Denver South kicked off its 2022 Partnership Meeting series with a glimpse into the developments that will be shaping the region for decades to come. This kickoff was accompanied by another new introduction, as the event was the first to be hosted at the new Douglas County School District Legacy Campus (formerly CU South Wildlife Experience).

Attendees were first greeted by Danny Winsor, Executive Director of Schools, K-12 for the Douglas County School District (DCSD), as he outlined the district’s vision for the property. Winsor highlighted the district’s awareness surrounding the need to develop a talent pipeline for the region, especially in high-demand fields such as nursing, hospitality management, trades, and more. He emphasized DCSD’s desire to bring together regional partners to address these workforce challenges, outlined how the new Legacy Campus would help fill these workforce needs, and highlighted the district’s efforts with higher education institutions to introduce concurrent enrollment opportunities, in order to better prepare students for the workforce.

Denver South’s Christine Shapard, VP of Economic Development, then kicked off the presentations, and noted that the 2022 Partnership Meeting series would be focused on real estate in the Denver South region. She then handed it off to Dan Metzger, COO of Brue Baukol Capital Partners, whose company is developing The District (formerly the Jones District) in Centennial. Metzger highlighted the history and appeal of the site, noting that The District is not only located on Centennial’s only light rail stop, but is also located at the highest elevation in the Denver South region, thereby ensuring the best views along the corridor. Brue Baukol intentionally designed the site to be a mixed-use community, composed of for-rent and for-sale apartments, townhomes, and condos, which will be developed alongside retail and office space. Housing, retail, and offices will be built around plazas, which will host community events including farmer’s markets and concerts to activate the site. Offices will be designed to incorporate indoor/outdoor space, with access to rooftop patios and steps from retail and residential options. Metzger noted that the timeline for buildout of the site is seven to ten years.

The District Plaza

The next presenter was Darryl Jones, Senior Vice President of Coventry Development Corporation, whose company is overseeing the development of RidgeGate in Lone Tree. Jones noted that, though the west side of the 3,500-acre development is 95% complete, the east side is still working through the planning stages. These plans include the 400-acre Lone Tree City Center, which will feature three distinct residential neighborhoods with integrated commercial uses, extensive parks and open spaces, and easy access to cultural amenities including the Lone Tree Arts Center and Schweiger Ranch. RidgeGate East will also have two light rail stops, giving residents and employees easy, walkable access to public transit, and will also feature affordable and market rate housing. Kroger is in the process of receiving approvals to anchor the development’s Central Village, and Shea Homes’ Lyric Village has started construction, with the first residents moving in mid-2023. Ultimately, Coventry Development hopes to have RidgeGate East built out in 30 years.

Ridgegate Aerial Map

The meeting ended with a question-and-answer period, which featured questions surrounding affordable housing, legislative challenges that could hinder development of the projects as envisioned, and transportation partnership opportunities that could further bolster accessibility to the new developments. Denver South CEO Tom Brook wrapped up the meeting by reminding attendees of the regional Framework, which calls for increased density around light rail stations.

We hope you are able to join us at our next Partnership Meeting on April 7th at the Lone Tree Arts Center, where we will look at the latest trends in commercial real estate. Register for the April meeting here.

If you are interested in leveraging the facilities at the Douglas County School District Legacy Campus, you can find more information here.

Dan Metzger’s presentation on The District can be viewed here.

Darryl Jones’ presentation on RidgeGate can be viewed here.