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Whatley Lights the Way Home
for Reunion Development

By Dave Farabaugh, W.J. Whatley, Inc.






Reunion project: Whatley's Type 2A Decorative Median Light illuminates main thoroughfares in the Reunion community. This light pole includes a 50W HPS double decorative luminaire. Whatley and the landscape architectural firm Norris Dullea developed the unique paint color, "Rock Garden," for all of the light poles in the development.


What does home mean to you? That was one of the questions–and the basis of the idea–behind Reunion, a community development in Commerce City, Colorado. A mix of both classic and modern designs, Reunion is unique in its approach to creating neighborhoods, not subdivisions, along the ideals of New Suburbanism. And in keeping with the idea of classic and modern, a variety of Whatley lampposts have been used to light the new development.–W. J. Whatley Inc. President & General Manager

Reunion is a community that lives up to its name. Hearkening back to a time when communities were closer-knit and easier to navigate (i.e. no "sprawl"), Reunion--located in Commerce City, Colorado--has been developed according to the principles of New Suburbanism.

New Suburbanism seeks to rid community developments of the cookie-cutter, sprawling approach of subdivisions and establish neighborhoods along the lines of villages.

According to Beth Hugh, Senior Associate with Norris Dullea, the planning and landscape architecture company responsible for planning and creating the entire Reunion development, the 3,100 acres upon which the development is built, had been owned by a family for generations.

"We came up with the theme of a ranch, although the land had not really been ranch land," Hugh said. "The fencing that lines the roads, the entrance to the community, even the recreation center--which resembles a barn--is meant to evoke the idea of a family-owned ranch, or group of ranches."

Reunion was envisioned to be a unique place where neighbors actually get to know each other, with social gathering places and shops within close proximity to neighborhoods, as well as high design and quality standards. In addition to building homes that break out of the "big box" format, creating a landscape conducive to this ideal and providing lighting that evokes a village-like--or ranch-like--atmosphere are important to the development of Reunion. Hugh also noted that, in keeping with New Suburbanism's principles, the preference was to use local firms.






Light poles used within the Reunion community's recreational areas include Whatley's Type 3 Park Light. This 15-foot high light pole features a 70W HPS decorative luminaire and Whatley's Hyde Park 42-inch high, 18-inch diameter base.







"Using a local company was an incentive," Hugh said. "And having a local supplier close by helped the project move along smoothly."

Hugh concurs that finding the right look to match the diverse styles of each neighborhood in the Reunion development was important. She explained that Norris Dullea wanted to use a variety of lighting types and was looking for a lighting provider that could deliver a broad range of styles as well as create custom colors that matched the theme of the development. To that effect, Whatley filled the bill.

"For us, the ability to create custom colors was extremely important," Hugh said. "We have our own special color theme."

Hugh noted that Whatley was one of the few manufacturers who could create lampposts to match our theme cost-effectively.

According to Gary Leopold, western regional sales manager for W.J. Whatley, Whatley's paint-matching fees are the most reasonably priced in the industry, and its paint offers the best coating system available. Working closely with the Norris Dullea team, as well as with several of the builders in the development, Whatley helped create a custom color for the lampposts that all parties could agree on.

A wide range of lamppost styles from Whatley were used including the HYde Park 314 and Dublin 354 series in various heights. Project design required distinctive luminaire and lamppost coordination between W.J. Whatley and Architectural Area Lighting (AAL). Lamppost and luminaire configuration with single and double luminaires adorned with spring loaded banner brackets provide lighting and aesthetics for roadway arterial streets and residential areas.

With the project nearing completion, Hugh has high praise for both Leopold and Whatley.

"Gary Leopold at Whatley was very helpful in working with us to find poles with the right look and style," she said. "And he was particularly helpful when it came to helping find a custom color that the design team liked. Other factors were a variety of pole types--direct bury and caisson-mounted--that could meet our needs. Overall, we're very happy with Whatley and have definitely recommended them for other projects."






The banners on this light pole are 60-inches long and are hung on Whatley's standard spring loaded banner arm. A four-foot subsurface caisson anchors the 20-foot high light pole. Whatley's Type 1 median Light, with a height of 27 feet, can be seen in the distance.


What does home mean to you? That was one of the questions--and the basis of the idea--behind Reunion, a community development in Commerce City, Colorado. A mix of both classic and modern designs, Reunion is unique in its approach to creating neighborhoods, not subdivisions, along the ideals of New Suburbanism. And in keeping with the idea of classic and modern, a variety of Whatley lampposts have been used to light the new development.--W. J. Whatley Inc. President & General Manager.



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Norris Dullea is a well-established and respected full service planning and landscape architectural firm. The founders, John Norris and Jim Dullea, share a diverse background in community planning, environmental design, mixed-use master planning, amenity-based master planning, park and recreational design, landscape architecture and urban design. Norris Dullea has helped shape successful living and working environments for people and communities since 1981.

The firm is dedicated to provides planning, landscape architecture, development coordination, branding and communication, using the most current technological and stressing the importance of clear and concise graphic presentations.

The firm was founded in 1991 and has continued to grow steadily. In addition to the senior principals, the staff is composed of landscape architects, planners, environmental specialists, graphic designers and marketing professionals.

Norris Dullea prides itself on:

  • hands-on personal service and attention to the client
  • preservation of natural resources
  • encouraging principles of sustainability in our design solutions
  • excellence in graphic, written and oral communication
  • best overall value to our clients
  • listening to clients
  • creativity and excellence in designv
  • design that insures success and minimizes project risk
  • empowering the staff
  • highest level of service
  • promoting social responsibility



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December 8, 2019, 7:50 am PDT

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