“We’re under contract for the Stanley Aviation building property—a 105,000 square foot building on 22.5 acres,” says Mark Shaker, who expects to close on the property in late July. He says the funding for his project, Stanley Marketplace, has been secured.
Stapleton resident Mark Shaker and his business partners and fellow Stapleton residents Lorin Ting and Megan Von Wald first presented their idea for a beer garden in Eastbridge at a Stapleton United Neighbors meeting in October (see article in the November Front Porch). When Forest City said they couldn’t make a decision about the Eastbridge land until they had secured a grocery anchor, Shaker and team started looking elsewhere.
They found their opportunity, not just for a beer garden but for an urban marketplace, only a few feet from Stapleton’s southern border along 26th Ave. The huge Stanley Aviation building has been for sale for an extended period of time, and it’s in an urban renewal area in Aurora. Shaker and team have been working with the city of Aurora to make this project happen.
Shaker and his partners have just returned from the Global Real Estate Convention in Las Vegas, which he attended with representatives from the city of Aurora. He says the event was the introduction of the Stanley Marketplace project to the real estate community and there was a lot of interest in the project from metro Denver attendees.
He adds, “We certainly appreciate Aurora’s vision and their courage, and we think they have a great plan for urban redevelopment. There’s not enough accolades we can put on their team as far as how we have been able to work together. This is a partnership and they’ve been fantastic.”
Shaker says, “Our vision and concept might be compared to other urban marketplaces in Denver and elsewhere.” He points out that The Source in the River North (RiNo) area of Denver is one of many urban marketplaces across the country, including the Ferry Building in San Francisco, Chelsea Market in New York, and Melrose Market in Seattle. “We are taking those models into consideration in the development of this project.”
“The key component that we are doing is to make it contextually relevant. You can’t just take something from New York and drop it in to Aurora and Stapleton. But they provide a good template for what we’re looking to accomplish.
“I think we have a pretty good idea of what both the communities are looking for, and we have that supported by data.
“I think there’s a thirsting for something interesting and I think there’s also an excellent opportunity to create a literal and metaphorical bridge between two communities, which are currently separated by a fence. You will see us be very active in taking two communities and making them into one larger one, or at least attempting to.
“It will be dynamic, pragmatic and fun. We use the word community a lot. We use the word sustainability a lot; we’re planning to make this a venture that is geared toward pedestrians and bikers. We have lots of different ideas as to how to accomplish those objectives.”
Shaker says their general contractors have been involved in similar urban marketplace projects in Denver, and their target opening could be as early as next year, though there are a lot of variables as far as permitting, zoning, entitlements and approvals that could affect the opening date. At this time he declines to talk about specific businesses that will be in Stanley Marketplace, but will share more details after the real estate transaction closes. For more information visit stanleymarketplace.com.