While change is inevitable in just about any town or city, many growing communities grapple with how to maintain their community’s unique character while still allowing for growth. It’s a legitimate concern. Far too often towns and cities have witnessed a charming historic building torn down, only to be replaced with a fast food establishment. Or cookie-cutter strip malls spring up on the outskirts of town.
Real estate developers can help a community maintain its character and charm while still creating new developments within town. That’s the approach we’re taking at Miller’s Landing, a 65-acre multi-use development in Castle Rock, CO.
Castle Rock is a popular and growing town located in the South Denver metropolitan area. Conveniently located on the I-25 corridor, it offers a mix of small-town charm, excellent schools, access to good jobs and cultural and recreational amenities. Denver, with its exciting urban attractions, is a short drive away.
It’s no surprise that Castle Rock is a desirable location for well-educated, highly skilled professionals and the businesses that employ them.
Keys to Successful Growth
A blog posting on the Planner’s Web site titled “The Secrets of Successful Communities” outlines the characteristics successful communities have developed and use to encourage economic growth and development yet retain their unique charm.
According to blog author Edward McMahon, these characteristics are:
- Create a vision for the community’s future
- Be aware of community aesthetics
- Take an inventory of community assets
- Create plans that enhance existing assets
- Carefully choose development projects that meet a town’s criteria
- Use education and incentives, not just regulation, to manage development
- Cooperation among residents for mutual benefit is crucial
- Have strong leaders and committed citizens
McMahon notes that not all communities exhibit all of these characteristics. However, successful ones employ at least three or four when making decisions regarding growth and development.
Community Involvement at Miller’s Landing
At Miller’s Landing we’re actively working to create a development that honors the community’s needs and maintains the town’s character. Some of the ways we’re doing this are by actively reaching out to the community with our Neighborland public engagement platform and by incorporating Smart Growth concepts into our plans.
Our Neighborland site allows us to easily collaborate with local residents and other community stakeholders. It’s an easily assessable and participatory social media site that encourages local residents to get involved in Miller’s Landing. Since the site went online it’s created an encouraging amount of community involvement. It’s also generated a number of ideas that we can put into practice at Miller’s Landing.
Using Smart Growth Concepts
We’re also employing smart growth concepts and working closely with local officials as we create our plans and move forward with development. Close collaboration has been essential as we’ve worked to remediate a once blighted property that housed a community dump into an exciting, vital town center.
Smart Growth emphasizes walkable, sustainable development and communities. Some of its key features include:
- Mixed land use development
- Safe, walkable and bicycle-friendly areas
- Sustainable buildings
- Focus development on in-fill and brownfields within a community
- Preservation of open space and natural beauty
- Attractive communities with a strong sense of place
- Development in conjunction with existing community assets
- Encourage stakeholder and community involvement
Miller’s Landing meets all of these criteria. We’re creating a pedestrian-friendly town center with exciting retail, dining and entertainment. In our interactions with the community one of the top requests was to increase the number of dining and entertainment venues in town.
The town center is supported with modern office spaces with healthy, energy efficient systems and digital interconnectivity; a resort hotel with conference and meeting facilities; and ample open space with breathtaking views of the Colorado Rockies.
Miller’s Landing also offers biking and walking paths to downtown and nearby Philip S. Miller Park, the region’s leading recreation park. Easy access to downtown and the park are also top priorities with locals.
Enhancing the Community
Our goal from day one was to create a development that enhances the community and provides increased business, entertainment and recreation opportunities to local residents. We remain committed to those goals.
A well-designed development can not only maintain a community’s unique character, it can enhance it. It takes some effort, but community engagement tools like Neighborland are readily available.
We’re creating an exciting future at Miller’s Landing. We invite you to join us!