Incorporated in 2001, the city of Centennial is relatively new. About 20 miles south of Denver, Centennial was formed out of the unincorporated areas of Arapahoe County. Many residents still refer to it by the names of the surrounding cities, such as Littleton and Englewood. Although it is a young city, it is home to approximately 103,000 residents.
ECONOMY AND INDUSTRIES
Centennial's economy is quite diverse, with no single industry employing more than 15 percent of the workforce. The finance and insurance sectors are the largest contributors to Centennial's economy, followed by professional and technical services, the retail trade and construction. The area is growing quickly, especially with the recent addition of a new shopping center. There are several major employers in the Centennial area:
- U.S. Foodservice
- Saunders Construction
Centennial's proximity to Interstate 25 and Interstate 225 makes for easy transportation to the surrounding areas. Denver is less than half an hour to the north; if the local economy were ever in trouble, residents could most likely commute to Denver for work.
NEIGHBORHOODS AND DISTRICTS
Because Centennial was created from unincorporated areas of the surrounding cities, its neighborhoods are diverse. The city does not have nice, clean boundaries, and it does not simply lie within a continuous area. Instead, it has more of a "checkerboard" appearance to it. However, Centennial has established six sub-areas within its scattered city limits, most of which are affluent suburbs.
- East Central: This district is located between Interstate 25 and South Parker Road. The area is suburban, but it experiences a massive influx of people during the workday. The median home value is one of the highest in the area. Centennial Airport is immediately south of this district.
- I-25 West: This district is home to many families and highly educated residents. It is a small, urban area located just west of Interstate 25.
- Semi-Rural: Located in the southeast corner of the city, this area is home to large properties and farms. It has a country feel to it, yet its residents are some of the wealthiest in Centennial.
- Smoky Hill: This is a large district that is somewhat spread out. For the residents living here, the average commute time to work is just over 30 minutes. This district is home to upper-middle-class residents with a high disposable income; home values here vary considerably. It is the most populous district on the east side of town.
- Southglenn: This is one of the newest areas of the city and is home to a new shopping district. There are mostly single-family homes here. The district is located on the far west side of town and is the second-most-populous area of Centennial.
- West Central: Located just to the west of the I-25 West area, this neighborhood is home to upper-middle-class families. West Central is the most populous district in the city.
- Golfing: Many golf courses are located in the Centennial area, dispersed all across the city. There are also courses for mini-golf and disc golf.
- Arapahoe County Fairgrounds: Located just to the east of Centennial, the county fairgrounds are home to the Arapahoe County Fair, as well as to a variety of events, festivals, conferences and meetings throughout the year. Residents can rent the facilities for special events.
- County Line BMX: This is a bike arena that provides a venue for regional competitions. It is open to the public free of charge on non-race days, and it can be rented out for birthday parties and special events.
- Recreation Centers: There are four recreation centers in the Centennial area. They offer pools (indoor and outdoor), child care, senior centers, gymnasiums, fitness classes, and sports leagues. The Family Sports Center is an additional recreation center that has a laser tag arena, a climbing wall, a restaurant, an arcade, bumper cars and two ice rinks.
- Local Parks: Centennial boasts more than 100 parks. Some of these are dog parks, some are available for rent, and some even have gardens available for weddings.
There are many choices for public transportation in and around Centennial. The Southeast Light Rail runs along I-25 from Broadway to Lincoln Avenue and along I-225, from I-25 to Parker Road. The Southwest Light Rail runs along Santa Fe Drive, from Union Station to Mineral Avenue, and the Central Platte Valley Light Rail runs from Colfax Avenue to Union Station. The FasTracks Project plans to add 119 miles of new light rail and commuter rail by 2014.
DID YOU KNOW?
- In the history of the United States, Centennial was the most populous city at the time of incorporation, with more than 100,000 residents when it officially became a city in 2001.
- Campaigns for Centennial's incorporation promised a 1 percent tax rate, one of the main reasons residents voted for it. However, the tax rate as of 2008 was 2.5 percent.
- There are many coyotes in the Centennial area, so the city has provided an online coyote incidence reporting system. The city also offers helpful advice for residents so they can recognize the importance of coyotes to the ecosystem and avoid potential conflict.