Visitor Center Ambassador Gin Butler – A Look Back

Gin Collage

“I’m so glad we had this time together”!

Twenty-two years ago I officially became connected to Stapleton when I was appointed to the Stapleton Development Corporation (SDC) Board of Directors and subsequently became the Vice-Chair of said board. As the development of the community progressed and individuals began to move into Stapleton, the mayor replaced us with residents; and rightly so. However, I didn’t go far because I was then added to the Stapleton Foundation Board.

As I reach my 75th birthday on March 1st, I have made the decision to retire. (Now there are bets as to how long that will last; because this will be my 5th retirement!) But there comes a time in all of our lives when we have to make that decision as to when there are other things to do and whom we should do it with, like great grandchildren!

My co-worker, Marissa, just asked me what was I going to do when not working and I had to stop and think about the answer. However, there is one thing I’m sure of—-Stapleton will always be in my heart and on my mind and you will undoubtedly see me driving through the community just to stay on top of the development as we approach the finish line.

“Finish Line”, what a thought. When we started this project our guideline was The Stapleton  Development Plan (the famous “Green Book”), which was a marvel and 25-30 years was our timeline for completion and that seemed like a long time. After all, that was a quarter century! Whether or not we participated in the public meetings that created The Green Book, we had all read the book and knew what was expected of us and were anxious to get started.

At the time the SDC Board was implemented, I was a partner in my own company and I spent more time in meetings regarding Stapleton than I did managing my own company! Now I sit at my desk staring at the aerial map of the community and the extent to which Stapleton has grown and changed. While there are many individuals that believed Stapleton consisted of only the neighborhoods south of I-70, they are now becoming acclimated to the fact that Stapleton extends north of I-70 to 64th Ave. and we are developing our 11th neighborhood, Beeler Park. (Do any of you remember traveling east and west on I-70 as jets traveled north/ south on the major runway that we now have named Central Park Blvd? Or do you remember having breakfast, lunch or dinner at the 94th Aero Squadron located in Aurora south of  the E. 26th Ave. east/west runway where the planes landed? Families had booked reservations weeks in advance so they could have window seats for them to watch the planes.)

Now the next generation of those families are living in the same neighborhoods; only their children are attending schools, swimming in pools that are close by, looking forward to the opening  of the Eastbridge Town Center  and  enjoying the nearby Stanley Market, etc.

Being involved with this development has increased my knowledge in master development, zero energy homes, parkways, green space, that “green houses” means more than horticulture, etc.

The master developer, Forest City Enterprises (now Brookfield Properties), was an excellent choice. It is a company that truly believed in the Green Book, but more importantly, it’s a company that believes in and values the individuals that live and  work here. They are terrific corporate citizens. That is important to state because the SDC Board was concerned   originally about the company’s  corporate headquarters being located in a different state and the longevity of the project. However, Forest City (now Brookfield Properties) came to town and hit the ground running in becoming part of the Denver Business community and continue to do so!

So, I will miss this company, this project, this “family” I’ve become part of; equally as important, I will miss so many of you that I’ve interacted with, perhaps had some influence when convincing you Stapleton was/is the place to live!

So to all that read this blog ,God Bless and I’ll be watching to see if you get to the “finish line” on time!

 

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