Developers and City Leader Focus on ‘Aerotropolis’

By Gabriel Circiog, Associate Editor Developers and city leaders are drawing up plans for an “aerotropolis” around Denver International Airport, as reported by the Denver Post. City leaders have kept a watchful eye on the vast amount of land surrounding DIA and have been analyzing development prospects for a long time. Now, plans are materializing and Mayor Michael [...]

Developers and city leaders are drawing up plans for an “aerotropolis” around Denver International Airport, as reported by the Denver Post. City leaders have kept a watchful eye on the vast amount of land surrounding DIA and have been analyzing development prospects for a long time. Now, plans are materializing and Mayor Michael Hancock is expected to unveil a complete plan for the airport-city in April at the Airport Cities World Conference.

The 9,419-acre property currently known as “airport city” is owned by DIA and, according to plans, would be part of a larger urban design, an “aerotropolis”, which is considered essential to drawing new businesses to the region.

A consulting team headed by MXD Development Strategists Ltd. of Vancouver, British Columbia was contracted for $1 million to elaborate on an extensive land-use plan targeting an increase of commercial development around the airport.

According to the book “Aerotropolis: The Way We’ll Live Next” by John Kasarda, Denver’s aerotropolis already has a population of around 350,000, with a density similar to that of suburban New Jersey. By 2030, it is estimated that it will attract another 200,000 residents, and the rate of job creation is expected to be double that of metro Denver.

Here’s a look at what developers are planning in addition to DIA’s airport city:

  • L.C. Fulenwider Inc. plans a 450-acre Denver International Business Center, which will include a hotel park and conference center. The site is zoned for over 4,000 hotel rooms, office space and retail development. Currently, the park has six hotels and two office buildings.
  • LNR Property LLC currently owns the 1,800-acre High Point development, with 67 homes completed and another 10 under construction. The master plan includes a retail-and-entertainment district around a proposed commuter-rail station. The initial phase of the development is estimated to cover around 500,000 square feet. Gaylord also proposes a 1,500-room hotel and conference center for the site, which is expected to double the estimated square footage.
  • L.C. Fulenwider has partnered with Shea for the development of Reunion, a 3,000-acre master-planned community in Commerce City.

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Photo Credits:  John Picken via Flickr.com