Green Valley Ranch (GVR), a booming hot spot in the far Northeast corner of Denver. With many ‘greenfields’ yet to be developed and some of the last within the city limits of Denver, the possibilities are exciting and endless. For those (like me) who stand in the dark when it comes to the term greenfield, here is a little light on the subject. Greenfields are open parcels of land with development in their future. A greenfield project is one without constraints inflicted by previous work such as existing infrastructure.
GVR may be a quiet suburb on the outskirts of the hustle and bustle of Aurora and Denver, but there are some big plans in the works.
NEIGHBORHOOD PLANNING INITIATIVES
Thriving with new construction and a population surge, Green Valley Ranch, is beginning to lack enough gathering places, grocery stores and shopping areas to handle this recent growth. But don’t fret, Denver has chosen GVR-Montbello-Gateway to be the first area to incorporate a neighborhood planning initiative. According to Denverite.com, “This effort seeks to create small area plans that bring city policy in line with what residents want for their own communities; the goal is to create such plans for the entire city in 15 years.” Though a neighborhood plan will not necessarily bring the actual commerce needs to an area or allocate money to build the necessary infrastructure, it will assist the city in aligning the communities’ desires with city policies, land use maps and zoning. The process which apparently was initiated last summer is expected to take 18 to 24 months.
Councilwoman Stacie Gilmore, whose district includes Green Valley Ranch, has stated, “With the economy the way it is, now is ‘go’ time for a lot of developers and property owners, and this gives the community a chance to be at the table.” With that being said, when development begins, it is more likely that “what the community has identified as what they want to see versus getting another fast-food restaurant. This shores up and gives more framework to what happens for the next 20 to 30 years,” according to Gilmore.
If you live in GVR or have driven through it in the last few years, you will know that new home construction has been a huge part of the evolution of what GVR was and where it is heading. Oakwood Homes, with current homes starting in the high $200k’s, pretty much dominated new home builds in the first few phases of the GVR master planned neighborhood. Now with a new community coming to the area, there comes new home builders as well.
High Point is a new 1800 acre, mixed use, master planned community that will feature 1600 single family homes built by Century Homes and DR Horton, 1400 multi-family residences, 300 acres of protected open space featuring 13 miles of trails, 10 million acres of business park development and up to 500 acres of retail space located north of 56th Avenue and east of Tower Road.
Just minutes east of the High Point community, Gaylord Rockies is under way. They describe themselves as ‘the premier Colorado meeting and convention center hotel with sweeping views of the Rocky Mountain foothills.’ A Marriot product due to be completed by late 2018, the Gaylord will feature:
- over 485,000 sq ft of flexible meeting, convention, outdoor, exhibit and pre-function space
- 1,501 guest rooms, including 114 suites
- 175,000 sq. ft. exhibit hall with 20,000 sq ft outdoor patio
- four ballrooms from 8,000 to 59,736 sq ft
- up to 81 breakout rooms
- 5 outdoor event spaces
- 8 dining outlets
- a world class spa/salon/fitness center
- indoor/outdoor pool, lazy river and lap pool
- many retail shops
The Panasonic company best known for its home electronics has chosen Denver to be its first U.S. city for its new smart city initiative stemming from it’s larger project, CityNow. The first of its kind was completed in 2015 outside of Tokyo called Fujisawa Sustainable Smart Town.
Panasonic has recently began building the infrastructure, Pena Station Next, on 400 empty acres just south of Denver International Airport and expects it to be completed by 2026. Thus far, Panasonic has installed free WiFi, LED street lights, pollution sensors, a solar powered microgrid and security cameras. The smart city differs from an ordinary community by prioritizing the use of ‘smart’ technology within its infrastructure. Due to the microgrid technology that relies mostly on solar power, in the event of a power outage, the smart city will be able to stay up and running for 72 hours. Another perk that will be coming sooner than 2026, is autonomous vehicles. In the next few months, you should see self driving shuttles that will connect a light rail station to bus routes throughout Denver. The goal of this initiative is to meet the city’s growing population and correlated challenges such as traffic congestion, air pollution and affordable housing while utilizing the progressive capacity of Denver and its residents.
With all that Green Valley Ranch is now and what is in the works for far NE Denver, its pretty impossible not be excited!
Stay tuned for the next article on The Evolution of Green Valley Ranch.
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