Unless you’ve been living under a rock or in a clandestine crawl space above a set of motel rooms, for the past 18 months, you’ve heard that the metro area’s biggest, most supercalifragilisticexpialidocious redevelopment project is on the cusp of bursting into an unassuming corner of northwest Aurora. The Stanley Marketplace, a 100,000-sqaure-foot mecca of food, drink and retail, is on schedule to open in the defunct Stanley Aviation Factory at 2501 Dallas St. later this summer, officially usurping the Gaylord Rockies manmade lazy river as the wildest thing to hit Aurora in the past 20 years. Well, until the cowboy hotel’s gigantic slip-n-slide opens, that is.

    Launched by Denver-based Flightline Ventures, Stanley is expected to transform — and in many ways, already has — a neighborhood that for decades has been viewed as Stapleton’s unkempt undercarriage. About 50 new businesses, all of which are new to Aurora, will open in the former ejector seat factory, proliferating the Aurora dining scene on an unprecedented scale. Notable tenants include: Denver Biscuit Company, Rosenberg’s Bagels, Casita Brewing Company, Comida and a massive beerhall/restaurant concept by noted Denver foodie Kevin Taylor. Ooh la la. Denver’s renowned and wildly successful food truck rodeo The Big Wonderful will also begin posting up at the Stanley facility later this summer, leaving their former digs in Five Points for good.

    Although there’s no set opening date, Mark Shaker, one of the developers behind the Stanley project, said that the goal is to have registers chiming at Stanley by the end of the summer. Shaker (for more on him, turn to page 12) said that ideas are still nebulous regarding a grand opening celebration, but whatever happens is going to be big, and slightly off-kilter — the Stanley crew celebrated a groundbreaking for the project with a dude on a jet pack. With a self-controlled flying device as the precedent, there’s no rubric, and suggestions are encouraged, according to Shaker. So tweet away, voracious readers: @OhHeyStanley. We hear that Ringling Bros. are free.

    Other SUMMER FUN installments here:

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    SUMMERFUN: Vacation Dessert in the Desert: Colorado Sand Dunes Rock

    SUMMERFUN: Take a Ride on the Wild Side of Clear Creek in Golden

    SUMMERFUN: Stress Re-Leaf at Boulder Dushanbe Teahouse

    SUMMERFUN: Riding Shotgun at the Movies

    SUMMERFUN: Beer and a Ride on the FoCo Magic Bus

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