Denver’s Panasonic Deal a Model for 21st Century Transit-oriented Development
With the train literally about to roll into the new Warm Springs BART station, and development activity quickly beginning to take shape in the area, we’ve been thinking about opportunities related to the most innovative technologies that make a “smart city.” One example that caught our attention was a project recently announced by Panasonic and the City of Denver.
In December, Panasonic Enterprise Solutions announced that it will create a hub for its fast-growing business solutions operations and a technology center adjacent to Denver International Airport as part of a 400-acre Master Planned Transit Oriented Development (TOD) called Peña Boulevard Station. Creating an estimated 300 jobs, the business expansion will include the company’s operations base and assembly facility.
Panasonic Enterprise Solutions Company, a division of Panasonic Corporation of North America, develops, installs, and maintains large-scale “eco-solutions,” including end-to-end solar energy projects while also delivering technological and financial solutions to the rapidly expanding commercial and industrial renewable energy markets. Along with the project developer and local government agencies, Panasonic plans to make the area around its site a global showcase for state-of-the-art sustainable community development.
The idea is to create a community anchored by businesses representing the following categories within the “smart lifestyles” sector — energy, security, mobility, health care, and community. These are the underlying principles for the recently opened Fujisawa Sustainable Smart Town, a sustainable smart green community developed by Panasonic near Tokyo.
We are intrigued. With one of the strongest clean tech clustersin the Bay Area and a TOD opportunity twice the size of Pena Boulevard Station, the idea of coordinating high-level “smart” systems integration with new urban development is worth investigating. We will continue to study examples like Denver as the Warm Springs Plan progresses.