"A sleeping giant" — That’s how some describe the land that surrounds Denver International Airport.
As infill space in Denver runs out, the area around DIA has emerged as one of the Front Range's hottest areas for new development.
Of the airport’s 34,000 acres, 16,000 can be used for non-aviation purposes — and for the last two years, airport officials have been taking a “strategic and measured approach” as to how that asset can be utilized for both the city and residents to enjoy, according to Darryl Jones, DIA’s chief commercial officer.
But development of the airport property itself can’t be residential, due to noise and safety issues.
So airport officials are creating a master plan for those 16,000 acres. Buildout of the massive project — one that is sustainable well into the future — will likely take 40 to 50 years.
“We get to pass it on as [a] legacy for future generations,” Jones said.
The plan, which incorporates what Jones calls "placemaking," has been concentrated into specific districts, each with its own special character.
The development process will be twofold, Jones said. Developers could come in unsolicited, or the airport might roll out individual sites and make them available for development consistent with the overall plan.
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