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. (now Brookfield Properties) 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. (now Brookfield Properties) “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 (now Brookfield Properties).

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 Brookfield Properties.


Brookfield Properties is a fully-integrated, global real estate services company, providing industry-leading portfolio management capabilities across the real estate investment strategies of Brookfield Asset Management — a global alternative asset manager with over $330 billion in AUM*.

Brookfield Properties develops and manages premier real estate with a focus on maximizing the tenant experience in addition to the investment and operational performance of the asset. We also focus on integrating leading-edge real estate technologies which enables us to be at the forefront of innovation and sustainability – benefiting not only our tenants and business partners, but also the communities in which we operate.

For more information about our approach to operating and developing best-in-class real estate, please visit

*Please note: AUM numbers will change with each quarterly earnings call and should match $330B is current.