When drivers get off Interstate 25 at East Dry Creek Road, they may have the familiar feeling of cruising through the Denver Tech Center.
But although the street signs may look similar, that area is Inverness Park, an unincorporated area just outside Centennial that roughly sits between I-25 and Centennial Airport, and between East Geddes Avenue and E-470.
Unincorporated means an area isn't within a municipality, overseen by the county government and other entities.
It's home to apartments, hotels, retail and restaurants, a slew of high-profile businesses and even a golf course. Here's a rundown of Inverness' features, its history and how it is run.
Ranch land to business center
Inverness was once mostly ranch land, according to Laurie Tatlock, an administrator for Inverness Park.
“But there was a restaurant and a couple businesses at the dead end of County Line (Road) near I-25 on the east side,” Tatlock said.
Inverness Park's first buildings were constructed in the 1970s, around the time the Inverness Water and Sanitation District formed to handle water infrastructure in the area. The land was known as Inverness Business Park, dropping the “business” from its name when residential units became part of the area. Construction on residential buildings began around 2006.
Along with apartments, the area includes duplex and triplex units, townhomes, and condominiums, Tatlock said. It doesn't have any single-family homes.
Some heavy lifting of forming the area came through the Inverness Metropolitan Improvement District, a kind of governmental body that formed in 1980 to build infrastructure and roads.
Unincorporated areas, such as the larger Highlands Ranch, are sometimes governed by metropolitan districts, which can offer some government services. Despite its name, Inverness isn't a business improvement district, a slightly different type of entity. The Inverness metro district is funded by property taxes, Tatlock said.
Places in Inverness generally have Englewood mailing addresses, as unincorporated areas near Centennial often do. But the City of Englewood's southeastern-most boundary is far away, near Belleview Avenue and South Broadway. The U.S. Postal Service designated many unincorporated places with Englewood and Littleton mailing addresses, even though those areas are not in the cities of Englewood or Littleton.
On the greens
Near Inverness' south end sits the large John Derry Park, with three softball fields, sand volleyball courts, a basketball court, a pavilion picnic area and pedestrian paths. The Inverness metro district coordinates softball and volleyball recreational leagues each summer, according to its website.
Leagues are open to the public, but Inverness commercial- and residential-based teams have registration priority if the leagues are filled. Links for the league rules are provided here.
The Club at Inverness golf course also runs through much of the middle of Inverness. The semi-private course is open only to members, their guests and guests of Hilton Denver Inverness hotel, according to the hotel's website.
Along with the retail and restaurants, Inverness includes office, light industrial and warehouse buildings, Tatlock said.
Notable businesses include Comcast, AT&T, a Colorado Athletic Club facility, Arrow Electronics and Saunders Construction. The UCHealth Steadman Hawkins Clinic Denver, one of the most imposing buildings visible on that east stretch of I-25, opened its doors June 25. The orthopedic and sports medicine center aims to cares for everyone from “elite, professional athletes to weekend warriors and those rebuilding from injuries,” its website said.
“That's the big beautiful building that we're pretty proud to have in Inverness right now,” Tatlock said.
The construction of 252 apartments, a complex called The Palmer, should be finished by the end of summer, Tatlock added.
A regional district
Most of Inverness sits in Arapahoe County, but the south end reaches into Douglas County.
The district works with both counties and Centennial to maintain roads, traffic signals, signage and landscaping in Inverness, according to its website. The district is managed by Mulhern MRE, a company that provides financial, engineering and other services to government bodies.
The district also participated in the construction of the Dry Creek Road and County Line Road pedestrian bridges connecting Inverness to the nearby RTD light rail stations.
The area is a benefit to Centennial, too, said Allison Wittern, city spokesperson.
“Inverness and the other communities surrounding Centennial all have a positive impact to Centennial's economy,” Wittern said. “As with all surrounding cities, people that work nearby may shop, grab lunch, visit a park (or) go to the doctor in Centennial — all benefiting Centennial's economy.”
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