli~le scale. TIle Plan reinforces. S~apletoJll's role as a regional employment ceater through the creation of compact, accessible communities that integrate usesand create strong tje.'l between the Stapleton site and the surrounding community. The open space system serves a major role in unifying the eight districts making effec!lye regional connectlons and res~oring the ecological! hea:illrh of Jli:ll:tlr.ill syslems on and: off the site.

An employment base of 30,000 - 35,000 jobs can be. rel;ldily accommodated over time on the site. The Havana Street corridor and. areas north, and south of .1-70 provide signit'icarrut eppormnities for creating a manufacturing, assembly and distribution base on me site. These areas offer rail service and easy interstate access. Section 10 OI1! !fie far north and theinterior area. above the I-70 corridor provide significant office and research and development opportunities. The area surrounding ll1:e existing terminal will become a regional destination offeril1g a mix {If exhibirion, entertainment, retail" office find. other uses, Each neighborhood center on the site will also previde opportunides for employment. In total, the Development Plan allocates rough my ~ ,200 acres, Of 54% of the developable land, to employment use.

The Plan also emphasize-s establisl1WgUlc site as anational center for the development of environmental! technologies, products and services; creating an environmental technology incubator to support sLart up firms; creating tm.mmg and skWU developmentprograms designed to provide area residents with the work skills needed. by employers operating on the Stapleton sire; and deve~opin.glPJ"()grams mac encourage 1lhe (p<micipation of youth and entrcp:tellelllS, particularly from minority communities.

Creation of the Development Plan was guided by a set

cf principles . 9 • These

principles address the economic, social and environmental objectives of the project, as well as the physical design of the community ...

Stapleton's mixed usc neighborhoods canaccommodate an ultimate population of appfDximately 10,000 households, The average density of residential areas for the entire site is roughly 12 011 its per acre, sufficient to support reasonable public transportation service. Higher densities ase provided for ill close proximity to neighborhood cenl"ers, transtt stops and major public amenities. Each neighborhood 011 site is orgenized uOOlm d acenter and provides a variety of mobility options beyond the automobile Including walking, bus. bicycling, rail transir (along the Smith Road corridor) and (he use of telecommunications to substitute for the need for travel. School facilities will be located in neighborhood centers,

wilt be multi-use community facilities and will pjiay a central role in the Ufe of the surrounding neighborhood. Stapleton neighborhoods will provide a range of housing types and densities that support diversity,

The Stapleton epen space system includes more than 1.600 acres of parks, trails, recreation facilities and natural areas.

The pz"inciple trail corridors are along Sand Creek, Westerly Creek and the newly created open space. corridor connecting Sand Cn~ek with the Rocky Mountain Arsenal National Wildlife Area. The system includes a championship golf course above 1-70 and a nine-hole learning course along Wester~y Creek. A major ballfield and outdoor recreation complex is located between Sand Creek and 1-70 we.~~ of Yosemite Parkway. AIl urban agriculture center and equestrian facility are


accommodated on the north side of Sand Creek Just west of Havana Street. A major urban park is provided at the confluence of Sand and Wesledy Creeks. as weD as a number of smaller scale parks and public spaces. Parkways and landscaped drainageways connect ueighborhoods toeach other and ro the major components of the open space system. Significant areas of prairie IlIIKl riparian corridor restoration, particularly in the northern half of the site, will dramatically increase !he wildlife ha.bitat provided by the site. A 36S-acre Pralrie Parkin the far northern portion of the sire, primarily above 56th Avenue. willi be the centerplece of fhese restoration efforts,

The project's sustainable development philosophy is reflected ill many different aspects of the progran:"L. Land use planning and community design stress compact, mixed use coeununities that are waikable and transit-oriented. These characteristics can reduce automobile dependence and emissions and increase the efflciency of service delivery Approaches to cornmuaity i.mnl.structure SI1-eSS water IT:UiISe, energy and water conservation, renewable sources of energy supply and innovative stonnwater management apPl1Oache,5 to maximize opportunities for on-site irrigation and water quality improvement TIle solid waste management strategy seeks ~o achieve a zero net contribution from the site to IDea] landfills, in part through rue creation of a "resource recovery viU!age" on site to promote waste minimization, recycling and reuse. Transportatioll technologies ernphasize bus and rail transit, bicycling, walking and alternative fuels for vehicles. The Development Plau also emphasizes the need to support demonstrations of technologies and practices 00 site that support the project's basic sustainable development objectives.


Development of the site. in accordance with the Plan wll I require significant infrastructure tncluding major transportation improvement'> such as public transit, roadways and bridges; utilities; drainage in green ways; parks and parkways; and community tacilities such as schools, hbraries and recreation facilities .. The estimated cost of this infrastructure is appreximately .$288 million (in 1994 dollars). Financing' will come from a

Parks ~n!l Upen Space

Habitat R.eaioratitlliJ

Stormwater Management












EEI!':NE!ZER HowA,m, IS'S!!:

PrlVat.e Development

1-6 I


variety of sources, depending upon the type of improvement and the relative benefit to the local community and/or region. "'und!ing will be obtained through acombmation of infrasnucture fees. local tax and assessment districts, private capital, state and federal transportation funding, grants, general municipal revenues, tax increment finnncmg, Airport Sys~em revenues.connection feesand special districts.

Regulatory and Market Mechanisms

Perhaps, one of the more siJgruficant challengesassociated with the Stapleton project ms the creation of regulatory approaches. market mechanisms and programs which together can encourage achievement of" the project's sustainable development objectives, As an example, creation of the type of mixed Lise communities desired fOF Stapleton will require an innovative approach to land lise and design regulation, The approach recommended includes three components: I) broad land use controls defining the general use, density and character of developrnem at a site-wide level, 2) more detailed design controls for individual districts, and. 3) am of standards W1d programs applicable at the individual project scale.


Adoption oflhe Plan is an important s~cp towards redevelopment Equally important is the ~pe of management structure created to guide. the site's disposition and development. After signiflcant analysis by a work group comprised of representatives of the City and County administration, City Council, the Stapleton Redevelopment Foundation, the Citizens Advisory Board and the Denver Urban Renewal Authority (DURA), ,a preferred scenario emerged, This scenario involves the City and County and DUKA entering into an agreement to create a third structure, a nonprofit development corporation which would assume responsibility for management of the site and redevelopmeru.

The development corporation would! be governed by at board of directors appointed by the Mayor and DURA Commissioners and confirmed by the Deaver City Council. The development corporanon would function under a contract with the City and County of Denver specifying its authority and responsibdities, ][ Is intended that the corporation uUimately be financially selfsufficien; and recover the costs of its operations from the revenues generared by its activities. Initial start up will likely require SLlPP011 from tiIle City and County and/or other public or philamhropic resources.


The development corporation win have several immediate priorities to. address related to project finance, marketing, communicarions, planning, infrastructure design, Pl{)ject management, asset management, pursuit of demonstration opportunities and additional studies. These priorities are summarized below. Work has already commenced in many of these areas, 10 addition, a phasing strategy tta.s been developed which identifies Districts I and Vas areas of initial development for residersial, business and! other uses.

1. Redevelopment Management Structure

~ define character and role of the organization appoint the Board of Di rectors

determine funding mechamisms

identify and hire staff

2. Regulatory and Institlltjon;:d Structure

- prepare and adopt site infrastructure and subdivision plans

- adopt master rezoning ordinance

permanently designate open spaces Illrurough conveyance, easement, dedication or other mechanssms, as appropriate - develop regulatory incentive and programmatic structures to support the development program's environmental. social and economic objecnves

- establish a Transportation Management OrganizaLion

3. Finance

develop initial infrastructure funding mechanisml$ - identify initial carrying cost funding sources

- identify initial environmental remediation funding sources

- develop open space funding structures

develop final impact fee structure

4. Marke.ting/CoRilnuJ:l1icalions

- develop and implement land marketing program

- develop and nnplement existing building marketing program

- develop cemmumcatiens and public outreach program

- develop andimplement strategies to attract environmental

science and technology firms


5. Planning and Infrastructure Design

- develop plans for initial northern. slse storm drain improvements and diversion of Havana ditch flows from Havana Lake

identify and design infrastructure improvements for subareas of Districts I and V

complete design of Sand Creek corridor restoration improvements

complete design QfWesferly reek cilannel restoration improvement'!

- commeace planning and design for ~he learning golf course adjacent to WesEedy Creek

- commence design of the: District VIII Prairie Park

- contioue Section 10 design coordination with the Rocky

Mountain Arsenal National Wildlife Refuge planning and] Commerce City'S planning of Section 9

- prepare tree planting program for Montview Boulevard

6. ProJect Mal1agement

complete rermlnal reuse sol icitation process

- initiate first phase of airfield recycling program to support new road and site improvement construction

- construct 56th and 51st Avenue roadway improvements

- COnSl1fuCI northern site stormwater management

improvements and diversion of Havana ditch flows from Havana, Lake

- construct infrastrucaire improvements for subareas of Districts I mud V

- commence Sand Creek corridor restoration and trail development

- commence We,o;terly Creek channel, water quality, storm water management and trail improvements

g continue 011 site environmental remediation activities coordinate wi[h the Denver Smart Places Projec;

- complete King Soopers and Union Pacific transactions and manage development of these initial business environment'S - inieate tree planting program along Montview Boulevard

Street Conneetim:u;;,

Trans" Ol't;o,n,s

MWtl-U'se Trails


IReC'~ciing of Airfield Paving



7. Asset Management

- implement property management program

- implement site security progsarn

- selectively demolish and recycle structures and

airfield improvements

- irnplemern interim management and events program 8. Demonstration Opportunities

· Pursue homebuilding demonstration opponunirie for District ! with partners interested in promoting resource conservation and other sustainable development objectives.

~ Pursae infrastruenire demonstration opportunities, including water reuse '1'01' golf course and open space irrigation and waste mjll.imiZl'ltion, reuse and recycling through initial elements of a resource recovery program.

9. Additional Studies

· evaluate village scale energy system application to Phase I nernghborhood development

· develop a tree planting program

· develep short and long-term water and wastewater management strategy

identify feasibility of a solid waste resource village

· continue joint visitor facility and program planning with

U.S. Ash and Wildlife Service

· participate in the RTD rill! corridor alignment

- identify and: complete necessary environmental studies

- evaluate and recommend arproprial:e open space manage-

ment sb':ategies

- participate in the DRCOG £-70 corridor study

- identifyam.d evaluate options to provide innovative eduea-

tional opportunities

10. Social ami Economic Strategies

- Create a business plan for Lhe Center for Environmental Technology and Sustainable Development including pursuit of alii environmental business incubator,

. Develop a program to expand entrepreneurial skills of surrounding and new residerus ..

- Create a task: force to develop !lI!I1 education andjob training delivery model for Stapleton and to identify specific K-12 educational options for fuaae residents.

- Pursue eSt'dblishmenl 'of, and funding opportunities for, school eo work programs with employers recruited to. !he site. . Evaluate Stapleton buildings for reuse as educational or community fa.cilities.

- Inlnate collaborarive planning efforts with Aurora to rejuvenate the area between Stapleton and lowry.


Redevelopment of the Stapleton site presents a signi11~'U]l opportunity to. shape the future of OUl" community. The Stapleton Development Plan describes a framework and some new approaches - to planning and design, to markets and regulation and pr0ject management. The Plan describes a very ambitious agenda. but one that is, within the eapacity of the community to achieve,


Fi"~1 - a job base that increases [he depth und divcrsil) of the regionni economy. onen ted towards expanding markets, Deveropment of this Job base must be accompanied by an Increased cornrnitrnent 10 develop skills in all segments of'lhe population to participate in this job base.

Secoml - communities that can work in the 21 st Century. combining the best f the old and the- new. The communities created at Stapleton will excel in tra,jn~ng and educaLing people, They w~1I be better prepared to S'llpporl diversity, encourage participation and local eentml and sati,sfy the needs (If people, Community structure and lech(Jolog) will promote rather than diminish a Sense or commumty

T/jird - an unprecedented expansion of open space and recreational opportunities. The benefits of these resources will accrue to the entire region.

Fomtil • a stan in reversing U1\! trend towards living beyond the capacnes {if the narurer envnonmem. Stapleton will consume tar less and produce far fewer impacts. It will do so 1'1.01 al the expense of people and economic needs, bUI as a fundamental part of the comrrnmity's approach 10 addressing these needs.


:;:osure of Stapleton International Airport in 1995 marked a unique moment in Denver's history. Sixtyfive years of aviation activity came to an end.

Stapleton's closure also marked till important beginning. Denver is faced with the largest urban redevelopment opportunity in its history - 4,700 acres of publicly owned land in the heart of the City.

Stapleton sits at the center of a major transformation taking place in the northeast portion of the metropolitan area. Three significant public sites - the Rocky Mountain Arsenal, Stapleton and Lowry Air Force Base - are all undergoing dramatic change. Weapons production, military training and commercial aviation will give way to a major wildlife refuge; mixed-use community and civilian educational and training campus. These changes provide an unprecedented opportunity to shape the future of the Denver area.

What will the people of Denver do with this opportunity? How can the community make the most of it?

For more than five years, public, private and nonprofit organizations have been working with Denver area residents to answer these questions. The results of these efforts are presented in this Development Plan - a blueprint for the transformation of the Stapleton site and the Denver community.


A New Approach

11m redevelopment of the Stapleton site will take at leaM 30 to 40 years 10 complere, TIle decisions made with respect to the site will influence the Denver community for many generations to come, Redevelopment presents an unparalleled opportunity tor leadership. The world is desperately searching (or better examples of how urban comnnminescan ad;tpL and renew themselves. Stapleton can address important Local needs ood provide an important model, The community planned for the Stapleton site

will provide a real world example of sustainable development of significant scale. Sustainable development, in the words of the United Nations, describes a community that can "meet the needs of the present wiLll,i)ut compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs",

I .-

=-- . -.-:- =.:.- -


Wbat wiMl emerge over time on the Stapleton site will be it network ofurban villages. employment cearers and s.ignirficant open spaces - all linked by a commitment to thepeorection of natural resources and the development of human reseurces, Stapleton's new neighborhoods will reconnect adjacent !lei~borhoods and. promote a strong sense of community. Willi proper stewardshjp, Stapleton will become a tmJ.y lasting legacy. a tribute to Denver's i[]genulty - and its integri~ - for decades to come.

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Puffilling these goats will require substantial innovation in lJhe physical design of the Stapleton community and th6 instirutionalarrangernents used to guide its development A strong commitment 10 honor diversity and !,o ensuse broad-based participation of minorities and women in all opportunities provided by Stapleton is fundamental to the redevelopment program In addition, Stapleton must be a pioneer in crafting marketbased responses 10 communay, social and economic needs. and protection of the naairal environment These auribmes will provide Stapleton with a unique identity that will distinguish it locally. nationasly and internationally from other large-scale development p1,Qg~J.Il1:S.

How the Deve]opment Plan !is Used

The Development Plan is me starernent of the community's goal.'; fin the site's redevelopment and def nes the direction for the redevelopment pmgrMn. II describes a physical, social, environmental, economic and! regulatory framework to guide development of the ~ite over the next several decades. The framework. is intended to endure over many years and provides the context within which private investment and land ownership caa occur. The Development Plan is also intended to provide an effective context far early decision- making J'cgarrLi[l.g important components of'the redevelopment program. Although the Plan provides extensive information on the topics mentioned above, 110 plan can cover every topic in exhaustive detail, and a reasonable amount of flexibility must be retained in any event when addressing the. buildout of a community over several decades.

The Development Plan has beenadopted by me City Connell as an amendrnent 1:0 me City's Comprehensive Plan. It is supported by The Development Plan Resource Document wl~ch contains illustrative examples as well as extensive detailed technical support material. The Resource Document was not intended to be adopted by the City Council.


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Process History

Stapleton Imemeilonal Airport has served the Denver area s commercial aviation needs for 65 years. Discussion of expansion or replacement of Stapleton began in the 197.05 and ~rew more urgent -UJ1 the eady I 980s. The airport experienced significant growth in passenger volumes aml air l:ra:llic throughout the ]970s and during the first hallfof the 1980s. Stapleton's primary capacity constraint was '1lle lack of adequate separation between lts runways ~o support dual arrival streams under reduced visibility conditions. A significant portion of the delays experienced at Stap~cton resulted from this limitation With separarion of 800 feet between the ea~!/WCSl runways and 1,600 feet between !.be norlblsoi.iili runways, Stapleton fell jar short of the requ ired 4.300 foot minimum. Iln addition, dramatic growth in aviation activity Jed to significant neighborhood opposition to airport operations and expansion proposals.

In January of 1985, reprcseniatlves of the City and County of Denver and Adams County announced an agreement in principle to l'eiocale commercial aviation opcradons to a new site northeast of Stapleton. Subsequently. lhis plan and Llhe agreements requlred to implement it were approved. by the voters or Adl:UTIS County in May of 1988 and by the voters of the City and Calmly of Denver in May of 1989. StZlpleton s closure at some time in the first half of the 1990s thus became a virtual celiiainty.

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Relationship to the 1989 Denver Comprehensive Plan

In 1989, tile Mayor and City Council adopred ill new Comprehensive Planjhat contains the community's ... ision for the future and identifies broad policies, priorities and specific actions intended to move the city toward that vision. Because of the size and complexity of the city, the plan cannot contain sntficient detail on every neighborhood or issue in the city. M011t! focused direction is provided through detailed ndghhorhood or subarea plans. such as this plan for Stapleton, or functional plans, such as '[he Parks Master Plan. Each plan mllst he consistent with. the overall direction ofthe Comprehensive Plan and is reviewed by the Planning Board and adopted by the City Council as an amendment ~o the Comprehensive Plan. Each plan is then used to guide decision-making about the area.

I1l {be Comprehensive Plan, Denver citizens expressed lll'teir vision for the city: "the fundamental thing We w,ant Denver 10' both be and become is a city that's liveable For all its people.' The Comprehensive Plan identified ten core goals related to' Denver's economic, environrnental and social needs. Specifically, Ll1ese core goals are:

1. Stimulate the economy

2. Beaurify the City and preserveits history

3. Protect, enhance and integrate a city of neighborhoods

4. Educate all of Denver's residents with excellence


5. Clean the air, now

,6. Meet expanding transportation needs, efficiently. cleanly, economically and innovatively

7. Help the disadvantaged help themselves

8. Revise land use controls, streamline the procedures

9. Celebrate the City'S arts, culture and ethnic diversity

10.. Share resources and responsihiliti e s in the metropolltan area,

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[0 1991, the Stapleton Tomorrow work culminated in the Ci'Cation of a concept pian for Stapleton reuse. The concept plan emphasized economic development, positive impacts on adjacent neighborhoods. enhanced environmental quality, high standards of UI·han de-sign. educational and cultural opportuniLies, and me generatioa of revenue to support alrport revenue objectives. The Stapleton Tomorrow concept plan was adopted by the Denver City Council in June of 199 L


The final recemmendations of the Stapleton Development Plan seek to be responsive to each of these COn: goals and describe how they can be ad .... anced on the Stapleton site. The Development Plall directly supportsthe Comprehensive Plan goals through its emphasis on expanding Ihe depth and diversity of Denver's job base; restoring natural areas on site and designating an extensive portion of me site for parks and open space; creating diverse, walkable urban neighborhoods; reconnecting and supporting Ute health of neighborhoods adjacent to the site; providing pub IiI; transit, bicycle and pedestrian alternatives [0 increase mobility and reduce dependence on the persona] automobile; linking job creation 'Oil sitewith training and skill development opponunities for low income and minority populations in the sunounding community; I'i':infuremg the central role of education and civic uses and spaces in the organization of neighborboods; pursuing innovativeapproaches to land use controls and regulatory mechanisms, .md pursuing cooperative activities such as nnil C-ul1Sirucuon,open space developnlellt and ncigl1hmlmodl rehabillration with Aurora and Commerce City,

Stapleton Tomorrow

Planning for the future of the Stapleton property began in 1989 with liie formation of a group of 35 citizens to direct a largescale cornrmmity planning exercise known as Stapleoon Tomorrow, Over [110 COIll"RC of nearly two yem"!>, Stapleton Tomorrow SOllg?1 inpm from a broad spectrum of Denver area citizens regarding me most desirable approaches to redeveloprnent of the Stapleton site. Publicinterest covered a 'It arietyof issues, buf the predominant concerns included the site's potential to address job creation, open space and recreation, and cultural oppornmities.

Work on the Stapleton Devdopm,em Plan has built on the foundation established by tbe Stapleton Tomnrmw Concept PI<m. The objectives identified in 1991 continue to e!\iny om-ad community support. Adjustmrml:S have been made to respond

to changed eircumstances, such as the closure and conversion of Lowry Air force Base to a significant civilian educational campus, Additional areas of emphasis have been explored in the COIH,lie of creating a. more complete development program nor the site. The efforts of the Iast two years have:

• developed. 11 detailed site-wide drainage plan

• produced a more derailed physiual Development Plan thnt emphasizes mixed use communities; walkable scale; a balance between jobs and housing; and a diverse open space system;

• mads the redevelopment program more responsive to the site's physical, social and market context;

• given greater priority to sustainable approaches toresource management and economic and social development;

• stressed ellvironmenm,ny relaied technolngies.prodacts and services as an important element of the Stapleton economic base;

• advocated new fu!1TIS of institutional structures and Ihe creation of all environment that promotes technological and social innovatirm,

The 1995 Stapleton Development Plan rep I ares the Stapleton Tomorrow Concept Plan adoptedin 1991.

City and Conaty/Stapleton Redevemopment Foundation Partnership

Following compJetion of the Stapleton Tomorrow process, City and County stall began focusing 011 initial elements of the redevelopment program. In 1993, the City and County entered into a partnership agreement witb the Stapleton Redevelopment Fonndation (SRF). The SRP is. a nonprotn 501 (c)(3) corporation established by communi Ly leaders to assist the City and County in maximizing the opportunities provided by the closure and reuse of the Stapleton site. The SRF has raised approximately $3 million from foundations, corporations and individuals [0 support its activities and redevelopment objectives ..

Working with City and County elected officials and staff, the SRF agreed to lake responsibility for managementand the


majority of funding of the creation ofa development plan and

physical and financial development program for the Stapleton site. The SRF also agreed to assist the City mild County in defining a long-term management structure for me Stapleton redevelopment program and in pursuing desirable Ilrst-phasc projects and demoasuation opportunities.

The City and County of Denverhas contributed approximately $750.000 and considerable staff support from numerous City and County agencies to the Development Plan process. Primary staff support has been provided by the Mayor'J; Office' of Bconoi nic Development, the Planning and Community Development Office, the Department of'Parks and Recreation, and the Department of Aviation through the Stlpleton 2000 office.

Citizens Advisory Board

Redevelopment activities, including creation of the Development Plan, have been overseen by a Citizens Advisory Board (CAB) appointed. by the Mayor in early 1993. TIle Board includes 42 members representing a varlet)' of perspectives and ccnstituencies, including business, neighborhood and professional associations. Board members have devoted hundreds of hours to preparation and review of material created for the Development Plan, as well as participation in an extensive community outreach effort.

'Ieebnical Consulting Team

TIle. SRF and tlhe City and County established a Development Plan ream of technical consultants representing a variety of skills such as planning, architecture, landscapearchitecture, urban design, civil erugill~ering.lran5:p!)rtal'iml planning and engineering, environmental sciences, market and financial analysis and project management, Team members included firm .. s end individuals jrDm the local communhy and across the country. WOl1k on the Development Plan commenced! in the fall of 1993 and concluded in November of ]994.

The Development Plan is the result cfa partnership between the City, and

County of Denver, the Stapleton Redevelopment Foundation and the Citizens Advisory Board.

The work included three phases, Analysis. Options and Preferred Pian. During the Analysis Phase, the consulting team worked over three months to understand the physical. economic, social and environmental characteristics of the sue and its, surroundings. AU relevant prim planning efforts were also reviewed, such as the Comprehensive Plan. the Stapleton Tomorrow Plan and adjoining neighborhood plans.

As a result of the Analysis Phase, the SRF; City 31)d County, CAB and consulting team adopted a set of principles intended to guide creadon of the Plan. The principles covered five speolflc subjects: Environmental Responsibility, Social Equity, Economic Opportunity, Physical Design and Implementation.






















Neighborhoods Option


Land Forms Option

Districts Option

The team also developed a set of framework drawings describing the site's drainage, open space and natural features, transportation systems and potential patterns of urbanization. In addition, a preliminary land allocation and development program was prepared.

During the Options Phase, the team developed three distinct options for the direction the preferred plan should take. Each option accommodated the preliminary land use program and reflected adherence to the principles adopted during the Analysis Phase. The Options Phase concluded with the selection of a preferred option, i.e. the option most responsive to the adopted principles and Analysis Phase findings.

During the final phase, Preferred Plan, the preferred option was further tested for technical and economic feasibility. The Preferred Plan was refilled to produce the basis for the Development Plan presented here.

Community Outreach

During the preparation of this Development Plan, more than 100 community presentations and meetings were held, a number of which were televised. Four general public workshops provided status reports on the Plan's progress and collected feedback on interim products. Additional presentations and public hearings were held as part of the final adoption of the Development Plan by the Denver Planning Board and City Council.

All of the participants in this process, including staff and community representatives, remain committed to the belief that the Stapleton site can. make an exceptional contribution to Denver's long-term future. After nearly six years of community effort, all of the participants are ready to commit to a vision and begin taking the steps necessary to realize that vision. With closure of Stapleton as an operating airport, this enormous asset can begin to be transformed to address a new generation of community needs. This Development Plan is intended to provide a roadmap.




The redevelopment of Stapleton comes at a time of tremendous natioaal and international flux. The speed and extent 'Of social, economic and environrnenral change is remarkable. The iron curtain has crumbled, ethnic turmoil bas increased, a truly world marketplace is emerging, telecommunications technology IS shrinking the planet, and global population growth and environmental deterioration threa~el1 ihe basic capacity of tile planet to S~PPDI1t Life.

Decisions regarding redevelopment of We Stapleton sire may not by themselves change any of these trends, The primary objectives and circumstances shaping the redevelopment program will ,IPI'ffi[Jriatclybe local. AI: the same time, Stapleton's future mils!" be considered in this broader context, The redevelopment of this property should be pal" of the Denver ecmmunity's response to the challenges and opportunities presented by this world context, How will we respond? What factors will play the greatest rolein influencing the type (If community we build, the products and services we produce and tile social instinnions we rely upon?

1. Enviroamentat Challeages

TIle world is literally reeling under the combined impacts of population growth and resource depletion, The potennal for siJgmIDcant global climate change and irreversible losses of biodiversity are inQ;easm,giy preoccupying [be artention of the scientific community, In me ru'St half oftlse next century, rhe world's population will surpass to billion. Long before that point has been reached, the world's supply of cropland, rangeland and forest will have fallen ona pel:" capita basis bymore Ulan 25 percent

Third world nations 3.L'C rapidly emulating the production and resource consumption pattems of the industrialized fu:st world. In 1950, seven of the tea largest rnetrcpolitan areas in the world were in the first world .. By file year 2000, seven of the tenlargest meuopoliran areas ill the world will be in the third wo:rld. Mexioo City will lead the list at 25 million plus.


Mexico City, Sao Paulo and Jakarta alone will have more people man New York, London" Tokyo, Paris, Shanghai, Buenos Aires, Chicago, Moscow, Calcutta! and Los Angeles had combinedin L950. Replication of U.S. or European patterns of resource use. energy consumption, and waste genera'Lion holds the potential for environrnental catastrophe of enormous proponions,

Cities as diverse as Hanover, GemuU1Y" Curitiba, Brazil and Chattanooga, Tennessee are already among those 1I1at have moved environmental protection and sustaiaable development to the top of their agendas in response to these [rends. The United States and Denver w]IJ not be immune to the global pressures resulting from population growth. resousce depiction, global climate change and food shortages.

SfopJetoll rouse mllst begin to address tile need for' greater ejJicie',ICY in tire use 0.( lIaiw-a1 resource's, reduced impactx OlZ the natural ell vironmellt alld developme1lt al'lhe techii'ologies ofra pnlcticlS (fUM will allow the firsL aud Olird worlds to develop ecollOtnicof/y will/ou/,' su.rp&~I·ing the cllptIci1W,s oj the pl;QMt's nat ural. re~'ourcru·.

2. Economic Challenges

GLobaill markets and competition have provided significant economic opportunities for United States bu. inesses, 1l1CSC trends have also stripped Americans of much of the economic security we once took for granted. Average wages in the United States have remained relatively Stagnant for most of the past 20 years, The average U.S, manufacturer and producer of good . ., consumes twice the energy and material per unit of output as our next closest compemors, Germany and Japan. In the United States, the gap between rich .. md poor has continued to widen. On an international scale, Lhis gl!p has grown even more profound, In 1960. the richest 20 percent or 11m world's population absorbed 70 percent of globalincome, By [989, this prop rtion had increased 1083 percent The poorest 20 percent in J989 received only 1.4 percent of global income.


Economic trends have placed increased significance 0]1 efficiency, trade and workforce skills. Unlike periods of economic expansion in the early portions 'Of this century, the modem economy will provtdellmked mcome opportunities IIDd little security to those wishour significanr skills. The globaJi,.;ation of labor markets 113~ served In compound this problem.

Changes in Denver's economy reflect nationwide bends. Job creation is shifting to me high technology and service industries that demand more highly skilled workers. Increasing globalization of the economy is forcing businesses [0 be highly competitive, particularly iMl terms of labor COSfS. As the economy shifts, there is a growing need to retrain workers and for wnrkers 10 be able to change jobs. Opportunities for life long learning are important to maintaining productivity and competitiveness for individuals and communlties, These demands are particularly relevant to, the economic well bdJ1g of minority communi tie .. With increasing frequency, businesses and educatienal institutions are using experiential teaming in the workplace to reinforce the importance of formal education. These trends present challenges endopponunlnes for Stapleton,

How call the l.(J(:al workforce uluI Delll'er'S' jab base be developed to t'01lJpete ill this llt'w enviro/l'ment? Where are the employers responding (0 these clUllknges? What reseurees are available to explInd ihe skiUs qf those least prepared to parliciptde in tllis new economy?

There' Is growing evidence that many businesses arc responding to these challenges, Corporations in Colorado and worldwide are pursuing gains in efficiency and environmental performance, The 3M Corporation has established the target of eliminating 90 percent of waste from all of its production processes by 2000 ..

Is ultimate goal is to achieve a zero waste state. Volkswagen is

designing all of the parts, of its tiM'S too be recycled, and experimenting with the first plant to disassemble and recycle automobiles. S. C. Johnson has made great strides in reducing packaging waste and increastng the rccyclahility of its products.


Etnplojlers throughout the world OTe focu:ring fTWFerm e.liffli~ lmting wasto n.nll maxi/lImng their investment in. their labor force. Stapletoll lImstrkYewp LUi euvirOllmenl. and capac.ities that resp(.ltId to these i'lttmests.

3. Social Challenges

America, like much of the world, 1'5 also experiencing sig:lllificant social change. American soclety is strugglIng with the challenges of diversity, Immigration, racial and economic divlsions and a loss of confidence in virtually all forms of institutional authority are realities for every major urban area. We are creati.llg walledcemmunities and "edge cities" at the same time we Eire experimenting with transit-oriented and so-called neo-traditional camrnanities that reflect more traditional communily pauems of the late I 9th and cady 2Othoentuuy. We are reinventiug forms of government, education and the corporation.

We are seeking new approaches, less bureaucracy and uiming more frequently to community-based "tlt.Ud sector" institutions,

More Arnericans now live in suburbs dum cities and rural areas combined. The urbanization offhc suburb has bmugh~ with it mooy of the same problems of crime, violence and. physical deterioration that caused many people to leave central cities in the first place. Isolared suburban enclaves, insulated from some of these forces, have failed to satisfy the desires of many for a greater sense cfcommanity, Even as technology frees more people to perfonn work outside of traditiona] urban areas, we face the significanL challenge of remaking much oflhe urban landscape we have fashioned over the last 50-100 years.

Bow will Stapleton provide a model Qfnrlum commlmiJies that work? elm it o.ffer a,1I altemalive tluzt accol1lrtMaafes diversity anil promores participation. hI lIre life oj the commltrItzy? Are lJier.fJ heiteran.l'WelW tf} uroan ilJ~: them escapism or wttIJetl cOillmmlmes? The de ve wpm e nl of Stapleton as an integral pmf of the northeast Denver comnfll nit] will reqllir-e a direct (Uld til oughJjlll response to these cltallettges.


1. Local Resurgence

The Denver area lias. milch to be happy about in 1995. After a, major regional recession in [he l.nidJ-l980s, Denver's economy has experienced a significant recovery, Denver is at or near the top nationally in terms of every economic indicator. Unemployment remains relatively low, retail sales and homebuilding activity are growing and new businesses and residents continue to be attracted to the area.

Denver in 1995 offers many of the qualities that distinguish the small number of truly vital, livable urban centers in the world.

By national standards, the quality of life in the Denver area is also extremely high. Denver hils a highly educated population, enviable climate, subsrantialreereaticnal and cultural resources and relatively affordable and diverse housing opportnnities, Recenr investments in civic infrnstmcture include a new intel!national airport, central library, baseball stadium. convention center, Slack show facilities, light rail. system and expanded theater complex. There is renewed energy and investment in dowotown and the Lower Downtown Historic District. The Central Platte Valley will. soon host. the relocated Eliteh's amusement park, a new aquarium and a new sports arena and production studio. Other areas of the city, induding Chen), Creek, tile southeast 1-25 corridor and .a number of neighborhood centers, are experiencing a similar resurgence,

In many respects, the people of the Denver area are very fortunate. Denver in 1995 offers many of the qualities that distinguish. the smaU number ofnuly vital, livable urban centers in the world. Despite all of these strengths, Denver faces many of ihe same problems thai plague cities around the world.

2. Local Challenges

Denver i.'i struggling with 8 variety of environmental, economic and social problems that threaten 10 undermine its other u.ccesses, For example:

Growlll and EnvlronmenloJ Pressure: 'I - Colorado is a beautiful and fragile environment, Population growth. loss of open space and high rates of euroruobile usage threaten Denver's physical environment, Despite recent improvernerns, regionalair quality is likely 1:0 once again decline. Each day. Denver area motorists drive more than 30 miLl iOI1 miles. or the equi valent of [,200 times around the circumference of the earth. tJ rbanizatien continues to reduce habitat fur wildlife, eliminaie views and threaten water quality. In recent years the region's populatior; has grown by 2-3~ annually, and is projected to reach 3 million by the year 202,5. Denver and the st.1te of Colorado face a significant challenge in coping with LhI::St! realities.

Stapleton rrlUst pmvide au opportunity to ,QCCOIwIlotktte regional growth In a fashion more efficiellt andfar less damaging tha'J. eann Ruing rtrbulli:.atiorr of tile {Jute.r edges o/lhe metr'Opolitar, area.

POfel"ty - Despite Denver's relative affluence, the gap between the haves and have-nuts corsinues to grow. ln 1989, 17 percent of Denver residents lived in poverty, and another 19 percent were defined as being on the brink of poverty, For people of color. the rate of poverty is two 10 four times greater tlum for white. Between 1979 and [989, poverty increased in 60 out of 78 Denver neighborhoods, For children, the staristies arc even grimmer. Approximately 27 percent of all children in Denver live in poverty. In 1990, only 58 percent of children

in Denver lived with two IDIDTied parents. Fully 43 percentef all single parent families lived in poverty.


A10 on .. of the large$t urban intlll projecls in th .. , count..". Stapleton redevelopment offon;; ""II! opportunltv to enbance Ihe st_",gth!l' o. the nelghbol',hoods 'which hau,", grown up lU'ound II. by P rovlding ~mp'!oyment and lob. Iralining opportuniUo;,l!!', ex.te.nslve parks. !trails ,and open space. and a diversity 0' hou~in9 options~



_ ....



Stnpieton ,must pTov;cle opportunities for those at or flear the pupe.rty level 10 earn. a reasonable income ",td improve their lilies.

Job Los«: Over the last fifteen to twenty years, the job base of the metropolitan area has grown substantially. In Deaver, however, there has, been a significant shift in the job base and a Loss of jobs for those with the lowest skill levels. Tn the 1980s, employment in indu tries that offer the greatest percentage of jobs to workers with less than a high school education declined sixteen percent. While average w.tlge levels increased in the 1980s by four percent in the metro area after adjusting tor Inflation, wage levels declined in three OLI t of four of !:he industries ernployi Ilg the highest percenrage of low-skilled or unskilled workers. or the new jobs being created in the regional economy, the majority are in high-skill sectors and the vast majority of these jobs are being created in ihe suburbs outside of Denver.

Stapleton mrl.,~ respond to the.~e irend\', botl, hl caplUriJig a greater share of ~egiotrlil etnpfnynlem growtlz and by providing Crilly level (md sldll dtwe"klprnelIt Qpporhnuties. Staple-Lon provides laud to accommodate employment opportu.nities 011 a scale largely "IlilVQilahle .to the City alro C QUilty ;11. the fast two d.ecailes.

In Denver, however, there has been a significant shift in the job base and a loss of jobs for those with the lowest skill levels.

D.emographic ChaTlge ~ The City and County of Denver's population is growing older and more ethnically diverse, The City and Counl)"s population also tends to have lower average incomes, mare single person households and fewer households with school agt: children than surrounding suburbs, Denver has also experienced a Ioss of middle income groups. Suburban job

growth and perceptions regarding the quality of public educanon and personal safety have contributed to these changes. In addition. technology !las greatly increased the ability of people to wort. at home or ar locations far removed from traditional cenrers of emproyment Population shifts me reflected inthe demographic makeup of ihe Denver Public School population and the changing demand for housing. Unless these changes are altered, Denver's schools will increasingly serve only the poorest families who cannot afford the costs of private education. TIn! loss of middle class families also reduces Denver's tax base, making it more difficult to financially support public education and services. As the population ages and more women enter tbe workforce. demand' has also increased for a variety of services such as childcare and eldercare that hardly existed in the nut-to-distant past

Stapleton, Inu.~t re.~pond to UL'Cse tlemogro/Jlric changes by providhlg a mix ,of 11011.\'ing products, sup(iortiflg diverse communities, ojferinllll brood range ofcml.lnlunity services ,mId prov,idillg vtab.fe altern.alives for middle da."i'.~ families.

Loss oj a Sense ofCommllnity - Many neighborhoods are affected by increased levels of youth violence, rising school dropout rates ami fue disintegradon of oommunity structure.

Even residents of affluem suburban neighborhoods express concern for the isolation and loss of connection or commitment to community !hat many modem. neighlool"llOocl'l engender. Bolt! the urban and suburban community model show signs of failing to satisfy the needs of families and individuals. Demographic changes have compounded these concerns. The traditional American household now represents a minori:1y of the population in most urban cornmunaies. Roughl y one-th in'd of our populaion is too young. 100 old too' poor 01" physically unable to drive a car, ye,t our communities continue to be shaped dramatically by the automobile. Our notion of community must be updated and adapted 10 respond ro these chenged circumstances and new challenges.

Stgpwtml: mllst respond by supporting success/ul cmmnrmmes tlroJ proT1wte iJfllilliduaJ' invollll!l1um.t and.address resiaeliJ. ameems tegllrdbrg personal su/ety, Ow quo:lity of education aniJ other rommllllUy cJUII"{U:tuistics.


geographic distribution of this activity was approximately 37% to the southeast, 25% to the northwest, 20% to the southwest and 18% to the northeast. Given the existing supply of land in the regional market, and Ibis average annual historical absorption, it is clear til1a,t Stapleton will take seven! decades to develop,

Market Summsries

Following are summaries of each real estate market sector ill the Denver region. Because of Stapleton's magnitude, it is likely thai each sector, with the possible exception of lodging, will have a significanr role in the site's build out,

Re.silkntiaJ- Current new constractlon is close to historic averages and substantially above the construe tion levels of the last five years. Construction i~ expected to continue at current rates (about 16,000 units annually) as househelds continue to migrate to Colorado and interest rates remain relatively low.

Office- Current vacancy rates are still high. at 19.1 %. Annual aosorpticn ha averaged 1.,9 tnilljon sqLlaJe. foot since 1980, but has varied substantially, Current office cents are substantially below revenue requirements which would SUlPPOIt new construction.

3. Local Market Conditions Land AvaiiabiUty

Upon closure, the Stapleton site will introduce approximately Indllstrial- Annual ebsorption .fOt industrial product has aver-

4,700 acres of new, developable land to the regional real estate aged 1.4 million square feet since 1980. Current vacancy rates

market, The regional market is composed of six counties; Adams, Arapahoe, Boulder, Denver; Douglas and Jefferson.

In 1988 iJ1CI"e were over 472,000 acres of undeveloped lMcI within this area. Currently. about 25% of (jus land, or 115,130 acres, consists of 58 projects in excess of 300 acres which are zoned and approved for development. Thirty of these projects, covering 67.630 acres, are under development, and the remaining 28 projects, covering 47,500 acres, have not yet commenced development, or the 30 projects under development, only three are more than 75% complete,

Land Absorption

Over the last 30 years. private sector development absorbed an average of 4;700 acres annually within the regional market TIle

average 8.1 % and are declining. Rental rates, are still Jow relative to rates necessary to support new construction. However, as vacancy rates decline, lease rates are increasing end new construction is Likely to follow,

Retail- Recent new constnrction has been primarily for large box users, such as K-Mart and Wal-Mart, MId the factory outlet mal! iJ1 Douglas County. Annual absorption has averaged 1.2 million square feet since 1980. Vacancies in most

regional malls Me 10% or less. Vacancies in older strip eenten; are considerably higher. The average vacancy rate among all leasable sp .. see is l3.4% and declining. Retail conseuction isexpected ro increase consistently with increases 1m! the number of households.








SECTION 1111 CON'Il'I'l\,T

Lodgillg - Lodging vacancies are relatively low. While there is market demand for new construction in some portions of the metropolitan area such as downtown and! adjacent to. Denver International Airport, the difficulties associated with current lodging room rates and securing financing have discouraged new construction to date ..

Light lndustrlal, back office and showrooms are intended to provide support services re downtown businesses .. Transit and transportation facilities will improve access to downtown. Overall, 'Ll~e Central Platte Valley will playa Significant role in increasing Denver's UIX base.

Lowry; Redevelopment of' fhe former Lowry Air Force Base

City and County of Denver Sites will include mixed use infill development that is supportive of

The Stapleton site is one of several sites located within the City the surrounding neighborhoods. Lowry will host residential,

and County of Denver which could attract the above referenced neighborhood and regional open space and recreational facilities,

uses. The planning process recognized other significant City an educational campus including a community college and UCD

and County of Denver development efforts and tried to dislin - facilities. as well as business nainlng and an office park campus.

guish the Stapleton site as much as possible from them.

The other most significant City and County of Denver sites are the downtown area, the Centra] Plane Valley, the former Lowry AIr Force Base, the Airport Gateway. the Denver Technological Center (Denver's portion), Cherry Creek area, Monfbello, Green Valley Ranch and the Southwest Denver Grant Ranch annexation. Each of these sites plays a distinctive role in jhe City and County:

Dowtuown: Downtown is the metropolitan area's most significant employment. entertainment and cultural cenler, As a major visitors center, it contains numerous hotels. tourist auraetions and a convention center. As the region a largest employment center, its product market emphasizes government, financial, legal and insurance services. As the region's cultural centerit features the performing and visual arts and historical and educational institutions. There is also a growing number of housing units. downtown that support retail, restaurant and entertainmens facilities.

Gateway Area: Th.1'! Gateway area is 4,500 acres of undeveloped land adjacent Lo the entry to DIA. This new mixeduse community will include hotels, light mdusrry, businesses, and residential development. It willalso contain retail uses, parks. recreational areas and open space to serve Gateway residents and adjoining neighborhoods, Like. the Central Platte Valley it will also serve to increase the City and County of Denver's lax base.

Denver Tech. Center: As the metropolitan area's most suecessful suburban office park the City and COWIty of Denver portion of tl!!e 'Iech Center will continue to be a major employment center complementary t downtown. As the Tech Center grows, it will also provide complementary residential and commercial uses.

elmry Creek: The Cherry Creek area serves a variety of market needs, It contains a significant comparison shopping mall, specialty shops, restaurants, neighborhood retail, office, and high-end housing in adjoining neighborhoods,

Central Platte Valley: The Central Platte Valley is planned

as a mixed use development supportive of, but not competitive Other Dev,eloping Areas: Areas of the City and County that

with, downtown.[t will provide tourist/regional sports and still have open, developable land must also reconsidered,

entertainment attractions to support convention center business, These areas include Montbello, Green Valley Ranch and the

hotel occupancies. retail, restaurants and entertainment It will Southwest Denver Gnmt Ranch annexation area. These areas

also contain parlk", housing and locations for downtown events. can provide a variety of residential, commercial. industrial and office ·ites.

videu, Among lh developments that are likely lO be providing Colfax business district in Deliver. or Original Aurora, housing opponunuies lin Denver a1 the same time are Lowry. the Airport Gateway. Central Platte Valley. MQntbeHo and Green Valley Ranch. Signifkmll housing supply will also be added in suburban areas such as Jefferson, Arapahoe, Dougla. s

Stapleton's Competitive Position

Posiricmillg Slap/etoll nol olll)' requires till um)ffrJ:u.mdiJig of rl'g/OJ/tll cunditions and Ihe role af oTher Denver sues. bid GU imLiel'J1tmding nilhe she's competitive posi{ilm rekulve W tire resitiemia/. tiffin:, indlistrilll. mail. lodging W~tl in~ti(ulimIt1J nwrkels.

Nesidelltilil: The southern por[iOD of Stapleton in the near term is lbe most viable for residential development, Other residential projects are dependem on [he development of major amenities. These areas will accnmmodate <I variety of product typamcluding high-end, as long as appropriate amenities are pm-

and Bowucr counties,

Office: Stapleton is weU positioned to snract single-tenant owner/users w'ho seek location advantages, maintain average wage levels. and do not desire a location irl an established office center. The principle supply of potential sites serving lhese uses currently lies along the 1-25 corridor and the US-3b corridor. as well Lt. s in downtown,

/,,(lilstritd: Stapleton's proximity 10 rail servlec, l1iJe im.;rsta~ highway ~y.'ltem and VIA will position if well willi respect to uulustrial development. The 1-70 corridor CLlTrently contains more lJi:um 50 percent of the metropolitan area's total market for these uses. The site can also compete Cavorahly for lngb-qnality research and devetopmern uses. if an attractive environment can be created..


R,e.tail: ln general, [he northeast quadrant of Denver is underserved for retail purposes. There is currently a limited sel of opportunities for convenience shopping. as well as purchases of clothing, electronicsaad major household nems. Stapleton and the Gateway area win increase the size of this market liver nrne. StaplelOn may be 'lble to respond to a portion of tlris regional demand. Most en-site retail uses are anticipated m be al the community scale. Since this type of retailing will primeril)" serve newly developed residenl'i:m areas, it· '!lIIuJd not cum- 11C'le significantly with existing nelgbbomood renters. the East

Lodging: More than 4.000 hotel and! motel moms now lie within [/2 mile or Stapleton 's perimeter. The site is lhere(Qre unlikely LO arrracr new investment in lodging facilitic.~unles s a regional uurncdou i:-. devc!o{X."lI.

/nstitrdiuns: The present and future growth efa number of local instimtions is consiraired by a lack of available acreage .u or ad;ja(.'(!Ill lO lheir currera !illes. The Denver Bottulic Gardens. Denver Zoo, Museum of Nalural History and Universit HeaJlh Scient."(!S Center provide just a rew examples, Stapleton provides a potentially tlppmpl'il:lle site for expansion Ihrough saiellilt': facilides, or CYeJl long-term relocation 11 will be impllrtanllu retain f1exibilliLY 10 accommodate ihe lung-tern] needs of regional educational. cultural and other insrinnions as they materialize.







1:1".515 FOR A LONG-TERM.



V,co;: PRE$DCEN'T -



Slapl'eton A!irport I •. Just tho most l'OCunt af ma:n!of !land uses on foI',,",,' pr'1!!I'rie 'Ullas .• o liiIIQde. Before avlalion, this lund suppo..-tod 8xt ...... ive wildlife populations, native hunter-gatlilili~rs, dwy land and Irrigaled farming, dol II' opera. iIIons and QllIitpo"" ....... manu· facturing,.


Site History

The land where Stapleton Airpon 1:1.0W sits has seen human activity. in some form oranoiher, for thousands of years.

Ar:cheological EJ.lidellce

Two archeological sites near Stapleton have yielded clues to the area's history. At Henderson Hill, a low gras 'y knoll just north of Stapleton, archeologists have discovered a variety of prehislone artifacts, including tone flakes from spearheads and knives, fire-cracked rocks from cooking heanhs, and a hammer and grinding stones once used for cooking. The artifacts. were probably len between .3.500 B,C. and ] ,QIJQ A.D. by Archaic Indians, who hunted game and gathered plants fOI" food.

A second archeological sire was discovered along Toll Gate Creek at East iliff Avenue and Chambers Road. Thoremains of a man and a boy found an the site were dated 670 A. D.

Notlve American Ae"Vl'ty and Pieneer Settlement:

During me early 15005, Native Americans reached me Stapleton area in tightly organized a~:riclllturaJ units. The arrival of Spanish conquistadors in the southern mountains of Color-ado brought horses to the region in the mid-nOOs.

ill the early 18008, the Arapahoe and Iheir allies, the Cheyenne spread south and west from Canada, U~C DakoU,15 and Minnesota, periodically warring with the Ute and Comanche. The Arapahoe near Stapleton were cemplerely nomadic. having no permanent settlements, nor any fixed dwellings. They Jived exclusively in tents made of buffalo skins. The Arapahoe also depended on the buffalo for food; they did not pra rice agriculture.

At the same time, many pioneers - hoping to escape the poverty and Land sbonages of the east - saw their "Eldorado" ill the prairies east of Denver. By the end of tile nineteenth c-entury; the area was extensively populated with Farmers.

Ind:llstrial Development,:

In the 192:0s, when Mayor Ben Stapleton considered the Sand Creek sire for.a new municipal rurpoI1, [be area supported not only ranchers and homesteaders but several industrial users as 'Well, The Standard Meal and Livestock Company, the Dupont DeNUfi10urs Powder Company, andthe Arlas Powder Company aU h~d facilities Oil the site - as did Windsor Dairy, the largest operation of its type in Colorsdo.

TIle vast Sand Hills prairie had already begun to change. Hi~h Line Canal was in place, serving many business and agricultural. interests south and east of Denver. Smaller water projects abounded, Rcmn,mf:i of this irrigation system, such as Bluff Lake and the Sand Creek Lateral, are still visible. The urban neighborhoods of Original Aurora, Montclair and Park Hiij were b"ginrnng development, and thousands of trees were being planted. The Denver park and parkway system had been laiel out, hUI stopped r.hmt of Stapleton.

Aviation Us-e:

When, fue Denver Municipal Airport was dedicated in 1929, it was intended to consofidate the growin,g general and commercia! aviation interests in Lhe metropolitan area. The initial site covered 345 acres southeast of 32nd and SYl"'dCUSe Streets, While improved over time, the aviation complex remained south of Sand Creek and bounded by Syracuse Street, Montview Boulevard and Havana Street- until the great expansions of the jet age.



World War If brought lastingchanges to Denver Municipal Airport and the surrounding area. Wartime mebilizarion resulted in the consrruction of Lowry Airfield, Fitzsimons Army Medica] Center and the Rocky Mountain Arsenal.

Thearrival of the jet age in 1959 prompted a quarter-century of expansion for Stapleton and the entire air travel industry, L'U1d acquishions to tile east and the nonh gave Stapleton most of

the 4,700 acres i! covers Today. Neighborhoods soon bordered the airpon On every side.

The Den:ver st'l'eel grid and pa,rl(.way sys,'am 'Drganized the elllst:ern el!lpan:5toD D'I t.he eny and reillehe~ 'tie curll'e.lIStapleton site by the early 19,205.

When : .... I'ecte·d as a sito' fur municipal 3watiDn in 1929, the Slap'at,on .Ita :represen.ted the .ar ealdeR'll ed'ge g,tt!h., u.rbfill:ll ~T$!!!!.

S""TION 1111 CONTI"'!.'!"

Changes in Regional Land Use

Northeast Denver is now experiencing a shift as dramatic as any in its modern hisLOry. In addition 1.0 ihe conversion of the Rocky Mountain Arsena] to a National Wildlife Refuge. the 1,800-ac..:re Lowry Air Training Center, located nine blocks to the south, has closed and is !'lOW in the early stages of redevelopment. The advent of Denver International Airport has opened up an addlrional 4,500 acres of land for development ill the Airport Gateway three miles east of Stapleton. In central Denver, new infrastructure will allow the several hundred acres of reclaimed rail yard in the Central Platte Valley to develop as well, As these sites are reclaimed and the process ofmbanization unfolds, a complete transformation of Denver will

ThQ 1Jo;In_ IMumti~P<lI Airport opened ifvr -

business in 1929 on "the Sand Hills sHe" ea~ gf PoiUk IHiII. - (>Onsidered by onanv 'to be No remote. n was, renill!lln8d after Mayor Ben stapleton in 19014.


occur with profound regional implicasions.

Surrounding Neighborhoods and Uses:

TIle Stapleton site is surrounded by many different neighborhoods and land uses .. These include Park Hill, East Montclair, Original Aurora Morris Heights" Montbello, [he Rocky Mountain Arsenal NalionaW Wildlife Area" Commerce City and state and local correctional facilities. Each of these is discussed in more detail below.


The Prurk Hill neighborhood located to the west and southwest of ihe site consi ts of 4,058 acres. Single and multi-family residences make up the largest land use in me neighborhood Industrial/c 01- mercia] uses are located at the north end of ihe :licighoofl'hood along SmiJili. Road.

TIle Park HiJL neighbornood has tlle distinction of being one of tine country's most successful self-integrated communities. Its population is. approximalely 25,000.

East Montclair

East Montclair is Located on the eastern edge of Denver, at the Aurora city line. The neighborhood is bounded to the north and south by me large, Institutiona! uses at Stapleton Airport and Lowry Air Force Base and contains primarily !;ingle and multi-family residential uses. It is clearly defined by higher volume streets at its edges. including Quebec Street, 11 til Avenue, Yosemite Stree't and Montview Boulevard, The Colfax Av,eDue commercial corridor bisects the residential areas of East Montclair. This historic "main street" is currently expenencing renewal in Denver, Aurora and Lakewood.

Origi,!ul Aurora

Original Aurora is located immediately east of D~IlV~f'S Ea.<;L Monlclair neighborhood, directly south of the Stapleton site. The neighborhood is primarily comprised of single and multifamily residential uses, with the exception of Colfax Avenue which is commercial. Asan older neighborhood, it is currently the focus of several revitalization efforts within the City of Aurora,

Moms Heights

Morris Heights is an Aurora neighborhood east of Stapleton along Peoria Street Business and industrial uses occur on both sides of Peon, a Street, Residential development is located east of Peoria Street between Pitzsitnons AI11lY Medical Center and SmimRoad.


The MOl1cbe]lo neighborhood is bounded by 1-70 on the soul'h, 56th Avenue on the north, Havana Street on the west and Chambers Road on the east. East of Peoria street,llIile neighborhood is residential in character, w.itl1 slightll), more than 5,600 single famlly homes and 1.250 multi-family units. Businesses generally are located in the Peoria Street commercial area south of Albrook Drive and in the Chambers Place Shopping Center at Chambers Road and 48t1i1 Avenue. The office and industrial parks. located between Peoria Street and Havana Street provide more lill:m12,IXIO jobs. Montbello is the largest of Denver's neighborhoods in both land area and population.

National Wildlife Area

The 27 square mile Rocky Mountain Arsenal National Wildlife Area surrounds the northem-rnost area of Staptemn on three sides. Formerly ihe Rocky Mountain Arsenal, it is iin me process of heing converted to. it national wfuldlife refuge.

Commerce City

Commerce Cil)' is an Adams County community wlticb abuts Stapleton on the northwest Generally, Commerce City is bounded by 48th Avenue (N.E. Park Hill) on the south, Quebec Street on (he cast and the Platte River on the west The southeastern and older area of Commerce City is immediately adjacent to Stapleton. The residential population of Commerce City is approximately 16,000, and the area supports a significantly greater number of jobs in menufacturing, distribution and commercial uses.

Con'ectional Complex

Soulheasr of SlI:1pleUln neer Smith Road is a correctional complex containing the Denver County Jail and a Stare Diagnostk; Center. Efforts are under way fo identify and minimize the impact of the expansions on lhe rouse of the SI:aplei.ol1 site, Expansion is planned for both the Cit)' ,;md CounLy and state facilities on the i~e.

51 .,CT, 0," III leON TEXT



Hou.ow"" WAS E.AS'T'OP


liN; 927 liN S,TAPI.ETON

T'WIE FIRST F'Jn'f VE ... .,"

BY.JEFF ... 'Y e,. MIl.LE"




Stapleton comprises approximately 4.700 acres and is located within six miles of downtown Denver. It is truly an urban infill project. but one of enormous size. approximately 7.5 square miles. [f the site (shown as red outline) wac; overJuju onto the existing city. it would extend from City Park south to Washjngton Parle. and include the neighbomoods of City Park. North Capitol Hill. Ea...,t Colfax. Capitol Hill. Congress Park. Country Club. Cherry Creek. Bonnie Brae. Washington Park and West Washington Patk. as well all much of the City of Glendale.



r Development Plull must I"e<'0811;" the opportunities "lid limitatinns presented by [he scale and physiml charurtenslies oj'the site As a sil'igle-pmy-lOse sire for man» decades. if has many unique characteristics. the highliglus of which are briefly summarized beto« .-

"ydm{ugJ - All Stapleton runoff south of 1-7U tl'ows into existing creeks. North of 1-7U soils are sandy and absorb water readily. No stream outfall occurs and there is no outfall [0 the 110nh onto the Rod,.')' Mountain Arsenal Narionill Wildlife Area,

Pli:ysiogropllY - MiUl) W'eUS of the site enjoy spectacular views of downtown and the Rocky Mountains. An existing lake. two streams and hlulfs provide attractive natural environrnenrs, Distinct sand hills peuerning of imerconnected low and high areas occur on a limited basis on the north part of the sue,

WiJdlije /'labllut - A variety of wildlife currently exists on the site. The northern portion of the site serves as range lind reeding ground for birds or prey. prairie dog colonies and burrowing owls. The Sand Creek Corridor provides habitat for deer. fox ami other animals.

Umitics - Private utilities have been extended into the site to primarily serve the resmmal and the area surrounding it. The majority of the site bas no internal utility service but dees have good utillry ~..:rvice up 10 it!'; edge.

Enviro,nmenlni CnnlamLllul;on - Activities on and off the airport have coruributed to several areas of surface, subsurface or gmundwater conrammarion, The total area impuctedis approxirnetely five to len percent ur the entire site, Remediaion activities are either ongoing Oll' planned for these areas •.

A number of buildings on site also contain hazardous substances such as asbestos, PCHs or lend-based paint, Assessmenr and remediancn activities are ongoing.

Exi£tiug Biailling~' omJ Structures - TIle site comains about 150 buildings and structures. including hangars. storuge buildings, concourses, parking tors, rental C!lI1" faciliues. fuel Iarms and lighting. Some of the buildings may have either short- or long-rerm reuse potential, while: others may have no reuse porenual ~U1d should he demolished.

Airfields - Runw~lys. taxiways ami apron areas cover over I,UOO aCJ'eS of the site and are composed of multilayered materials thai may reach three tu four feet in depth.

Acc(l.~s - One roadway corridor; 1-70. crosses rJle 21J mile wide site, The interior of Stapleton is largely Isolated from the surrounding roadway network, but the site does have' good access 10 irs perimeter QIl seve n lI sides.

These and other clement. .. of the site characteristics are discussed in derail in the accompanying Development Plan Resource Document. Each characteristic has specific implicaLions for the final Development Plan,

3-1 :s


Site Character

During tlliJ.e Anatys is phase of planning, tho! technical consul ting team established an understanding of the essential character of the site which servedas a, buil,d:illg block for the creation. of Development Plan options, andshe final Development Plan. The site has many significant attributes which define its character and provide opportunities to define its future,

As an edge site, where the city meets open land, an opportunity exists to create a destination on the perimeter which is nevertheless an extension of the city, and to explore new forms of urban edges using open space systems, vegetation and wildlife habitat, and historlc regional development patterns. As an origina! semi-arid sandhilland prairie environment, an opportunity exists Lo reinforce {he prairie setting with a new landscape aesthetic and vocabulary of landscape prototypes adding a prairie park system to the existing system of <City and mountain parks. As part of a regional. tream corridor system. Stapleton should Lake advantage of the site's natural features and syseems in setting the tone and character of development and explore irmovalive approaches ~o the use and management of water resources, urban drainage and water quality treatment areas.

As a thoroughfare, ihe site is part of a larger transportation context Where various regionel highway and rail roeres pass through 01" come together, Lying directly between DlA and downtown Denver, Stapleton can benefit from lts relationship to both.

The Stapleton site has distince places with distinct characters, reinforced by Ilile adjacent context. Therefore, il can accommodate neighborhoods and districts of moIDY different activities. and uses, densitles, access. characteristics, park types and character, each with clearly defined. edges and boundaries.

Fi.!u\Uy, as a former airport site, Stapleton is a reuse, remediation, reclamation and recycling project of unprecedented scale.

L-egal Framework

The Srllpleron site and its improvements are owned by the City and COUllI)' of Denver. The airport is an asset of iJ1C City and County's airport system, which is a timli1.cial1y self-sufficient componen: of the City and County's overall structure,

Disposition of the site is subject to. specific obligations lhal arise from FAA gram: conditions, commitments to airport system bondholders, lease agreements with tenant airlines and other ourccs, In general. these obliglltions require that;

• the City and County dispose of ihe Stapleton property in an expeditious but prudent fashion;

• Ihe net proceeds of disposition be retained by the airport system to retire bonded indebtedness or otherwise support the requirements of the airport system;

·lhe City and County receive fair market value for land at the time of its disposition (me only exceptions involve (a) properly T1CceSsary to support conventional public services: and (b) property COIlveyed ~Il less than fair market value that enhances the value of remaining Stapleton parcels by a more ruml. off.~eL1illg amount),


ap (tOI1 \ Approprit t.

Rdc ~



S rroundi Neighborn od

ment and

nmental Challenges


De En



Wlk'lt do people want IToi'll Stapleton? 'What role can it play in responding ~G the context described in me previous section? What principles should guide its development? For nearly six years, questions such as these have occupied tlie attention of individuals within Denver and beyond.

Members of the community recognize the unique opportunl~y that Stapleton presents. TIley ru-e also quite aware of the many challenges inherent in the transformation of such a large and complex site overall extended period of time.


Among the many important concerns idenTIfied by the communil), Me the following: the appl'0fJIUlle rote a/tlil! Stapleton sue i/~ too regional eeo.nomy mltl iJs rel'aJi011ship to other (:omm.ullity centel'S?


• serve as a regional employm:Kl!lt center that makes-a positive conmburion te the. economic base of the community (rather than simply relocates economic activity from one site to af\othli,lr)

• be absorbed info the markelplace without undeffTllilling private property values

• complement rather than compete with other oommurUty CC!'] such as downtown, ilie Central Platte Valley, the former Lowry Air' Force Base, D1A, the Gateway or surrounding neighborhood business areas

"posi;cion. Denver to e-ompere in increasingly global markets and provide oppommses to capitalize on emerging reclmologies

• address tho need todirec~y link job creation 00 the site with I'rainjng and skill. development opporranides for those currently least able to take advantage of such. opportunities

Bow can Stapleton contribllte to. inlpr:(JV6m6flt o/tile environmenl'jor surrou.tuling neighborhouds and lnereased access alltl opporomitiesjQr their residents?


• improve the neighborhood physical environmens and strengthen 'IIIl.e identity of adjacent communities

• increase resident access to jobs, business. education and culniral oppornmities

• Increase the supply of middle and upper end housing to improve the diversity of housing options in the northeast area

• improve 'DU blic safety and reconnect long-separated neighborhoods

• provide amenities and services that can be shared by adjoining neighborhoods

• ensure' that. the benefits of ellminadng jet noise are not offset



How can Stapleton respo1Ui to the :;ignificant .WJcilil alld demographic changes taking place and create diverset successful urban cmlllnmrilies?


• attract middle income families and provide an environment that supports a stable and diverse population

• promote the integration of employment, housing and recreation. and insure diversity in age. income and ethnic groups

• provide walkable scale communities tlhat offer a vartety of mobility opnons and address resideras'jncsr basic concerns regarding safety and public education

• encourage community parecipation and provide oppoJtunities for resident involvement in community governance

How ca,z Stapleton redev:elopmeni succeed in the mm:ket· place tmdftlifill tne disposition obligaJious of Del1,Jler's air-

by deterioration of the site and its surroundings during transition port syst~m.'!

• provide ccntinulng opportunities for meaningful citizen {l'articipation throughout the life of ll1.e redevelopment program

How can Stapleton respond to tile develop'IIe1l' ami enJ'ironmental chaUellges we face locally andgloball}'?


• provide run opportunity 10 restore the health of nataral systems on site and make important regional connections to significent natural resources off site

• demonstrate effective approaches to development that emphasize efficiency, reduced resource consumption and reduced impacts on the natural environment

• help solve rather than compound existing problems by providing open space and trails, add:ressmg regional transportation needs in the northeast metro area, reducing ailr emissions and providmg adequate fiscal support for education and

service delivery


• creak: value and earn a financial return

• minimize up-front costs of transition and offset these costs as much as possible with revenue generated by the site

• balance long-term vahie creation objectives, wiltb near-term cash flow needs.










OeCEM9ER 3, 1907




The community and p~~ecl tesm have developed. a set of principles to guide decisien-makmg in the creation and impiernentarion of [he DevetoprnearPlan, These principles address the economic, social andenvironmental objectives addressed above, as well as the physic&! design of the conanunity and Inc methods used to manage and implement the :project over time,


The challenge of the next century will be the creation and management of urbaneavironmerus ~utl meet social needs and previde economic opportunity in a manner that preserves rather than degrades the natural environment Redevelopment of the Stapleton" site shall be based on the principle of sustaill!abii:iLy. which seeks eo manage natural. economic and social sysrems and resources in a fashion that enhances quality of life yet does not dimillish the abiliry of future generations to ~]so meet their needs. Sustainable desi.gnrefJocls an appn;.ciaLion of the unique qualitles of place aad the strong ties between people, nature and !:be builh environment. TIle Stapleton project will achieve it~, economic and social Objeclive..q. in the context of a high quality sustainablephys ical environmern,


Minimize demand for resources (on-sire l'equiremems for Walel:; energy. materials. etc.) and rncu-imi:ze opportunuies fo}" on-site supply ofresources. Resource manof(cmellf willjnllow this hierarchy of consumption:

a) Eliminate the need lor the resource

b) Reduee use of tile reSDUI"('e

c) Reuse resources

d) Recycle resources


.M axi mize the use qj'renewahle and i ndige nous resources in size developmem and mant1:f,femeJU.


Restore ami enhance existinK IUJlural systems tv achieve optimal health and viability.


Promote natural, economic and social systems that arc diverse and durable. Seek design solutions and development opportunities that integrate systems to pmduce F:fCaler tifjit:iencies Gild betleftls.


Place priority on pollution prevention rather than control. Mitigate impacts (}II sile when' possih!c. and as close to the point of impact as possibl«.


Use 'he following hierm:('liy in decision-making regardina the use a/resources and projecllmp(lc.ts:

0) First. satisfy resource needs and/or control pmject impacts en/ire}y on site ijpossihie.

b) Second, where I10T possihie, ,WJti.~fy resource needs and/or romrol proje,o imract~ within the region.

c) Third, seek to reduce resource demands and projccr impacts that extend heyond (he region.


Indude consideratioN o!pote1itlal f'ellse o/facilities and improvements over time in site, SYSTem and building de.sigJ/s.

PlFuNClpl.l£ a

Support development of environmental u!clmologies. products and services as a signific:anr component of the sue« and the region's economic base.

Bquiry, diversity and opparnmity are fundamental to rhe objeetives of lheredevelopmeJ'D.[ pro,w'dlT!. Stapleton redevelopmem shall provide broad access to social, cultural and economic opportunities for all segments of the community. These epporrunities will address important community Deeds and enhance community stability. Success luI redevelopment of the Staplerofl site will be a catalys1 for improvemenl in the larger eemnnmity, particularly in the Denver, Aurora and Commerce Ci~J neic@hborhoods surrcunding the site,


Crease Q comnumity that accommodatesa divenilY of people-agr:J". incomes.races, occupatlonstJnd l/fesryles ~and rebr!orcesand enhances the (:utrum/. ethnic and iucia! diversity v/a£Nacem neigMor/r()otis.


Create opportunitiesfo!" significant minority participatkm ill/he development process.employment and residency:

Create opportuni.ties/or small business participo.fion ill the development PJY)CCSS.

Provide qJ.iaii(v Ileighbul'1iuod schools and Ufe-IOtl/~ training and education opportunities.

PRI C I.,E 4

In.sure diversity in r:/1(! job base to pml1ide employment opportun ities for a wide rangen! socio-economir groups, and work with adjaces; communities to develop workfOlt'f! skills and entrepreneuria! oppornmities for focal residents.


F acilitare Ihe developmen: of uffordable hOllsing os well as attraction nJmiddlt and upper income families to the northeas: area through provision of (J brnad mix of housinR types, densities and price I"cmges.

SEC:1i'l"'" ''11 I CQMM'UNFI'Y OOUEI!T'''''''' ..,N" G"">I"!". P"!r":IPL.~

Benefit Stapleton' and SluTounding neighborhoods through rlie inregmnon. 'f services. public/acilities and amenilies.


.. . . .' -

TIle Staple Ion site shall be lit regional center for job creation in diverse fields with emphasis onemerglng technologies and industries. SI.apletOfl will provide an environmens that encourages and rewards innovation. The program for the sire shall be designed to attract private investment and to provide me fill andill (:apacity to support lIeGeliSary public capital improvements and services over time. 111e development and opersrions of the Stapleton eomrnunity mus' genetd:te an econornie and social remrn on investment mud encourage participation by segments of the community thai are often excluded. The L:h<u:acteristics oithe comannuy musr provide a unique, marketablei dentity,


ESl.ublish Stapleton as a major re.r(iol1al employment center and pasifioR Stapieton in the marketplace to minimize competition wirh .La'i1.rry, the GatewaylDlAarea anddawmown. FO["HS OJI the quolity ct/joba created. as well as rhe quantity'


lilsure public inve~mTlem in infrastructure. site amenities and instinatonai support tharwill attract privase investment and the presence of businesses. institudons and residems,


Seek partners for demonstration projects to reduce up front capiw/ costs oj" c:omrnu.niry and projeci i'!p;(Jsrrw.:fure.

P~4NCIP1.E 4

Provide for a broad mix of land lise types. densities and prices to S(!I"W! multiple markets. and create economic and social diversity.

Sec,,-, .... IV I COMMUNITY O'IUECTJ~ESl "',Nt> GUiDI .... f'A"'CIPl..fES

pq HeiPLE 5

Create an environmen: thai is t"Onipeli/ivr! and adol1wMe hy lIu:(Jf]mratillg advanced telecommunications, transponation, production, l'7'l1'ir01rmemaJ and other technok> gies to anticipate lillll1"(! market IJPlU>rlWlIfies and

en l'irmmU!lItal imperatives.


Llnli:« on-sue environmental and npen span' features to acute amenity value lor residential aud commercial deve/opmell1.


Maximi:« cost-effective {JlIhiic service deliver» tlumlRh ej}fciem land use pauerns, apl'l'Opl'iale placement of rm/JIic /aciliries. use of multi-purpose and shared public facitbie«. unr:ilmdel".l"lafiding of I lie implic(J'irmA of changitlR demo.~ra"hi(.'s.



Transform ihe character and image of (he llirpOrl "itt: in a dramatic and decisive manner; While the site consists of three areas with disnnct characters. the overarching physical design principle is (0 consider the property [IN a single site with a unique. defining identity. Integration of work. recreation and living errvironrnene I!': essential 10 Stapleton's success.


TIle form of the site will be heavily influenced by the process of reclamation and the esrablishmem uf a series of highly related systerna, Cntical systems and features include regional storm drainage. wildlife habitat corridors. active and passive recreation areas. transportation. recycling and regrading. of runway areas, and soil and groundwater remediation. A comprehensive open space system can accommodate a wide variety ol'uses and

serve rnuhiple Iunctions,


Use tile p}'f!·e.ristill~ environmem us a basis/or change. The site'« tnpo,'!rDplry. draiuoge flows, stream corridors and historic c/run/wls will give shape.form and ~/nlcture to the' basic sue plan.


Suppart dC'w:{(lpmf!1Il of the adjacent R(J('~~\' MOlln/aill Nmiot1af Wildli/i' Area a.1 Ihe premier urban wildl!fe refirge tn the Us.. and lise the SwpJewfI 0j1e1l space system 10 make pita! conncctians between lhe Wildlife III1:'G and the fc'giotwlopcll space system !lsillg tile Sand Creek!We,~tedy Creek rorridors.


Program the Stapleton open space system to serve multiple needs. il1ciudill\?: storm dmilmrte ... cator treatment. wildWe "ubitat s. active and passive recreation and Ihe creation oj superior sites fnr institutiona! uses.


A.c/'ielle multiple bene/its by using earth movin.'1 activuies to create necessary droinaue basins (Inn swales. improve habitat. provide V/~"lJalllm(!flity and recreation opportunities and hi/prove soil and water Q/tali0'-


Take advantage ol"the Stapleton site's potentialto provide extremely high levels or mobility and altemativos [0 the automobile for residents, employees and visitors. Organi7£ a Ilexihie transportation system which pr'ovides ~uperiOI" access to the site from the arterial system and seeks to minimize impacts ro all' quality, Dramatically reduce reliance 011 the automobile and vehicle miles generated by activity on the Stapleton site,


Orgt1fli=e community form to pnJllide walkablc centers of activit» which can be connected to I'exiooal public transportation systems on-sire. Ml1.uilJi=l! accessibility (If future rei! systems and lise toea! and regional bus service to provide access 10 regiona! systems and des/il1miQlls.


Establish an intemwdal/acility on site which lviii uili· i1'/lllely be capahle .of serving light rail, hem,)' raii, bus, auto, truck, bicycte and pedestrian traffic,

ClariJ.y and extend the mile~by-mil(! arterial system ffm;mgh the site wherever possibi«. Evaluate the j'fl(}sibif· it)' of chis j~VSlem fbI' 56111 A~il' _, 48,h I'll 'e. ,26th Ave_. Qllehec St.. Yosemite St.. Havana St. and Smith Road. working. with adjacen: jUl"i.rdiclions and communities where relevant.


Dl'Si81"1 me 5Mh Avenue corridor as a intljlJr parkway Curlnection thar will sen'/? (IS an important connection between downtown and Denver lntemational Airpor».


Provide a rontinuous blkl?'.!.IClY system lhmz/gl/our the site connecting to lhe bikeway sym}1'/1 described in (he recentty adopted BicYI...'le Master Plan and to the Aurora bikawa» system.


Incorporate the patterns of the Denver street grid andextend it through the site .. adjusting and transforming IDem to accommodate natural features. large scale parcels and facilities and ihe building program for the site. Create etfectivc physical and social linkage wi~h adjacel1[ neighborhood.s on the southern, southwestern and easrem pcnmerer of the <li~e_


Extend [he SWWllIldil1X street and block rm~tigllrmi()11 iura the southeasr and southwest !101'lion.\· (1' the site as all extension rtf the ci~\'.



Extend the Cit)' and COllnty's parl...way "'-'Y,!>'lem OT!lV ~h(! site for streets oj'major image and character:


Plan the site as a mixed-use, balanced COm!mmil), incorporari'l8 a coordinated grouping of neighborhoods .. specialized districts and special corridors.


Utilize a vWage concern in eacil (if the site's neighborhoods ... ihich will incorponue multiple uses. transit access. walk-to-work possibilities, public services and appropriate fJub1il' spaces.


Pre.Wi11'!! structures of historic siXflijinmc(! and seek to the maximum esteru possible to illTegrac(! and reuse existing structures und improvements.


EWJJuCUf! the potential afthe terminal building to serl'l' as a regional destinationfo» multipl« uses.


Ensure jkyl'bility of tile physical design to respond to changing market conditions t(/fecting hOI/sing densities. transportation systems. types of open splice. etc-


Uti] ize portions of U1e STapleron site to dramaucal Ly alter the idenlity of the she, create value and add new park, recreation and open space resourcesto the CIty and CUlII'll)"S system. Explore new open space types, designs and management ~y!ltcms and iheir relationship to urban development


Ejj'el~tiw31.}! define the transitions ji'om urban uses to less uuensive uses SUcfl~S "pen ~pCN:i! wid ll,e Um.:ky Mvumait1 Ar-senal National Wildlife Area.



Connect the StapletO'n open space system not olLly with regionat resources, but also Wilh adjacem neighborhoods.


l!..xcend 'he existing park. system legacy of a formal netwm:k of parks and parkways and an informal system oj ope" spaces and trails associated with regional drainag«. Introduce new variations emphasizing a more natura! setti11g. indiRcIYtJlM' vegetaiio». reduced lrrigatiol'l and aiternative forms of managemem and maintenance.

PAl Ne I PLE 4

Use natural features and the pre-existing environmem as a basis for the design (lithe P(JJ* ssssem.


In addition ta tile prairie park, nanaaiareas. and stream corrtdors. the open space syssem should also provide (J/ least one new majoc urban park.


Create open spa('e settings (IS addresse. 'for value creation and as centred elemeut« of a l'flasing slrategyjnr site buildout over all ex/ended period ojtil'ne.


Insure mat the open space system and its development and management structure (J1'l' all designed to be supportable over lime.

PRINe.p'LE 0

Insure that appmprinte recreation faciliues are provided on an equitable basis ro meet community needs.



In order to create a sustainable community that insures a range of housing choices, creates oppertunhy, celebrates diversity and encourages personal choice, the processes of development and management will also require attention. Success will

depend in large part on the ability \0 create andimplement new institutional structures. forms of governance and market mechanisms, The broad aoal is to create substantial community access to the benefits generated by Stapleton's reuse.


['n~ote a de"e/opmentlmaJ1.l1gemem efltily with the aiahorfly, skills andjinal! eapabilities In successfully pursue comml7nity-wide goofs and carry mu the requirements of development and disposition 0/ the $ile over mal'!)' yeors.


Formulate a pha,~;tfg pmgrum that seeks to strengthen tfle size's market identi/}' and respond to market opportunities while effectively managing jimmcial risk.


Estahlish innavasive mechanisms for service deliver» Gild the developmem (Jnd management cf open space, omenities and in/ras/1"ucmr.e.

Guide developmem activity to meet '{he IJoJ'icy standards of {he Cily and County and achieve impottan! program objectives througho creative Mending r:~" reglilalm}' controls. marker mechanisms, illcenTiv(!s,jinaudng programs and direct investmem.

Pw"s:ue mfalytic uses that embod» both the inmwative l'isiol1 and tile economic significance co attract puhlic (Federai: State, local) and p'hilamhmpicfinancial support.


lIu'mparat.r! tile hroadeu possible spectrum of citizenrv in decision-making. regarding the desig«, deve/opmeM and implementation of the reuse program, and make :mbstantial use of decesuralized and cV1' gm'ernonce structure«.

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