Reimagining Social Life After Covid-19: At Baseline In Broomfield

September 22, 2020 Posted In

At a moment when homebuyers are thinking hard about how they want to live after the coronavirus moves into the rearview mirror, you can see a vision of that future right now—one that’s still expected to be very urban, very social—in an imaginative master plan unfolding off I-25 in Broomfield.

“Whether socially distanced during the pandemic or afterward, we’re still going to want to interact with neighbors and be social,” says Kyle Harris, Vice President for Community Development for Baseline, a 1,100-acre residential/commercial master plan emerging west of I-25 between Baseline Road (Highway 7) and the 470 beltway.

The site is a bullseye for everything happening in the north metro area—almost equidistant between Downtown Denver and Boulder; 10 minutes from Flatiron Crossing and Interlocken; under 20 to DIA.

The location is so strong that just over the past month, Baseline’s first builder, KB Home, sold 30 of its paired ‘Villas’ in the community’s first neighborhood, West Village; while David Weekley Homes, set to open single-family models Oct. 17-18, already has 300 families on an interest list.

“This is more of an urban plan than you typically find in the suburbs,” notes Harris. Major arteries like Sheridan will doubtless widen to four lanes; but Baseline’s interior grid will stay two lanes, creating a more pedestrian/biker friendly neighborhood. Meanwhile, that second village will also create a seamless transition to Baseline’s office/commercial/retail villages, where over 17 million square feet of commercial is entitled.

Linking those areas will be 172 acres of open space, much of it in a linear park dubbed The Parklands that bisects the plan with a forested basin crisscrossed by foot and mountain-bike trails, leading to a ‘Big Green’ as well as to non-motorized garden ways, where neighbors will interact while heading to and from home.

Harris says that from its earliest idea, Baseline has been infused with concepts of sustainability and healthy living to create an innovative gateway for Denver, one that’s the same distance north of downtown as the Denver Tech Center was when it formed a figurative gateway from the south.

“It’s not a typical suburban development; there’s an urban sensibility to it,” Harris says. The trick to creating vitality with the initial commercial phase, he adds, will be the ‘Goldilocks principle’—not too much, not too little. Also planned is an Adams 12 District K-thru-12 STEM school with problem-based learning; a Broomfield satellite library; and the relocated Butterfly Pavilion. The pavilion, already working with schools in the area, will guide creation of a ‘pollinator district’ of plantings linking all homes; while reducing community irrigation by over 50 percent.

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