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 February 1, 1998

Firestone project aims to keep employers, workers close

FIRESTONE — A new neighborhood to be built here may address the labor squeeze issue head-on — by putting employees and employers within walking distance of each other.

The concept is not a new one. Many planners in the last few years, including some working on high-profile projects in Longmont, Fort Collins and Broomfield, have espoused the “new urban/neo-traditional” neighborhood concept, where narrow streets slow traffic, garages face alleys and work and shopping are within walking distance.

While the 500-acre planned development two miles east of the Del Camino exit of Interstate 25 will not use a “new urbanism” design, putting homes and businesses next to each other are “just a common-sense approach to development,´ said Mike Dollaghan, project developer. For now the project has simply been called the Dollaghan annexation.

The “common-sense a pproach” means a built-in labor pool for potential industrial users for 200 acres zoned for light industrial and office development, Dollaghan said. With homes expected to average $130,000, the developer wants to entice young families out of Denver to live and work in the new neighborhood.

“Those people want to get out of Denver and the dense urban areas. The whole thrust of the project is to have industry and homes right there,” Dollaghan said. “Schools, homes and day care will all be in the same place.”

No companies have signed on to build at the Firestone site. But U.S. Homes Corp., planning ranch and two-story homes from 1,000 to 1,800 square feet on 111 acres, is already working on a trail system plan that will give residents a path to work, said Ed Zebrowski, vice president of U.S. Homes’ land division.

“We’re going to work with (Dollaghan) on it, because we understand bringing in an employment center will generate sales on our end,” Zebrowski said.

Employers will be encouraged to provide day care. And commercial development like gas stations and shopping will be added “when we get enough rooftops,” Dollaghan said. Homes are expected to be ready for sale in January 1999.

Another up to 600 homes are planned by another project builder on the remaining approximate 200 acres. U.S. Homes paid $12,500 per acre for its part of the project.

“What we’re doing is better than (industry leader Andres) Duany’s new urbanism. He’s got a thrust of extreme high-density stuff with multi-family projects,” Dollaghan said. “Firestone’s really got its act together; it’s really a lot of great people.”

FIRESTONE — A new neighborhood to be built here may address the labor squeeze issue head-on — by putting employees and employers within walking distance of each other.

The concept is not a new one. Many planners in the last few years, including some working on high-profile projects in Longmont, Fort Collins and Broomfield, have espoused the “new urban/neo-traditional” neighborhood concept, where narrow streets slow traffic, garages face alleys and work and shopping are within walking distance.

While the 500-acre planned development two miles east of the Del Camino exit of…

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