Taking its cue from other vibrant cities, Westminster has broken ground on Central Square, a $5.5 million, 1.2-acre plaza in its new Downtown Westminster site. The plaza, designed by Denver’s own Wenk Design, has been modeled after recent trends in major urban areas.
“Civic spaces are becoming less static, with greater flexibility for events and programs, while still providing experiences and comfort for day-to-day life,” said Sarah Nurmela, Downtown Westminster Real Estate and Development Manager. Over time, Central Square will host up to 200 events per year, from small gatherings to large festivals, year round.
Central Square is particularly unique to Westminster because of its strong relationship to the dense, mixed-use context of Downtown Westminster. “The energy and the diversity of the programs and uses we have in mind will make this a hub of activity within the city — a true center of public life for our community,” said Nurmela. “In fact, the first phase of development has located around the square in anticipation of its role within the Downtown.”
As a result, the plaza will support a variety of programs and uses by allowing them to spill outdoors and expand to the plaza, creating a lively urban gathering space in the new heart of Westminster. Features of Central Square will include:
- Large central gathering space for farmers markets, performances, and festivals
- Lawns for gathering and enjoying the Colorado sunshine, and viewing performances
- Interactive water feature for play, as well as ambiance in the evening hours
- An open pavilion, flexible for a variety of uses and gatherings
- A ‘stage,’ not only for performances, but as a place to lounge and people watch
- Lots of trees for shade – an “urban forest”
- A court for games, food trucks and pop-up retail and entertainment
- Leisure ‘swings’ for relaxing amongst the gardens
Downtown Westminster has dedicated 18 of its 105 acres to parks and public spaces, with Central Square being the first to break ground. Preserving open spaces and providing high quality parks throughout the city has been a priority in Westminster for more than 30 years. Since 1985, when voters first approved a sales tax specifically earmarked to acquire and maintain open space, the city has bought more than 3,000 acres in all parts of Westminster. These vital open space areas preserve essential view corridors in the city, enhance recreational opportunities for residents through a series of interconnected trails, and sustain a rich variety of plants and wildlife.