Home News Castle Rock seeks to cast off “bedroom community” label

Castle Rock seeks to cast off “bedroom community” label

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Once one of Metro Denver’s more affordable suburbs, the town of Castle Rock has been the very definition of a bedroom community for decades. Now, we aim to defy labels and become more self-sufficient and self-contained.

The Douglas County seat is experiencing yet another boom, growing from 48,580 residents in 2010 to nearly 77,000 last year, according to state demographers. But this spurt is unlike anything in the past. Developers are adding new condominiums, apartments, offices and commercial spaces in the once-overlooked downtown and are considering industrial sites nearby.

This represents a more balanced approach than previous waves of construction, which focused on single-family homes and greenfield retail outlets.

Two large-scale developments, Miller’s Landing by P3 Advisors and The Brickyards by Confluence Cos., are planned on the west side of Interstate 25 across downtown, reclaiming industrial land while expanding the center of town. is expanding. And all new buildings look to create spaces that allow residents to work and play close to where they live.

“One of the things we’ve been working on is whether it’s going to be a bedroom community or a self-sustaining community,” said Mayor Jason Gray, who ran on the self-sufficient platform. Castle his lock, for example, needed a university and a hospital, both of which were secured.

Douglas County School District, Arapahoe Community College, and Colorado State University have teamed up to create the Sturm Collaboration Campus with more than 1,000 students. The campus offers traditional classroom offerings along with applied learning and workforce training to help prepare students for in-demand jobs.

Centura Castle Rock Adventist Hospital, which started with 55 beds, is adding an additional 36 beds due to high demand. The hospital employs 600 of her people, and the adjacent clinic is also expanding, hiring hundreds more.

The newly constructed Encore in the downtown area of ​​Castle Rock on November 9, 2022 (Photo by Helen H. Richardson/The Denver Post)

One of the first new-generation projects to head downtown was called Encore, developed by Confluence Companies from Golden. The town was originally looking for a developer to build parking lots on three lots. As well as garages, there was also his seven-story project with 124 condos for sale and his first-floor retail and office space.

It was thought that young professionals would move in, but instead hoped to trade unincorporated single-family spreads for the kind of maintenance-free lifestyle typically found in downtown Denver and Boulder. “Wealthy retirees and vacant homes are living in the home,” said Frank Gray, president and CEO of Castle Rock Economic Development.

But adding more housing isn’t enough, said Gray, who has no relationship with the mayor. The town and its economic development group are privately run and have been selective in what they allow in terms of restaurants and retail, and what attracts the kinds of amenities designed to appeal to those new residents.

“Five or six years ago, I didn’t see people walking downtown except on weekends. Now I see people every day,” said Mayor Gray.

When he first arrived in Denver from Alaska after a short stay in Denver in 2009, about 300 to 400 people attended the annual celebration of lighting the star on the rock that gave the town its name. I did, Gray said. Last year, 25,000 people flocked to Wilcox’s square to kick off his season Holiday called Starlighting.

People walk in front of the Riverwalk project along Wilcox Street in Castle Rock on November 9, 2022.  (Photo credit: Helen H. Richardson/The Denver Post)
Pedestrians cross near the Riverwalk project along Wilcox Street in Castle Rock on November 9, 2022. (Photo by Helen H. Richardson/The Denver Post)

Extension of the center

Confluence also added a 228-unit apartment building called Riverwalk across from Encore, and began its third downtown project in late September. This represents an investment of $28 million and will be called Riverwalk Luxe, with 28 luxury condominiums and over 21,000 homes. Square feet of commercial space for sale.

Upon completion of Riverwalk Luxe, Confluence will invest approximately $180 million in downtown Castle Rock, including the addition of eight restaurants. But the biggest investment is yet to come: a $380 million redevelopment on the 31-acre site once occupied by the Acme brick factory, with front-range homes and buildings until it closed in 2018. It supplied much of the masonry used.

Confluence wanted to be able to salvage buildings on site and repurpose industrial spaces in a trendy way. Think Sauce in River North on Brighton Boulevard. Acme manufactured bricks, but its buildings were mostly made of iron and metal. They were neither functionally nor aesthetically pleasing to convert.

“We were initially excited to repurpose the Hold Brick facility, but it just wasn’t a viable option. We are currently considering removing the site. said:

That’s not to say that what’s next doesn’t have a strong brick theme: Confluence salvaged the remaining 3 million blocks when it acquired the Acme site for $7 million. These bricks are slowly being used for other new buildings in Castle Rock.

The Brickyard is still in the planning stages but will include high density residential, office and commercial spaces. About 11 acres have been set aside for new parks and recreational facilities that Castle Rock hopes to build, DeSimone said.

“We are about to create another great place, and we want to be part of delivering quality projects,” he said.

Sean Temple, Managing Director of P3...
Sean Temple, managing director of P3 Advisors, has plans for the new Miller’s Landing development, which will soon begin construction at the Castle Rock site on June 5, 2019. (Photo credit: Helen H. Richardson/The Denver Post)

Nearby, on a now-decommissioned former landfill, P3 Advisors, which specializes in redeveloping brownfields, has been working on even bigger projects for the past eight years. Miller’s LandingAccessible from Interstate 25 and the West Plum Creek Parkway Interchange, the 65-acre site will eventually house mixed-use multifamily projects, full-service hotels, offices, retail, and other padding. may be included.

The pandemic has put the brakes on the project, and Sean Temple, principal at P3 Advisors, said rising interest rates are slowing things down again. As a master developer, P3 Advisors works with other developers to propose projects, but lenders remain cautious.

“Frankly, markets are on pause based on the uncertainty of 2023 until economic policy and interest rates stabilize,” Temple said. But he added that next year would be a good time to put the infrastructure in place for an eventual rebound.

As developers plan, Castle Rock spends millions to complete the downtown Festival Park, add Philip S. Miller Park with ziplines and an amphitheater at Miller’s Landing, and add a recreation center. Did. for the brickyard.

Bartender Morgan Butler cleans the bar at Sinners and Saints Bar in Castle Rock's newest food hall inside an old church on November 9, 2022.  (Photo by Helen H. Richardson/The Denver Post)
Bartender Morgan Butler cleans the bar at Sinners and Saints Bar in Castle Rock’s newest food hall inside an old church on November 9, 2022. (Photo by Helen H. Richardson/The Denver Post)

catch the growth

About 70% to 80% of Castle Rock’s working population commute elsewhere to earn a living. This means driving his jammed I-25 to Denver Tech Center or to Colorado Springs. Independence-minded residents refused to pay taxes to the Regional Transportation District in 2005. Perhaps they realized they didn’t receive much in terms of service anyway. But the move left me with little choice but to drive.

Gray, the director of the Department of Economic Development, is a long-distance commuter himself, but commutes in the other direction. He came from Adams County where he used to work. But he’s pushing hard to lay the groundwork so that both current and future residents won’t have to make the long drive. It just reduces the time it takes to reach its resident capacity.

Castle Rock added more residents last year than any other municipality in the state except Colorado Springs: 3,194 to 4,450, according to state demographers.

Castle Rock alone added more people last year than Boulder, Denver and Jefferson counties combined. But that’s not a fair comparison, given that his three populous counties combined he lost 9,851 inhabitants. This might be fairer—Castle Rock added nearly 3,000 more people to Adams and Arapahoe counties combined than he added more than two metropolitan counties.

“You are either growing or you are dead,” said Mayor Gray. Castle he rock wants to join the growing people’s camp.

But to do so, communities still have to make the most of the available land and, more importantly, the limited water they still have access to. It has to be smart about how it develops, among those who are not necessarily open to the plans of “and” the heavy-handed approach by governments.

The town passed ordinances barring new developments from having front lawns and limiting backyards to 500 square feet of lawn. to store water so that it can be reused over and over again.

Taylor Morrison's house, background, under construction...
The Taylor Morrison home pictured in the background is under construction in Makanta, Castle Rock on September 22, 2022. (Photo by Andy Cross/The Denver Post)

Given that most residential water is used to green lawns and grow gardens, promoting more dense development is both a better use of the land left for development and It does two things: it enables more efficient use of water.

Castle Rock saw a surge in single-family permits from 2018 to 2021, exceeding 1,000 per year, barring a temporary dip in 2019. multi-family. From 2005 to 2015, only 209 condominium permits were issued in 11 years. But since 2016, the town has issued 1,958 permits for apartments and condos, or nearly ten times as many.

That said, single-family residential areas are not on the decline. Westside Property Investment Co. reached an agreement with the town this fall to build 5,850 single-family homes and his 3.2 million square feet of office, commercial, retail and industrial space on his 2,200-acre project called Dawson Trails. Did. For open spaces, parks and trails.

Castle Rock annexed the land in 1984 and waited patiently for its development. Dawson Trails is Southern boundary of Castle Rock development and strict southern boundary of Metro Denver.

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