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Derelict Mall-Turned-Town Center Wins Design Award

The redevelopment of the derelict Villa Italia mall into Belmar provided Lakewood with an urban downtown.

Denver urban design and landscape architecture firm Civitas has received an Honor Award for Excellence for its Belmar Town Center design.

The company was presented the award during the 55th International Making Cities Livable Conference in Ottowa, Ontario. The award acknowledges Civitas’ role in transforming the derelict Villa Italia suburban mall into a pre-eminent example of creating a “Healthy 10-minute Neighborhood” in which everyday trips such as to school, shops, services, work, recreation and public transit can be made by foot or by bike within 10 minutes.

“A significant aspect of Belmar’s success is the quality of the public realm designed by Civitas,” the awards jury wrote in its statement about the project. “The attractiveness and walkability of the street grid combined with a park and eco-friendly street designs encourage active mobility. The lively, beautiful and completely traffic-free plaza at the heart of the new center gives Belmar a gathering place and locus for growth of a new place-based community.”

The redevelopment provided an urban downtown for the Denver suburb of Lakewood, which previously had none.

“The community now has a true center that continues to grow organically as a city should, based upon the framework that we put in place,” said Civitas principal Craig Vickers, who was lead designer of Belmar Town Center. “It’s an honor and truly satisfying to be acknowledged along with our design and development partners for the achievement of creating a place where everything is within a 10-minute walk and where people can put down roots and be proud of where they live.”

Related Topics: Civitas, Craig Vickers, Belmar