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New development could bring thousands of homes, people to Castle Pines

The Canyons expected to be built east of I-25 in 2019


Castle Pines officials are working with developer Shea Homes on the master plan for a new neighborhood known as The Canyons, which could mean the addition of about 2,000 new homes to the city of 10,500 people.

The development is planned east of Interstate 25 and just south of the Rueter-Hess Reservoir.

Marcus Pachner, spokesman for Shea Homes, said the company is tentatively planning a two-phase project, with the first phase covering 650 acres and bringing 1,100 homes to the site.

Upon total project build-out, that number could rise to approximately 2,000 single and multi-family homes. When Shea purchased 1,270 acres of The Canyons in 2015, the company said it intends to invest $75 million in the community within the next four years.

Construction is planned for early 2019, and homes could be ready for move-in by late 2019. Although a price point isn't yet available, the development will likely include houses ranging from starter homes fit for millennials to more luxury-style properties, Pachner said. There is also a dedicated schoolsite in phase one of the project.

“We certainly have to allow for all buyers and price points to enter the market,” he said.

As for the look and feel of the community, Pachner said incorporating nature into the plans is “the primary guiding principle for the site.”

About a third of the 1,270 acres will remain open space, he said. Shea will also incorporate numerous parks and roughly 15 miles of trails.

With views of the reservoir to the north, Pikes Peak to the south and the Front Range to the west, Pachner said Shea Homes will create a “naturally breathtaking but amenity-rich community.”

The connection to nature will likely influence the style of homes found in The Canyons as well, Pachner said. Although specific design plans are still in flux, Shea is considering ranch-style homes that focus on main-floor living.

“So, it's (nature) really inspiring every level of the community,” Pachner said, adding the overlying goal is to bring more faces to Castle Pines. “We're bringing in new residents that will support existing businesses.”

That's good news to business owners and residents like Andrew Dunbar, owner of Castle Pines Orthodontics. The orthodontist has operated his practice in Castle Pines for 15 years. He moved his family to town in 2002.

As a resident, he said, he's somewhat concerned about the increase in traffic, but that was the only negative he found with the project proposal. But he anticipates some who call Castle Pines home will be unhappy with the results of a rising population, such as longer lines at the grocery store or stoplights.

Still, he believes the “sleepy, small-town” feel will stay intact, and that the new neighborhood will do more good than not for small businesses.

“Once those news residents come, I think it's really going to change things,” he said.

Castle Pines Director of Development Sam Bishop said the city is attracted to the nature-based development plan.

“It's going to bring additional opportunities as far as recreation,” he said.

For now, the city is focusing on making sure the infrastructure would be in place for such a big community as the two entities collaborate on the project in 2017.

If all goes well, he said, the project could come before the city council for review by mid-summer.

Both Bishop and Pachner said the relationship between city and developer has been a good one. Overall, Pachner said, the master plan has taken Shea 16 to 18 months to create. Moving forward, they'll take 2017 to work with the city and focus on the project's preliminary plans.

“The city has very high standards,” Pachner said. “They are holding us accountable to that.”


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