pine forest character along the roadways and in some of
the parks,” says Simon. “People like that.”
Coventry’s also betting that people will like living
in a high-density district within the larger project.
At Springwoods Village, what Simon calls the heart of
the community is CityPlace, a 60-acre district with a
mix of shopping, dining, office space, residential units
and hotels. It’s under construction, with the 250-unit
residential rental portion and 8,500 square feet of ground-floor, street-edged retail space to be completed by the
end of 2016.
“CityPlace will be the most dense area, and it’s in the mid-
dle so everybody can get to it by walking,” says Simon.
“We’re trying to make it a complete community within
Though it’s early in the process of developing Springwoods
Village, Simon estimates that at least half of the people
buying homes are ExxonMobil or Southwestern Energy
employees. “One reason these companies have decided
to embed their companies in these communities is that
they think it’s going to give them an advantage in recruit-
ing and retaining employees, particularly with younger
employees,” he states. By coming into a community like
ours, they give employees that option — but not that
everyone is going to do that.
“Companies also typically hire summer interns, and apartments tend to spike up a bit in the summer with those
kids,” adds Simon. “They rent and walk to work. So it’s
a big factor. That said, we want the community to be
diverse and not just a company town.”
Why not everywhere?
Developers admit it’s not easy planning and developing successful walkable suburban communities. “There
are challenges in trying to do this in the suburbs,” says
Simon. “Some cities are better than others in terms of
being open-minded about this. They have to be open to
more density to make it work. We’ve got great support
of our municipal partners. But I do know there are a lot
of suburban cities that cringe at the density you have to
create to achieve the critical mass that makes this work.”
Developers are betting
that people will like living in
a suburban high-density district.
Ridgegate, a suburban walkable community in Lone Tree, Colo., which is part of the greater Denver metropolitan area.