A Blog Series
By John Chambers
Interactive Marketing Manager, Forest City Stapleton (now Brookfield Properties)
Stapleton homes are unique.
They’re inspired by Denver architecture. By other neighborhoods. By nature.
And they’re built to foster community: There’s always a front porch, and there are multiple choices – of price, of style, of space.
“There’s diversity on a lot of levels. First, there’s a diversity of product type, which is important because people are looking for different things,” said Lisa Hall, Brookfield Properties (formerly Forest City) Stapleton’s builder program director. “They can choose from more than 20 collections ranging from large, single-family homes to townhomes and others that may offer a lower price point and less maintenance.
“It’s a lifestyle choice.”
Stapleton also has homes ranging from traditional to contemporary.
“That way, there’s something for everyone,” she said. “We have nine builders, and they all have their strengths – some may excel at energy efficiency, while others have fun, architectural intricacies you can’t find anywhere else.”
That diversity helps to drive the design of Stapleton’s eight neighborhoods.
“When it comes to the land plan, I’m very conscious of each builder’s architecture,” said Heidi Majerik, director of residential development for Forest City (now Brookfield Properties) Stapleton. “I use those strengths when I’m planning the location of homes, knowing how they will live in the land plan.”
That plan is guided by the Green Book, which was developed by city leaders and others to lead development before construction began more than a decade ago. As construction moved to Conservatory Green neighborhood, planning changed to incorporate curved streets and the feel of the surrounding landscape.
“Throughout all of this, we have been making Stapleton accessible to all kinds of people, which is one of the tenants of the Green Book,” Hall said. “In the beginning, we had eight builders and nine collections ranging from $100,000 to more than $1 million.”
Home offerings have evolved over the last decade, including up to 15 builders and 30 collections in past years.
“Stapleton has had one of the biggest builder programs,” she said. “On one block, you could have four different builders with four different products. From row homes to single-family.”
The homes have also ranged in price.
“You don’t always have the million dollar homes in one section,” Hall said. “You know you’re in Stapleton when you see that type of mix, which also helps to attract a diverse group of residents.”
In other master-planned communities, homes are sometimes grouped by price or architecture. Stapleton has always been different.
“Everybody doubted that it was going to work – the mix and number of homebuilders: Everything. A lot of naysayers said the community was going to fail,” Hall said. “Even the Green Book was a fairly ambitious way to set everything up and plan for all of the parks and amenities. People felt it was risky and questioned whether this type of community program would succeed.”
Stapleton is now home to 17,000 residents and 4,500 homes.
“If you’re doing the right things for the right reasons, it will connect to homebuyers. Community is in our DNA,” she said.
Hall also works with Stapleton builders on each home’s lot position as well as design specifics such as exterior color, helping to create unique street scenes.
“After the first few years, the community realized this was adding value. Then people started to expect it,” she said.
Stapleton’s first neighborhoods also featured Craftsman, Mediterranean, Victorian and other styles seen in surrounding areas.
“The first neighborhood designs were really drawn from what’s around us – all of the styles came from Denver neighborhoods,” Hall said. “And these designs have continued to evolve – we didn’t want to do the exact same thing forever. There was a demand for modern architecture that could still be timeless. Parkwood Homes also brought East Coast charm to the community.
“We have so many builders that it allows for differences. There’s room for a diverse group of home styles and colors – that’s important.”
Hall said there will continue to be more home collections for active adults as well as the potential for custom collections and additional homes priced around $200,000.
“We’ll continue to evolve the community’s architecture so it will always be fresh,” she said. “We’ve done that seven times since the first residents moved in, which was back in 2002.”