On June 12, 2015 APT-Rocky Mountain held their annual meeting at Stanley Marketplace. At the meeting new board members Jessica Reske and Natalie Lord were elected and Chris Haugen, Vice-President of the board, was re-elected. The group discussed upcoming events and possible future events, as well as reviewing current membership and financial information. Following the Annual Meeting, a tour was given, lead by Mark Shaker, the catalyst of the development team behind the project.
Robert M. Stanley was a ground breaking American engineer and test pilot. In fact, Stanley was the first American to fly a jet aircraft, in a test flight for Bell Aircraft on October 2, 1942. Lauded as a pioneer in jet aircraft manufacturing, Bob established Stanley Aviation in 1948 in Buffalo, New York. However, the facility in Buffalo was of limited size and employed only 100 employees, and when the firm was awarded a military, super-sonic, ejection seat contract, Stanley recognized the need for a larger manufacturing center for the company.
Stanley Aviation’s decision to locate its manufacturing plant in northwest Aurora came as part of a significant growth in the area following the Second World War. Stanley Aviation became a force in northwest Aurora’s economic development, as well as a staple of the Air Force’s Cold War deployment around the world. The Stanley plant primarily manufactured ejector seats for various USAF planes, including downward ejector seats for the B-47, B-52, and F-104 planes, and upward ejector seats for the YB-47, FJ-2, and Ryan VTO planes. The plant also manufactured tail gunner seats for the B-52, escape capsules for supersonic aircraft, automatic gas-operated safety belts, canopy jettisoning systems for fighter jets, and entrance ladder assemblies for the B-47.
The Stanley Aviation Building is a large two story industrial building with over 100,000 square feet of space. The architecture is decidedly modern, reflecting an industrial interpretation of International Style. The footprint of the building is almost square, with external walls of either concrete block or corrugated steel. Windows are generally long strips of fixed steel ribbon windows along the second story.
Now, sixty years later, the same bold and innovative traits that Bob Stanley imbued decades ago are at the heart of Stanley’s newest reincarnation, a thriving urban marketplace. Comprised of more than 100,000 sq. ft. on 22 acres, the adaptive reuse development aims to become the communities’ new centerpiece, and will be home to a restaurant and beer garden operated by esteemed Denver chef and restaurateur Kevin Taylor, as well as a spacious community park, indoor/outdoor event venue, office space and a wide array of dining, shopping and recreational options.
Joining the ranks of well-known urban marketplaces across the U.S., including San Francisco’s Ferry Building, Seattle’s Melrose Market and New York’s Chelsea Market, Stanley will be home to a unique mix of offerings from both well-known and smaller, independent Colorado retailers. Stanley’s communal marketplace approach, which has proven successful across the world for centuries, aims to attract a wide array of retailers and consumers by providing a social approach to retail.
Exterior with Historic Stanley Aviation sign.
Developer’s Rendering with retained Office Mezzanine
Hanger Doors will be remain and be rehabilitated
Equipment lift – used for testing and development
Stairway leading up to planned lounge. Trusses from the building visible on the right. They will be reused in various manners inside the space.
Planned location for historic sign display and event space