In 1995 when the opening of Denver International Airport meant the closing of Stapleton International Airport, Denver had the unique opportunity to transform 7.5 square miles of runways, concourses and terminals into a beautiful new community. It would be the largest urban in-fill redevelopment in the country and, to this day, one of the largest in-fill projects ever.
The building of Stapleton started as a collaborative effort by business leaders, civic officials and citizens who wanted to have a say in how Denver should grow. They spent countless hours and much of their own money creating what became known as the Green Book, the guiding principles for the redevelopment of Stapleton. In 1998, the city of Denver selected Forest City to be the master developer for Stapleton and to make the vision of the Green Book a reality. In May 2001 the redevelopment began.
The idea was to take the best things about Denver’s classic neighborhoods – parks, welcoming front porches, ally-loaded garages, architectural diversity, tree-lined streets, more parks – and continue those urban patterns into new Denver neighborhoods. While applying some new thinking in the process. Like the use of water-wise landscaping and energy-efficient building standards on everything from homes to commercial spaces. Affordable housing, both for rent and sale, fitting seamlessly into the neighborhoods. And perhaps the most sustainable idea of them all: a pedestrian-friendly, mixed-use environment with everything you need a short walk or bike ride away.
Two decades later, Stapleton stands as a model for urban redevelopment worldwide.
Buzzing with bike races, farmers markets and concerts in the park, Stapleton now thrives at a grassroots level thanks to residents and business owners each adding their own touch. It has become a place that’s far better than anyone could have planned.
The Wayzata Lake Effect is a community-wide multi-year initiative to redevelop Wayzata’s greatest asset for the 21st century. The Initiative is composed of multiple components and phases.
The Lake Effect effort is focused on shared long-term goals for the city’s best asset: Revitalizing the lakefront, making it safer, more ecologically friendly, and improving access to and along the shore.
“If we can accomplish that, we’ll have done the best we can for Wayzata.”
– Mayor Ken Willcox
On April 19, the Lake Effect design team presented the final schematic design book to the Wayzata City Council. The book includes perspective and schematic designs, the phased construction plan and cost estimates, and long-term maintenance and operations cost estimates and sources.
Signature Park Design Highlights
Eco Park/Section Foreman House – Eastern gateway to the lakewalk featuring a restored pond and marshland. A restorative “pocket park” that respects the natural state of the lake edge and provides an intriguing natural experience suitable for everyday enjoyment for people of all ages, as well as ecological education.
Lake Walk – Entered from the east at Broadway, the lake walk zig-zags along the lake edge and is embraced by restored marsh. The lake walk will feel like a short walk in another world – only steps from the heart of the city.
Active Beach – The plan is to expand and activate the beach in a way that’s suitable for families and people of all ages. By closing the retention pond and treating the storm water underground, space is made available to expand concessions. The beach becomes more inviting with the addition of shade structures and a diving pier.
People-friendly Lake Street – Increase the bike-ability and walkability of Lake Street with an expanded sidewalk and dedicated bike lane, while keeping three lanes for cars. Modest treatment to paving and lighting suggest slowing down and enjoying the lakefront and can become temporary car-free gathering places during the occasional community oriented event.
Investors who purchased the former Evans School building in Denver’s Golden Triangle neighborhood plan to create restaurants and retail space while opening offices in the upper floors of the historic landmark. City Street Investors renovated Union Station in Denver’s Lower Downtown and see a similar vision for the Evans School building. Dining options, stores and commercial space will be a part of their goals over the next 18 months.
Designed in 1906 by architect David Dryden, the Evans School served several generations of public school students before being shuttered in the 1970s and put up for auction.