Economic development efforts enhance excellent quality of life with job growth
Castle Rock has been regarded for many years as a bedroom community of Denver, but thanks to deliberate and coordinated economic development initiatives, the town is well on its way to becoming a great place to live and work, not to mention an ideal place to start a business.
In fact, Castle Rock has been named Economic Development “Large Community of the Yearâ€ by the Economic Development Council of Colorado three times in the past six years, a testament to the work being done by the Castle Rock Economic Development Partnership, which includes the Castle Rock Chamber of Commerce, Castle Rock Economic Development Council, the Town of Castle Rock, the Downtown Development Authority and the Downtown Merchants Association.
“We are collaborating on everything we do for the community and meet every week to make sure we are forwarding the objectives of creating jobs and capital investment in Castle Rock,â€ says Frank Gray, president and CEO of the Castle Rock Economic Development Council, adding that each organization having its own focus and responsibility keeps each individual entity from getting spread too thin. “We also talk about our goals and how we are accomplishing them and hold each other accountable.”
Office Space & Entrepreneur Support
One of the Partnership’s core accomplishments is the development of The Move, a $10 million, 50,000-square-foot, four-story office building that is helping Castle Rock meet the need for new office space.
“It’s a modern-looking building and home to some very cool tech companies and primary employers,â€ Gray says, before noting that the building was “close to 80 percent fullâ€ before it was even completed because there is so much pent-up demand for office space.
Meanwhile, Castle Rock is also making a concerted effort to support startups and second-stage companies. One place where entrepreneurs can get that support is ConneXion Spot, a co-working space and community where “entrepreneurs, small business owners and independent workers can gather and motivate and inspire each other,â€ says co-founder Trudi Eisenhour.
More than just office space, ConneXion Spot is where entrepreneurs can get advice, education and funding.
“Part of that is building an angel investment group and creating programming for entrepreneurs that helps them define their business model and get in front of investors and pitch their company,â€ Eisenhour says.
“We want to give back to Castle Rock. We love business and entrepreneurship, and we want people to know there’s a spot where business owners can get mentored by people who have been there and done that.â€
“ConneXion Spot [and other local small business initiatives] are going to be very valuable,â€ Gray concludes, “because we are going to develop an increasingly diverse community and economy.”
Castle Rock is also benefiting from the opening of Promenade, a 900,000-square-foot mixed-use development that includes dozens of retail shops and restaurants. Notably, Promenade is adjacent to the Outlets at Castle Rock, itself a wildly successful 250,000-square-foot outlet mall that features more than 100 brand-name stores.
“Retailers really want to be in the Castle Rock market,â€ Gray says, adding that the boom in retail development bodes well for the future of Castle Rock. “People no longer have to leave [town] to get the services they desire. On top of that, the town will be capturing that sales tax to build out parks and recreation centers and other services for citizens.â€
The historic downtown area is thriving, too, which has not gone unnoticed by entrepreneurs like Annette Pedersen, who opened Back in Love Consignments in the downtown area after doing research on the demographics to determine which Colorado towns are growing the most. She says the district is a popular entertainment and dining destination for locals as well as visitors from Denver and Colorado Springs.
“I fell in love with downtown Castle Rock, which is unique and has its own charm,â€ Pedersen says. “The people are super-nice, and you actually want to hang out there and visit the different shops.”
Gray says downtown retailers can expect more growth in the area as redevelopment projects come to fruition.
“I think we’re going to see significant investment in downtown Castle Rock as demand for restaurants and more urban office environments arise,â€ Gray adds.
We are collaborating on everything we do for the community and meet every week to make sure we are forwarding the objectives of creating jobs and capital investment in Castle Rock.