Central Park History
In 1995, Denver International Airport opened and the City and County of Denver found itself facing an incredible opportunity. Stapleton International Airport had served the region for 66 years, but now it was closing, providing 4,700 acres of land ripe for development. The process of deciding what to do with the Stapleton site had begun years earlier.
In 1990, a group of civic and business leaders created the Stapleton Development Foundation. Financed by private philanthropy, this nonprofit group was formed as a civic vehicle to work in partnership with the City administration.
In 1993, the City of Denver entered into a partnership agreement with the Foundation, and in 1995, after an extensive community outreach effort, the Foundation produced the Stapleton Development Plan, known as the "Green Book." This document established the framework for redeveloping Stapleton.
"The Stapleton site will be a network of urban villages, employment centers and significant open spaces, all linked by a commitment to the protection of natural resources and the development of human resources."
- 1995 Stapleton Development Plan
In the spring of 2001 Forest City, the Stapleton Master Developer, purchased the first land from the City of Denver and began construction of streets and utilities. By fall, construction began on the Visitor and Homefinding Center, model homes and the Quebec Square Regional Retail Center.
2002 saw the opening of the Stapleton Visitor and Homefinding Center. By spring, Stapleton's first model homes opened. Summertime found the Quebec Square Regional Retail Center opening, and construction began on the East 29th Avenue Town Center and Botanica on the Green Apartments. The summer also found the first residents calling Stapleton home.
In 2020, residents voted to change the community's name from Stapleton to Central Park. While the Stapleton name had carried over from the former airport, the airport itself was named after former Denver Mayor Benjamin Stapleton who had been a member of the KKK in the early 1900s. The Central Park name is derived from the 80 acre park that sits in the south side of the community, as well as an RTD train station, a Denver Recreation Center, and Central Park Blvd. which connects the north and south portions of the community.
Building on the tradition of Denver’s great neighborhoods, Central Park marks a new direction in the evolution of the American Dream. It is a community based on balance: home life and workplace, marketplace and green space, private life and public involvement.