CASTLE ROCK, Colo. — Castle Rock was be a bedroom community of about 8,600 people in 1990. Today, it’s home to more than 56,000 residents.
And estimates show the town will almost double to 100,000 people by 2030.
The town is doing what it can to accommodate that growth — one project at a time.
Riverwalk at Castle Rock will break ground in January in the 100 and 200 blocks of Wilcox Street.
The developer will tear down a vacant building and a Mexican restaurant on the next block.
The town council voted unanimously Wednesday that this is smart growth, but some question it.
“Our goal is to redefine the heart of downtown Castle Rock, bring a renewed vibrancy,” developer Tony De Simone said.
He’s also owner of Confluence Companies that will do the $60 million development.
“What we are trying to do is get people to live downtown, a place they can work and live. And create walkability that does not exist in that market,” he said.
The mixed-use development will feature 228 apartments, 30,000 square feet of office space and 10,000 square feet of retail space.
“My biggest concern: If they are putting in that much right here is — traffic is already getting horrible through town. How are they going to accommodate that many more people?” asked 14-year resident Kim Eberley.
The developer said the project will come with 328 parking spots. But Eberley is not alone in her concern about growth.
Some groups have come out trying to recall elected leaders or launch a campaign to require voter approval of large land annexations.
“I kind of like it the way it is. But I also realize change is inevitable,” two-year resident Brooke Grenemyer said.
“We have lived all over the world and in my opinion, this is no better place to live. And what Castle Rock was missing before and we’re starting to see, is getting office space in Castle Rock. So we can get folks from traveling on I-25 and keeping them in town,” De Simone said.
Many residents know they can’t hoard this place to themselves.
“It’s a nice place to live,” Eberley said.
The project will take two years to complete, with the first phase done by fall 2018. That phase includes all of the planned office space and half of the the retail and apartments.