Best refurb burb: Stapleton

In Denver

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  • The former site of Denver's airport gave developers the opportunity to build open space into a new community.

    Stapleton Denver Colorado

    Erik Rank

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The story behind the burb: When the last jet took off from Stapleton Airport in 1995, a new idea landed: the concept for a 4,700-acre, sustainably oriented community close to downtown Denver. Nearly one-quarter of the land is reserved for parks and open space, and concrete from the runways was recycled into construction. The tree-lined streets are organized around East 29th Avenue Town Center (stores and such), with schools, offices, and parks nearby.

Want in? Housing prices start around $100K and reach more than $1 million for semicustom Urban Estate homes. Currently 1,900 homes and more than 300 apartments are occupied. The goal is to have a community of 8,000 homes and 4,000 apartments in about 15 years. www.stapletondenver.com

Other refurb burbs we love

  • Bayport Alameda, CA, used to be part of the Alameda Naval Air Station near Oakland. Its houses face common landscaped areas. www.bayportalameda.com
  • Main Street North in Boulder, CO's Holiday Neighborhood is a compact enclave of restaurants, shops, and houses where a drive-in movie theater used to operate. www.holidayneighborhood.com
  • Rivermark in Santa Clara, CA, on the site of a former state hospital, makes density a virtue with pedestrian alleys and a wide array of housing choices. www.rivermark.net

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