Meet Carla Ferreira | Principal and Director of Onsite Development, The Aurora Highlands

Mar 7, 2023

Meet Carla Ferreira | Principal and Director of Onsite Development, The Aurora Highlands

We had the good fortune of connecting with Carla Ferreira and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Carla, what is the most important factor behind your success?
Being a father-daughter development team is the biggest factor behind our success. With my father’s track record of building beautiful communities, and with my fresh and creative perspective, we have become a force in this industry. Over the years, we have learned that success comes with creating neighborhoods that people can be proud. That is exactly what we are doing with The Aurora Highlands.

We began building The Aurora Highlands with the Aerotropolis Region and state of Colorado in mind. We want to be good stewards of the land while creating something that will stand the test of time. We are truly curating a community for everyone at every price point with thoughtful amenities for the region.

Hogan Park at Highlands Creek is a perfect example of this. This public art and activation park, named after the late Aurora Mayor Steve Hogan, runs two miles through The Aurora Highlands property. When completed, it will feature performance plazas, climbing walls, a zip line, embankment slides, nature play, linear challenge courses, pollinator gardens and about a dozen public art installations. Because of my background and passion for art, I have cultivated relationships with artists around the world who have already started installing their pieces that will live within the park permentantly. Olivia Steele, who’s work can also be at famous music festivals like Burning Man, has her “Public Displays of Awareness” installed throughout the park and plans to install neon art within the park in the future. Hunter Brown, a renowned sculpture artist, has already installed his original piece “Life Blood” and continues to work on projects with the TAH community. Brooklyn based & Colorado University Alum Lisa Solberg has recently installed her most significant work to date—”Totem Triad,” totems and rock etchings. This spring, we will see a masterpiece from South African artist Daniel Popper installed within the park.

Everything within the park is free and accessible to anyone who wants to enjoy it, and we believe this is an important factor in community success. We want everyone in Aurora, and Colorado, to know that we are here to add value to this beautiful state.

Alright, so for those in our community who might not be familiar with your business, can you tell us more?
We broke ground on The Aurora Highlands master-planned community in 2017. Hundreds of people already call it home, and once completed, it is designed to house 50,000 residents and pave the way for Aurora’s expansion. The community spans 4,000-acres near Denver International Airport, and our goal is to make this a community that people are proud to live in and visit. With that in mind, we are building lots of fun amenities like a water park, ice skating rink, recreation center and public art walk. Our neighborhoods will also include four Aurora Public Schools and plenty of apartments, condos and single-family homes.

While this is the first major development that I am spearheading, I grew up watching my father design and develop successful master-planned communities. The first project that I was really raised on, from 1998 -2018, was Shadow Creek Ranch in Houston, Texas. I watched my father turn a drawing on a cocktail napkin into a bustling metropolis. It was truly inspiring.

Now that I’m older, and after dabbling in the creative world for a decade, my father and I decided to work on a legacy project together: The Aurora Highlands. It is certainly a challenge, but it is also the most exciting opportunity to be a true partner with my dad and see through the last project he will do.

The biggest challenge has been trying to fill his shoes while also realizing that, as a woman, I am a minority in this industry. Women represent only about 11% of the construction industry, and even fewer in the executive circles. I have been fortunate to align with and work with some truly amazing women in the home building industry and who hold top executive positions who have become my mentors and friends. I don’t always get to see them in every meeting or in every circle, but the time we do get to catch up has been enriching. I hope in the future, I can inspire more women to delve into this world.

Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
I live at The Aurora Highlands, and being so close to Denver International Airport is a huge plus! I can pick up my best friend (who is also the star of our marketing campaigns) from the airport within 15 minutes. We often hang out in the Aurora/Denver area for a few days, then make it up into the mountains. Here’s my ideal week when it’s ski season (my favorite!):

Day 1: First stop is getting a snack and a coffee in our award-winning visitor center. Then, it would be time for a walk in Hogan Park at Highlands Creek, where I would give my friend a guided tour of the current art installations. Of course, we would take lots of selfies with our favorite positive affirmation signs from Olivia Steele’s “Public Display of Awareness” series. We could spend all day in the park, even watching the sunset from Lisa Solberg’s Totem art installations. We’d finish the day with dinner at my favorite restaurant, Matsuhisa in Cherry Creek.

Day 2: We’d start the day with a sunrise walk with our dogs around The Aurora Highland’s clock tower monument before driving to the mountains. We would definitely make a quick stop in Frisco for some honey sriracha wings from Bird Craft/Outer Range. The coffee and food is there great, plus it’s dog friendly! We’d continue up I-70 to Vail where we would spend the afternoon skiing (2pm club!). Dinner would be at Elways in the Vail Lodge.

Day 3: Why not hit up another ski resort? On this day, we would make our way to Beaver Creek and ski for a few hours before we après at the Ritz Carlton at Bachelor Gulch. Dinner would be at the delicious Mirabelle restaurant.

Day 4: Since we’re clearly just taking a tour of Colorado ski towns at this point, we would spend this day driving to Aspen. The W Hotel is my favorite place to say in that area.

Day 5: We would start our day with coffee at Felix in Hotel Jerome, and then ski Ajax. Relaxing at the Regis spa is one of my favorite, off-mountain afternoon activities (other than shopping around town, of course). Dinner on this night would be at Catch.

Day 6: More skiing at the Highlands before lunch, Veuve and fun at Cloud Nine!

Day 7: We would pack up our things and drive back to The Aurora Highlands before dropping my bestie off at the Denver airport.

* If we did this trip in the summer, it would involve lot of hikes and stand up paddle boarding in Grand Lake and Aspen River!

Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
I owe everything I am to my dad, Carlo Ferreira, who is also the Principal at The Aurora Highlands. He has been my hero, best friend, mentor and biggest cheerleader my whole life.

He raised me on his own and always believed in every dream I’ve ever had. I am also proud to say that he is a feminist through and though!

He might not always say what I want to hear, but it is always what I need to hear. I only hope that some day, I can find a way to give him back even an ounce of what he has given to me.

Website: https://theaurorahighlands.com/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/theaurorahighlands/?hl=en

Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/carla-ferreira-378369130/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/TheAuroraHighlands/?locale=id_ID&paipv=0&eav=AfYWnf6qMCzhEbUiN9_H2QgfwyApxhsEw_gi_Lp9PcvI-3wSDnouoMnXd5ycPVa3TkE&_rdr

Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCPusDDPpfZLjHTAS3GqUWGw


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