13. Centennial, Colo.

161409_BPL_Top50_13Centennial
Laurie Reed/Courtesy of the Town of Centennial
AT A GLANCE
Population 107,569
Median Home Price $374,500
Property Tax $2,368
Unemployment rate 3.8%
Commute time 24 minutes

Centennial may be a young city–it was only incorporated in 2001–but it already has a lot to offer. For starters, there’s a strong job market. Companies such as cable provider Comcast, rocket manufacturer United Launch Alliance, and real-estate search engine Zillow have offices there.

Innovation Pavilion, a start-up incubator, provides 80,000 square feet of co-working space for entrepreneurs. And commuters can get to Denver on light rail in just 35 minutes, while the Denver Tech Center, a hub for tech and telecomm firms such as Oracle and Microsoft, is about 10 minutes away.

Centennial also makes it easy for residents to take advantage of Colorado’s 300 days of sunshine. The town offers more than 2,500 acres of open space and parks, including award-winning Center Park, with an amphitheater and kid-friendly splash pad.

Topgolf, a high-tech driving range, opened last year, and although there’s no historic downtown, you can park your car and walk among shops and restaurants at the Streets at SouthGlenn, an open-air mixed-use development completed in 2009.

The 2013 shooting at Centennial’s Arapahoe High School shook the community, but new measures such as improved school security and additional mental health counseling have been put in place. And despite the tragedy, the school districts that serve Centennial—Littleton and Cherry Creek—continue to get top rankings in the state.

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