A Visit to Stapleton
Last night I actually left a three mile radius of my house to go someplace other than work, the mountains, or the airport.
I biked over to Stapleton to visit a friend for dinner. If you’re not a Denverite, Stapleton is the site of the former airport. Over the past 10 years the giant swath of land has been transformed into housing and retail. But unlike most housing developments the builders in Stapleton designed a real community feel, and it’s been maintained over the years. Most houses have large front porches, access to garages is from alleys, and there are many community public spaces allowing interaction among families and neighbors. If I moved here and wanted more house and space than downtown allowed, (for the price,) I would definitely consider this area six miles east of downtown.
The only negative in my view? There’s still not enough retail. The streets are laid out well with wide sidewalks and small parks, but for many a car is still a necessity to access the grocery store. The shopping center along Quebec or the new Northfield district north of I-70 isn’t far, and can be accessed by bike, but I would love to see a coffee shop or some small markets tucked into the streetscape. Maybe like “Jumpin Java” in S.F., which is located mid-block between a row of townhomes.
Having not been through here in two years its great to see this flagship model of new urbanism grow. The yards are green and the trees are maturing, and its amazing to think that old United 727s used to scream and spew around the taxiways, in the same spot where kids now ride their bikes and friends hold Saturday afternoon barbecues together.