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CASTLE PINES, Colo. -- In our rapidly growing Colorado, Castle Pines south of Denver is the latest community to approve a string of new development projects aimed at adding housing and commercial retail.
"Just over our ten-year mark," said the city's director of community development, Sam Bishop. "We're really building the city of Castle Pines."
Three developments are currently underway in the city. The largest is The Canyons development east of the Castle Pines Parkway exit off I-25, with the potential to more than double the number of homes in the community.
"The property overall is 3,400 acres and allows for 3,500 homes," explained Bishop. "We really want the folks that live here to be able to stay here. Currently, we know they go to Lone Tree, Castle Rock."
Bishop said they hope to turn Castle Pines into a destination with new restaurants, business, and unique experiences. Amenities he said the city has struggled to attract with their current population of 11,000.
"The old adage is 'retail follows rooftops,'" he said.
Todd Hinman-Briscoe has lived in Castle Pines for five years and said he is all for the growth. He points to several empty storefronts and the still vacant old Safeway store west of the highway.
"Everyone doesn't want to see empty shops in the community," said Hinman-Briscoe. "If we could have more shops, that would make us feel more like a Castle Pines community."
But not everyone feels the same way.
"It's just too many people, there are too many people right now," said resident and Colorado native Cheris Liedel.
Like many Colorado natives, she is worried about the added traffic, especially on the already jam-packed I-25.
"It's ridiculous, I mean the traffic is horrible. It's absolutely a nightmare," said Liedel.
"Through the city of Castle Pines I-25 is currently eight lanes wide," said Bishop. "We feel like there's enough volume and capacity to handle additional development."
Bishop said the city is committee to thoughtful growth, while keeping Castle Pines' small town vibe.
"We don't want to be Parker, we don't want to be Lone tree, we want to have our unique identity," he said.
Shea Homes is building the first homes on The Canyons development, and Bishop said they hope to have their two model homes finished this summer, with the first 400 homes going up by the end of the year.
Shea's website says homes prices will range from the upper $400's to over a million.