Amy Cara, Denver’s Managing Partner for East West Partners, has been excited for the opportunity to redevelop and bring new meaningful purpose to the west side of the Cherry Creek Shopping Center for almost as nearly as long as she’s been with East West Partners. After many years and many conversations, it’s finally happening.
Q: How and when did East West Partners get involved in this project?
Amy: Candidly, some early conversations happened over 15 years ago that never came to life. Roughly six years ago, we began more earnest conversations with Taubman, who owns the adjacent shopping center. A few years after that, conversations picked up again, this time with the Buell Foundation as well, who owns the land. Together, we are aligned on the same long-term redevelopment vision for the land.
This is the last large-scale parcel of land in Cherry Creek, and it is right at the southern and western gateway to the community. This is not a responsibility that we take lightly. We feel we can bring some of the great lessons we’ve learned in creating terrific places to bear on this very special parcel. In our recent planning with our design team of Design Workshop and Gensler, as well as the thinking of Taubman and Buell, we’ve come up with some great ideas on how to bring this area to life and we can’t wait to share them.
Q: You’ve been thinking about this community for quite a while, where did you start the planning?
Amy: We wanted to start with putting people first -that was, and is, the most important thing to us. We truly want this to be a place people love to spend time in. Therefore, we began with planning the spaces in between where the buildings will ultimately be.
This led to many other questions – how can we connect to Cherry Creek North and the other communities? How do we connect ourselves, and these neighborhoods, to the creek in a meaningful way? How can we prioritize pedestrians over cars?
From there, Cherry Creek West became a connection point and a gateway, and we determined that the best way to connect to the creek and the surrounding neighborhood was to bring the cars below ground in order to truly connect to the creek.
Q: What are you most excited about in developing Cherry Creek West?
Amy: What excites me most are three things:
- Connecting the Cherry Creek waterway to the neighborhood that bears its name– not just conceptually, but truly connecting it at ground level, using meaningful public space.
- Bringing together all of the things that make a community a place people want to spend time and linger…and that means bringing everything together within a 15-minute walk.
- And, lastly, being a car-free community that is pedestrian focused.