In The Beginning …

In the Beginning Evolution of a Neighborhood
Introducing the next article in a series of stories about the evolution of Stapleton – from how we got here to what’s next. Enjoy this compilation of articles from industry experts, Realtors, long-time residents and others!

By Jenifer Graham

Stapleton Resident and Business Manager, Stapleton Master Community Association

We were one of the first residents, but before we moved in 2002, we were watching Stapleton. Following the news. Looking for any sign of new construction. And waiting for our chance to make the community our home.

My husband grew up across from Stapleton. He was born and raised in Park Hill, which is one reason we could never live in the suburbs. We tried it, but right around the time that Forest City (now Brookfiled Properties) was chosen as the master developer and Stapleton was beginning, we realized we were meant to live in the city.

So we put our name in a lottery to be chosen as one of Stapleton’s initial residents. We even packed a cooler and camped out near the homebuilder offices! Eventually, we were able to buy one of the first 50 lots, and we picked one across from Aviator Pool.

More than a decade and two kids later, we’re still here. I don’t know if we always planned to stay, but it just feels right. We’re so close to one of the community’s four pools, and we’re around the corner from several schools.

Another piece that drew us here was Stapleton’s development plan known as The Green Book and its vision of a diverse community that blends with the surrounding Denver neighborhoods. Diversity is crucial on a lot of levels – orientation, ethnicity, income – and I hope Stapleton will continue to be more and more welcoming over time.

And I’m excited about what’s next. It’s thrilling that Conservatory Green neighborhood is so close to The Shops at Northfield Stapleton, and I love seeing it take shape. It’s also nice that the neighborhood design north of I-70 flows with the surrounding prairie landscape. Our street in the East 29th Avenue Town Center neighborhood has a similar flow. There’s a really cool curve to it, and it looks awesome during sunsets or if it’s a rainy day and the sun’s coming out.

It’s also nice to see Stapleton’s architecture evolve in each new neighborhood. There’s such a range – from traditional, ranch-style homes to modern townhomes. If I could take one of those homes and just plop it in my lot, I would do it. I like more contemporary, and I love how the community has embraced urban gardening. We have a garden, but it’s more for the kids!

All in all, we’ve stayed in Stapleton because of how it feels. I keep going back to that. It’s like a small town in a big city. It’s safe and everyone seems like extended family. You know your neighbors; you get to bond through book clubs and block parties; and you watch your kids grow up together. We have several friends who have moved around in the community, and they’ve all just felt so grounded that they’ve continued to purchase in other parts of Stapleton.

This sense of community is also why I love working for the MCA. We’re all about bringing people together for everything from movies to concerts that are for anyone and everyone. And I’m most excited about Shakespeare on The Green that’s coming this August. It’s going to bring more of that theatre culture.

I hope to see you on The Green this summer … and check out a full list of Stapleton events here!

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