Stanley Marketplace held a groundbreaking ceremony on October 2. The guests of honor were Karen Stanley and Judi and Jack Ryan, whose families started Stanley Aviation 60 years ago. In honor of the aviation theme, a “jetpack guy” flew off the roof with a deafening roar as the speeches ended—he landed at the hangar door and opened it for guests to tour the immense interior.
Mark Shaker started the event by saying, “This is not a traditional development project. This is a movement. It’s about bringing like-minded businesses together who believe in more than the bottom line, about creating a sense of community, about tearing down fences and building bridges and about doing something very special. We look forward to the challenge and we encourage you to jump along for the ride.
“This is also about Aurora. We are proud that this project’s in Aurora. Aurora has vision and they have courage and there’s no better place for Stanley Marketplace to come to life than in Aurora.”
Karen Stanley, whose father and brothers were killed in a plane crash said what astonished her most was that the new marketplace would keep the Stanley logo. “I grew up on this logo. It was imprinted on me from the moment it went up on the side of the building. I have no idea who designed it or where. I don’t suppose that the logo existed back in Buffalo when Bob Stanley and Jerry Ryan decided to leave Bell Aircraft. Back in 1954, that impulse led them here, to a cow town at the foot of the Rockies, where skies and opportunities beckoned…No scenario could please me more than this vision of a multi-faceted marketplace with its promise to satisfy the needs and enrich the life of the surrounding community…I now look on this familiar Stanley logo with renewed pride and very real comfort. To have my family’s name still here is the fulfillment of a dream I didn’t even know I had. And if my dad were flying over right now, I think he would tip his wing in approval.”
Shaker closed his remarks saying their business wants to pay tribute to the Stanley and Ryan families and celebrate the entrepreneurial spirit that arrived there 60 years earlier.
In mid-October, Shaker made a presentation about Stanley Marketplace to the Stapleton Community Advisory Board saying, “What I love about this project is that it’s the bridge between two distinctive communities that sometimes has a hard edge to it. So I like this as a cultural opportunity to bring people together from all four sides. It’s not window dressing. It’s something that we spend a lot of time talking about…
“There’s a larger picture at play here. We’re really looking at building a dynamic community that isn’t separated by zip codes. It’s something special that Aurora’s proud of, that NE Denver is proud of, and it has real regional implications if executed correctly. Those are some of our grand ambitions, and sometimes we get accused of being Pollyannish, but it’s going to happen.”
Shaker says they have 47 letters of intent from businesses and are getting started with the bigger leases. The interior core of the building will offer smaller spaces, so businesses don’t have to pay for more space than they need. There will be three lunch and dinner restaurants and one breakfast restaurant. They plan to be open 18 hours a day, with activities and businesses open from early in the morning until night.
The original team of three partners, Shaker, Ting and Von Wald, has now grown to five with the addition of Kevin Taylor, in charge of food and event space, and Tim White with White construction group, which co-developed The Source.
Shaker presented the following timeline for development:
The sale on the 140,000 square foot building closed August 21.
In September, the Aurora Planning Commission unanimously approved their plan.
In early October city council unanimously approved their rezoning request.
They will submit their site plan by early November.
Interior demolition is planned for November and December.
Full on-site construction is expected to start in January.
Stanley Marketplace is located at 2501 Dallas Street in Northwest Aurora.