Forest City: Stapleton, Denver

By Meghan Stromberg | December 17, 2004


Stapleton encourages landscaping with drought-tolerant plants and minimal turf. Homes range in price from the mid-$100,000s to more than $1 million.


At 4,700 acres and an eventual tally of 8,000 for-sale homes and 4,000 apartments, Stapleton in Denver ranks as one of the largest green communities in the nation.

Like most green builders and developers, Forest City Stapleton does not make green building its only marketing priority, but the mission and message are intertwined in everything it does. The former Stapleton International Airport site is a model of urban reuse, and its plan earned an international sustainability award presented by the king of Sweden in 2002.

Forest City Stapleton master-planned the community in almost every aspect imaginable, and its Sustainability Master Plan covers land use, parks and open space, a master lighting plan, residential and commercial building, recycling, transportation alternatives, energy conservation and alternative energy sources, and water management and conservation.

Parking-lot oases of plantings and curbless pocket parks throughout Stapleton help drain and filter storm water before it reaches the site’s two restored creeks.

Education sits squarely at the center of the Stapleton mission. Workshops teach homeowners about landscaping with climate-appropriate vegetation, and the monthly newsletter New Leaf offers tips for sustainable living.

Melissa Knott, director of sustainability, describes the sustainability plan as evolutionary, practical and designed to “help builders achieve higher levels of green building as it’s appropriate.”


Community: Stapleton
Location: Denver
Developer: Forest City Stapleton
Builders: Decherd Custom Homes, Forest City Stapleton, The Fullerton Co., Harvard Communities, Infinity Home Collection, John Laing Homes, KB Home, Latsis Custom Homes, McStain Neighborhoods, New Town Builders, NuWest Custom Homes, Parkwood Homes, Sanford Homes, Syracuse Street Condominiums, Touchstone Homes, TP Development, Trimark Communities, Wonderland Homes
Homes: 8,000 single-family detached, townhomes, flats and condominiums, plus 4,000 apartments
Price range: Mid-100,000s to $1 million-plus


  • Largest urban redevelopment in the country
  • Recycling/reuse of original materials, including 1,100 acres of runways for road and sidewalk base
  • All homes built to Built Green Colorado standards
  • Home buyer, homeowner and community educational outreach

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