She could have picked the ranch, but opted for easy-to-maintain 2-story in Stapleton


By Mark Samuelson

When Katie Henderson had looked all over Park Hill and Hilltop for a nicer home with a little lower maintenance than her place in Mayfair was demanding, her son and daughter-in-law in Stapleton gave her some advice: Why not buy a Wonderland home like we have in Stapleton, and get a ranch so you don’t have to deal with stairs?

Stapleton Wonderland Sun cover 2-11-12 Katie Henderson and Wonderland’s Jeff Heien show off her new home in the Courtyard Collection at Stapleton, with smaller yards that blend into maintained common area.

Wonderland will show you how that came out at its new Courtyard Traditions in Stapleton’s Central Park West neighborhood (Henderson took the kids’ first suggestion, but turned them down on the ranch idea – although Wonderland has a big ‘Emerson II’ ranch you can see today).

“I instantly loved what they had here; it was in my price range,” she said, giving me a look at the heavily-antiqued interior of her ‘Amherst’ 1,500-foot 2-story ([priced from $305,900) – wide open great room/kitchen area, plus basement and 2-car garage on the alley, as in one of her previous Mayfair houses. “The resales I was looking at would have been a lot of fix-up that I didn’t want to deal with.”

Before Henderson signed the dotted line, she checked out another aspect of Stapleton life she’d read about: She dropped in on a weekly klatch of 20 other fiftyish/sixtyish women (Stapleton has loads of informal groups) at Panera, walking distance from her new place. “For someone moving in, it’s like instant friends,” she said, showing off her small, easily maintainable yard that blends into maintained common space in Wonderland’s commons-style Courtyard community plan.

Meanwhile, she finds she’s just as close to downtown and the DCPA as she was from Mayfair; has Stapleton’s new rec center where she swims laps and joined an exercise class; not to count the bike trails into vast Central Park and the Sand Creek Greenway, and a walkable park-n-ride where she can catch a shuttle to DIA when she’s traveling (Commuter Rail arrives in 2016). “It’s great,” she adds. “I have wonderful neighbors that watch out for my place.”
Not all of them, notes Wonderland sales rep Jeff Heien, are beyond their parenting years – some are families with kids that like Wonderland’s New England-styled neighborhood (Henderson says she prefers some kids). You can tour the ranch, a larger 2-story, and other Stapleton attractions that are delivering Wonderland over three sales a month now (Stapleton ranks 11th best-selling new home community in the nation this year; 379 sold in 2011). Wonderland’s models are tucked back into Central Park West neighborhood; from Quebec take MLK east a mile to Central Park Blvd., left a long block to E. 33rd, then left five blocks.

IF YOU GO

WHERE: Courtyard Traditions at Stapleton, single-family homes & ranches by Wonderland Homes, in a commons-styled community plan with lots of maintained space; close to Stapleton’s Town Center, Central Park, Commuter Rail station arriving 2016. 3280 Spruce Street, Denver; from Quebec take MLK east a mile to Central Park Blvd., left to E. 33rd, left again 5 blks to Spruce

PRICE: Single-family courtyard homes from high $200s
WHEN: Today & Mon, Noon until 6 p.m., Tues-Sat 10-6
PHONE: 303-393-9099 WEB: StapletonDenver.com

Mark Samuelson writes on real estate and business; you can email him at mark@samuelsonassoc.com. You can see all of Mark Samuelson’s columns online at DenverPostHomes.com