Welcome to Uplands

Housing for the missing middle at every price point. Built with affordability, mobility, and climate resilience in mind.

Rising to the Occasion

  • Uplands is a thoughtful, medium-density mix of homes, parks and view corridors, complete with a thriving Village Center where residents can walk and bike to shops and services.
  • Sustainable. Inclusive. Smart. Everything at Uplands, from affordable homes to vegetation, has been thoughtfully planned to meet the needs of today’s community and tomorrow’s climate challenges.
  • Invested in the community. Uplands will install additional travel lanes, sidewalks, and intersection improvements including crosswalks, median refuge, lighting, and traffic signal additions and/or improvements.

Our Growing Affordability Crisis

Living in Colorado is a lot more expensive than it used to be. That’s especially true in Westminster, where some areas have seen housing prices rise by as much as 60% in the last five years.

As home prices surge to record levels and more people relocate to Colorado, members of our community are being priced out and forced to live farther and farther away. Rising prices and limited housing supply impact everyone, from the essential workers who power our economy to first-time homebuyers. Young families want to build equity, and seniors hope to age in place. And we have to tackle the critical housing challenge in a way that conserves water and reduces energy usage.

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Honoring the Past

This land, which has been known alternatively as University Hill, College Hill, Rose Hill, Carnation Hill and Crown Point, was originally purchased in the 1890s as the future home of Westminster University, with plans that envisioned a thriving community of 6,000 homes, shops and businesses. Those plans were halted by World War I, and since the 1920s, the land has been privately owned, remaining largely inaccessible to the public.

City leaders and planners have long identified the site’s enormous potential to meet projected housing demand within the region, suggesting in 2013 that this area would be suitable for as many as 3,500 units and several commercial uses. In 2017, the city of Westminster commissioned a Housing Needs Assessment, which confirmed the urgent need to increase the diversity of housing for purchase and rental.

HISTORICAL HIGHLIGHTS

1890

THE PURCHASE

Henry T. Mayham purchased 640 acres of land on Crown Point and convinced the Denver Presbytery that the Westminster University should be built on this land.

1917

WORLD WAR I

Less than 10 years after it opens, Westminster University closes its doors due to the demands of WWI. Once closed, the vacant building and surrounding acres were then leased to a farmer.

1920

ON THE MARKET

The original owners, the Presbyterian Synod, sold the property, the college building, a power plant, a student dormitory and the president’s house in 1920. Later that year, the new owners reopened Westminster University.

2010-now

HOUSING CRISIS

Both renters and owners lost purchasing power in Westminster – sales prices and rental costs increased faster than owner and renter incomes.

2017

HOUSING NEEDS

The City of Westminster recognized its growing housing crisis and sponsored a Housing Needs Assessment study. The study concluded that the City of Westminster should increase diversity of housing for purchase and rental. From this the Westminster Forward Comprehensive Plan was created.

Housing for Future Generations

As city leaders and planners update the Westminster Forward Comprehensive Plan, they have explicitly identified this area as a transition area that could fulfill the “city’s overall vision and land use intent.”

Uplands doesn’t just meet the city’s standards for livability, affordability and sustainability — we go beyond. Uplands is a model of best practices in managed growth, resiliency, housing design and inclusivity.

We call Colorado home too, and we will draw upon our deep backgrounds in sustainability and building resilience to climate change to create the most beautiful, dynamic and diverse neighborhood in the Front Range.

Concept Drawing: Single Family Detached home

Detached Single-Family

Concept Drawing: Condos

Condos & Townhomes

Concept Drawing: Single Family Attached home

Attached Single-Family

Concept Drawing: Apartments

Apartments

Project Overview

Located at Westminster’s highest point, we’re opening up new opportunities in housing attainability and affordability. For the first time in more than a century, this private land can be used and enjoyed by the entire community as Uplands is developed.

We honor the site’s rich agricultural history by modeling best practices in sustainability, water conservation, land use and resiliency to continue to create an agrihood that keeps the community close to the land. And we honor the site’s location in the hearts of so many longtime residents by formally opening acres of land for public use.

It’s time to provide more housing to people who want to live in a sustainable, mixed-use community. With an emphasis on walkable neighborhoods, Uplands includes a thriving village center, single-family detached homes, paired homes and townhomes, and apartments. This distribution of housing types and retail also helps the city’s ability to recover from the pandemic and economic shutdown, especially through Upland’s greater investments in schools, parks, infrastructure, recreation and economic opportunity.

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234

Acres

mixed-use neighborhoods connected by paths, parks & public spaces

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10

Average Units

per acre, a walkable medium density community

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47

Acres

of accessible parks, view corridors, and pedestrian corridors

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300+

Units

units of income-restricted and affordable housing, including senior housing

Uplands Community Collective

In collaboration with the Uplands Community Collective, a local nonprofit organization working with local schools, businesses, nonprofits and community members, Uplands is dedicated to creating a thriving, resilient local economy.

The Uplands Community Collective is designed to leverage the investment of Uplands to strengthen the local economy. A partnership with Westminster Public Schools and Colorado Home Building Academy will provide skills training and certification in construction trades to ensure local residents can be employed to build the Uplands houses and infrastructure. Other initiatives include community-led farming, food production and food business development.

Sustainability & Conservation

the earth is burning

Rising Stakes

Rising temperatures, worsening drought conditions and wildfires pervade the western United States, and Colorado in particular. That’s why Uplands doesn’t just meet the standards of today — we’re building sustainability and resilience measures for tomorrow.

Uplands homes are built to withstand rising temperatures and continuing drought conditions. All homes at Uplands will pursue the WaterSense label, which means they will be 30% more water efficient than surrounding communities. All Uplands homes and apartments are expected to meet the enhanced requirements for energy efficiency developed by Energy Star’s Residential New Construction program.

“Environmental concerns such as drought are Westminster’s biggest water challenge. The impacts of adding new customers to the City’s system are small in comparison to the effects that future droughts would have on the City’s water supply. For all water users, conservation measures remain the best way to protect our water supply long-term.”

City of Westminster, May 2021

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Prioritizing Water Conservation

As a smart community, Uplands homes will be equipped with IoT-enabled (internet of things) smart meters and systems that can promote real-time behavior changes in water and energy usage. From EV charging stations and renewable power to drought-resistant grasses and drip irrigation, Uplands sets a new standard for water and energy conservation.
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Saving 32.6 Million Gallons Annually

Created in 2007, the water budget for this project was put forward in the conditional allocation of this land. This was carried forward into the 2013 Comprehensive Plan and Water Supply Plan, which means that the budget for this project has been in place for over a decade. Through more efficient water usage and advanced technology and systems, Uplands is projected to use 32.6 million fewer gallons of water than it is allotted each year.

The average Westminster home uses 83,000 gallons of water per year. By contrast, average water use for an Uplands home is 60,000 gallons per year — or 30% less water compared to the typical Westminster home.

83K gallons vs 60K gallons graphic

Development Pays Its Own Way

“In Westminster, each development project pays its way through tap fees. Tap fees help ensure that current water customers do not pay the cost of providing water to new customers and buildings.”
City of Westminster, May 2021

Snippet of the Water Conservation & Sustainability infographic
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Repairing Aged Infrastructure

According to the city of Westminster, one-fourth of all water and sewage lines are past their useful design life. Considering that many of the water and sewage infrastructure was originally built in the 1960s, the replacement and repair of outdated pipes and technology is critical to water conservation efforts. That’s why Uplands is investing $39 million in Water Tap fees and infrastructure improvements like water lines, sewer lines and storm drains.

Inside the Uplands Home

At least 20% more water and energy efficient

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    High-Efficiency Plumbing

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    High-Efficiency Toilets

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    High-Efficiency Bathroom Faucets

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    High-Efficiency Showerheads

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    “Smart” Lighting & Appliances

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    High-Efficiency Heating & Cooling

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    High-Performance Insulated Windows

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    Sustainable Ventilation

Building More Homes, For More People

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Meet Westminster’s Housing Goals

The lack of affordable, accessible housing for low-, moderate- and middle-income households is the most pressing challenge for Westminster businesses and residents — and for good reason. The profound shortage of housing forces employees to commute long distances by car, contributing to the region’s auto-related carbon emissions, and undermines employee retention. High-quality workforce housing opportunities, especially when located along transit corridors and bike paths, can be a major boon for our community and for cutting carbon pollution.
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Missing Middle Housing

Missing middle housing describes a range of multifamily or clustered housing types that are compatible in scale with single-family or transitional neighborhoods. The resurgence of missing middle housing is due to many factors, including market demand for this type of housing, demand for housing in amenity-rich walkable neighborhoods, the necessity of housing affordability, environmental efforts to support walkability, transit-oriented developments and changing demographic trends.
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Housing Diversity

The Westminster Comprehensive Plan calls for a greater diversity of housing options. Uplands will develop 234 acres based on the best sustainable, equitable community development models. To create a welcoming and inclusive neighborhood that accommodates different income levels and economic circumstance, Uplands housing types will range from single-family homes to townhomes, one- and two-bedroom apartments and efficiency units.
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Affordable Housing

Uplands will bring affordable housing into the marketplace at a time when it’s most needed. Our site design builds community and diversity by incorporating moderate- and low-income housing into the neighborhood. Rents for affordable housing range from 30% to 80% of the area median income (AMI).
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Workforce Housing

Workforce housing is cited as one of the most important factors in ensuring Westminster’s continued economic success and long-term community vitality. By enabling our workforce to reduce its commute into Westminster, we’re supporting local businesses and reducing carbon emissions at the same time.

Parks & Public Spaces

mom and toddler at the park

Adding Parks and Spaces

For the first time in 100 years, the public will have access to 47 acres — or 20% of all the developable land within Uplands — of publicly accessible parks, view corridors and pedestrian walkways. Uplands will also provide funding for the construction of these parks.

people in a park

Park Land Dedication

Uplands is dedicating 15% of land for parks and preserving 6 acres for view corridors. All told, 20% of the site will be for parks and public spaces when you factor in 7 additional acres of pocket parks open for all to enjoy.

Family on a trail

10-Minute Parks

According to The Trust For Public Land, this part of Westminster is in high need of a park within a 10-minute walk (or ½ mile), and Uplands’ park network will fulfill a long-held community desire for more parks nearby.

Community Benefits

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40-Acre Land Donation

Uplands is dedicating 40 acres of land to the city of Westminster: 34 acres for public parks and 6 acres to protect view corridors. And, Uplands is donating a significant amount of cash to the city to design and build public spaces (currently estimated to be between $5 million and $10 million).

mountain view

Protected Views & Park Access

Existing and new residents alike will be within a short walk of a park or open view corridor.

Cash-in-Lieu + Park Development Fees

A project the size of Uplands requires public land dedication of 65 acres. Uplands is both donating land and paying cash-in-lieu for 34.3 physical acres and 6.3 acres in view corridors, at a current market value of $5 - $8 million.

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Affordable Housing Goals

Uplands will provide a diversity of housing, including 30% to 80% AMI, and for-sale cottages targeted to help meet workforce housing shortages.

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Taxes & Fees

• $70 million paid in fees to city of Westminster (includes $39 million in water and tap fees)
• $16.8 million annually to Westminster Public Schools
• $434,000 in property taxes paid annually to benefit the Hyland Hills Park & Recreation District

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Lifeline for School Districts

The mixed-use designs include homes, offices and retail to optimize Westminster’s investments in schools, parks, recreation and economic opportunity.

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Community Gardens & Farm

The Uplands Community Collective is providing opportunities for the public to learn and practice suburban agriculture. Neighborhood gardens and a community farm will enable residents to sustainably grow food for their family and the wider community.

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Infrastructure Investments

• $40 million infrastructure investment
• $39 million in water and sewer tap fees

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