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Sasaki’s Denver International Airport (DEN) Strategic Plan Wins APA Colorado Merit Award

Sasaki’s Denver International Airport (DEN) Strategic Plan was honored with a merit award for by the Colorado chapter of the American Planning Association (APA) this month. The award will be presented in October.

“This award is recognition of the strong vision and leadership by Kim Day DEN CEO, and management by Darryl Jones DEN Real Estate EVP and their team, who have challenged and supported the Sasaki led team to produce the DEN Real Estate Strategic Development Plan (SDP),” says Fred Merrill, FAICP, principal in charge on the project for the Sasaki-led consultant team. “The SDP is a truly collaborative effort that is the first of many significant outcomes from the DEN non-aviation land master planning initiative. DEN’s non-aviation land holdings of 16,000 acres is believed to be the largest of any major North american airport and among the largest in the world.”

This is the first time a large US City with a major airport (5th largest U.S. airport) has proactively planned and created a plan for a major non-aviation land resource for long-term complementary aviation development — with both the vision for the Districts at DEN as well as a transactional guide and implementation tools to achieve the vision and goals of the plan, e.g. lease structure, lease terms, entitlements, zoning, design approval, infrastructure, taxes.

It was innovative and bold planning that fueled Denver leaders to envision a new kind of international airport in Denver, with the opening of DEN in 1995. Today, as one of the preeminent airports in the world, serving over 69 million passengers in 2019, alone, DEN is Colorado’s largest economic driver. The DEN Real Estate Strategic Development Plan is the next bold vision for DEN. It leverages this prime location, accelerates business opportunities across a range of sectors, and creates a dynamic new revenue stream to ensure that the airport can keep airline costs competitive while growing long into the future.

The SDP guides this effort by creating a road map for transforming non-aviation airport land into a series of development districts that serve diverse local, national and global businesses. Focused initially on more than 1,000 acres situated along DEN’s main access road, Peña Boulevard, and RTD-A rail line, development at DEN provides direct international airport access. The plan celebrates Colorado’s unique natural amenities, siting each district in a manner that offers expansive open vistas and access to natural resources.

The recognition is especially significant to Sasaki as the Denver area continues to be a key market for Sasaki, with ongoing work with DEN to work toward plan implementation, the streetscape design for the RiNo Arts District, public realm framework development for the Denargo Market district, among others.

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