August 22, 2014

Over the last decade, the name “Stapleton” has become synonymous with  an urban neighborhood that boasts award-winning parks, pools, schools and a diverse array of people, homes and lifestyles. But it wasn’t long ago, that “Stapleton” referred to something much different: an airport that no longer met the needs of its vibrant, growing city.

When Forest City Enterprises, Inc. broke ground for the redevelopment of Stapleton in 2001, it was the nation’s largest urban infill project at 4,700 acres. The vision was to take something that was no longer useable and give it a new purpose. As such, the concrete laden runways were transformed into tree-lined streetscapes, the parking structure became a sixth neighborhood site, and business travelers were replaced with thousands of happy residents. This transformation has helped make Stapleton the leading example of “reuse” in the country, and the nation’s 6th best-selling community according to Robert Charles Lesser & Co. LLC (RCLCO). Through this thoughtful transformation of repurposed materials and spaces, a new identity for Stapleton emerged.

“For decades, the name ‘Stapleton” had been known throughout the nation and later the world as Denver’s airport,” said Tom Gleason, vice president-public relations for Forest City Stapleton, Inc. “Today it represents a mixed use neighborhood that celebrates the diversity of its residents and amenities that reflect the best of urban living.”

Over the course of the decade, Stapleton has become a true urban oasis. The estimated 18,000 residents are at the heart of this success, helping create the spirit, personality and quality of life that are palpable just by walking down the street.

“We all believed the vision behind the new community of Stapleton was to become an extension of Denver…whether it was by continuing the neighborhood grid system, building on its long history of incredible parks or embracing the reuse of the former Stapleton International Airport as our location,” said John Lehigh, President of Forest City Stapleton.

Over the years, the community of Stapleton has continued this history of organic naming throughout the area. It embraced the neighborhood nicknames given by residents that expressed their individual identity. These names later became the foundation of Stapleton’s collection of neighborhoods, including Southend, Eastbridge and Central Park West to name a few—with the most recent new neighborhood, Willow Park East, being named for its city soul and prairie heart. Much like “Stapleton”, each neighborhood embraces and references its unique location in the community. Moreover, the name of each park is derived from the geographic place it is near— helping to orient the community and its residents to their location such as Central Park (the 80-acre centerpiece of the community), Westerly Creek (adjacent to the creek) and Bluff Lake (adjacent to the Bluff Lake Nature Center).

Stapleton also continues to embrace its roots as a former airport. The community pays homage to its aviation history through the naming of its pools including Aviator, Puddle Jumper, F-15, Jet Stream and Runway 35.


Located on the site of Denver’s former international airport, Stapleton is one of the largest urban redevelopments in the United States.  The core objective of the community plan is to create a living example of progressive, sustainable neighborhood design.  With a walkable mix of energy-efficient new homes, retail districts, schools, offices and an extensive network of parks and open spaces, Stapleton is not only leading the way environmentally but economically and socially, too.  The community is being developed by Forest City Enterprises, Inc.


Forest City Enterprises, Inc. is an NYSE-listed national real estate company with $8.9 billion in total assets. The company is principally engaged in the ownership, development, management and acquisition of commercial and residential real estate and land throughout the United States. For more information, visit