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Highlands Ranch - Our History

In 1981 the first residents moved into the community called "Highlands Ranch". As of February 2005 Highlands Ranch is home to 81,859 residents living in 26,684 homes, and 3,305 apartment units.

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Where did it all start?

In 1978 Mission the area known today as Highlands Ranch was owned by Viejo Company. This was the time Highlands Ranch started to exist. The Highlands Ranch master plan was created and approved in 1979. In 1981 the first residents moved into the area.

Highlands Ranch started growing and reached a growth of 2,500 houses per year at some point. In 1997, Shea Homes purchased Mission Viejo and the undeveloped portions of Highlands Ranch. Shae Homes is still in place and acts as some sort of city government for Highlands Ranch.

Located 12 miles just south of Denver along C-470 and approximately 1 mile west of Interstate I-25, Highlands Ranch is a very popular neighborhood. Highlands Ranch today offers a diverse range of housing, from condo/townhomes to multi-story mansions.

Time-Line of Highlands Ranch Development

1978: Mission Viejo Co. develops plans for the Highlands Ranch property for development.

1980: Construction of the first phase of Highlands Ranch begins.

1981: The first residents are moving in

1982: Northridge Park, Northridge Recreation Center and Northridge Elementary open. The community's first businesses open.

1987: Highlands Ranch Junior/Senior High School opens.

1988: The first fire station opens.

1991: Highlands Ranch celebrates its 10th anniversary with a population of almost 17,000.

1994: It is recognized as the best-selling master-planned community in the United States by Arthur Andersen Real Estate Advisory Services. The first grocery store opens.

1996: The library levy passes, permitting the construction of a regional branch library. An agreement to convey a county regional park within the Wildcat Mountain Reserve is signed. Red Rocks Federal Credit Union moves its headquarters to Highlands Ranch.

1997: Shea Homes acquires Mission Viejo Co. and Highlands Ranch, which has a population of about 39,000.

1997: Construction begins on Highlands Ranch Boulevard (later renamed Lucent Boulevard), the fourth interchange that provides access from Highlands Ranch to C-470. Construction begins on the community's second golf course, Highlands Ranch Golf Club. AMC Highlands Ranch 24 Theatres opens.

1999: Shea Homes/Shea Properties launches the Highlands Ranch Business Park with the construction of the Shea Center. Lucent Technologies announces it will move its company headquarters to the business park.

2000: The Highlands Ranch Library opens. The Chamber of Commerce of Highlands Ranch is founded. The 55-acre Redstone Park, the community's largest, opens.

2001: The development celebrates its 20th anniversary with a population of about 70,000.

2004: The first businesses open in the Highlands Ranch Town Center.

2005: Civic Green Park opens at the Town Center.

2006: As the 25th anniversary approaches, the population tops 86,000.

2012: A light-rail station is scheduled to open at Lucent Boulevard and C-470.

2014: The projected date for the project to reach residential buildout.

Source: Shea Homes, Metro Districts of Highlands Ranch, U.S. Census Bureau, HRCA, Denver Post

The Highlands Ranch Mansion - click here


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