Major homebuilders scooping up area lots

LAFAYETTE — A pending boom in new single-family housing looks set to occur next year, led in part by some of the largest homebuilders in the nation.

Meritage Homes of Colorado and Ryland Homes recently have purchased dozens of lots for new developments or to dramatically expand an existing community.

Ryland Homes in November closed on a $1.1 million deal to acquire 38 lots in the Coal Creek subdivision in Lafayette. It will be the first of several large purchases in the city that Ryland makes during the next year or so, Denver division president Dan Nickless said.

The lots are the next phase in Ryland Homes’ buildout of Coal Creek. Ryland Homes ultimately expects to purchase about 200 lots and build new single-family detached homes and duplexes in the next few years, Nickless said.

Coal Creek is a residential development near the southeast corner of South Boulder and South Public roads. Ryland Homes already is building in the subdivision and has sold 13 of 15 single-family homes and 15 paired homes, Nickless said.

Ryland Homes bought the lots in mid-November from BMB Colorado LLC, the local unit of a Scottsdale, Arizona-based homebuilder. Nickless said they are partially developed, and Ryland Homes must build the subdivision’s infrastructure.

In addition to its activity in Coal Creek, Ryland Homes is building in Louisville at Steel Ranch. It is part of the Ryland Group Inc. (NYSE: RYL), a national homebuilder based in Westlake Village, California.

In Erie, Meritage Homes of Colorado Inc. is getting set to go to work on another development.

Meritage in November paid $576,000 for 32 lots in Erie, accord ing to Boulder County property records.

Meritage is building a community it calls Flatiron Meadows on the land, which is on the south side of Erie Parkway between U.S. Highway 287 and N. 119th St. According to Meritage Homes’ website, the subdivision will have two- and three-bedroom homes of from 1,779 to 3,420 square feet.

The recently acquired property is in the subdivision’s third filing. Earlier this year, Meritage purchased 39 lots in the first filing of Flatiron Meadows for $780,000.

The seller in both deals was Bayou Development Corp.

Meritage Homes of Colorado is a division of Meritage Homes Corp. (NYSE:MTH), a Scottsdale, Arizona-based company. Meritage Homes is the ninth-largest public homebuilder in the United States, based on homes closed in 2011.

In August, Meritage closed on a $7.38 million deal for 121 lots on 38.3 acres in Longmont. The company also is developing the Erie Commons community in Erie.


ZAYO EXPANDING: Zayo Group LLC, a Louisville-based company that is one of the fastest-growing telecoms in the country, will be opening a new office in Boulder.

The additional office of a yet-to-be disclosed location and size will be an expansion, Scott Reardon, vice president of corporate development and investor relations, wrote in an email.

“We will maintain our Louisville and Denver Tech Center offices, but are excited to add the Boulder office in order to accommodate the growth of the business and Zayo Boulder employees – and move closer to the heart of Boulder’s active business community,” Reardon said.

Founded in 2007, Zayo has aggressively bought other telecom companies, including AboveNet Inc. (NYSE: ABVT), which Zayo acquired this summer for $2.2 billion. Zayo has completed 22 acquisitions, and its network now is 67,000 route miles with a total of 4.7 million miles of fiber and 10,000 buildings on net.

“With recent acquisitions (most notably the take-private of AboveNet Communications) and continued strong organic growth, Zayo generates nearly $1 billion in annual revenue over its leading US and European fiber network,” Reardon said.

KARLIN’S DEALING: The owner of the old home of the Boulder Daily Camera newspaper has sold the newspaper’s current home and another building for $5.1 million.

Karlin Real Estate, a Los Angeles-based real-estate development and investment company, last month sold the office buildings at 1780 Conestoga St. and 5450 Western Ave. in Boulder to Square Six LLC, a local real estate investment group.

Karlin is best known locally as the owner of the former downtown headquarters of the Daily Camera at 1048 Pearl St. Karlin plans to redevelop that property and the adjoining building at 1023 Walnut St. into a 160,000-square-foot mixed-use project that will include about 132,000 square feet of office space.

The Daily Camera and its parent company, Prairie Mountain Publishing, occupy 5450 Western Ave., a 25,432-square-foot building. Ball Aerospace & Technologies occupies 1780 Conestoga St., a 24,898-square-foot building. Both buildings were built in 1984.

Karlin acquired those buildings in 2009 as a “value-add investment,” vice president Vicky Canto said. At the time there were 25,000 square feet of vacancy, Canto said. Karlin’s strategy all along was to make upgrades to the buildings, fill them and then sell them. Canto declined to say how much Karlin spent on the buildings, but its website said it negotiated a price with the prior owner’s lender after it could no longer pay its debt.

Lynda Gibbons, president of Gibbons-White Inc., represented the buyer and seller.

MORE COWORKING: Hub Boulder LLC opened a 10,000-square-foot office Dec. 3 on the ground floor of the Randolph Building, 1877 Broadway in Boulder.

The Hub provides co-working spaces for entrepreneurs and investors.

“We had originally planned to build out 5,000 square feet,´ said Greg Berry, managing director and co-founder of Hub Boulder, in a press release, “but we were sold out almost immediately, well before we had even begun to build the space. The demand for collaborative space in Boulder for social impact-oriented businesses is just incredible.”

Hub’s facility includes space for offices, meetings and events, and can hold up to 150 people. It’s part of a global network of more than 40 Hub locations on five continents dedicated to supporting social enterprise by providing resources, connections, incubation, networking and events in a flexible space where members work, connect and host their own gatherings.

Prospective members are screened to make sure their values are in line with Hub’s mission. Memberships start at $25 a month. Hub Boulder began welcoming members in May and now has 120, according to the statement.

BANKING ON THE HILL: JP Morgan Chase Bank will open a new 2,293-square-foot branch at Hilltop Plaza, one block west of the University of Colorado-Boulder campus.

Hilltop Plaza is a four-story retail/office building at 1310 College Ave. in the University Hill shopping district. Hilltop Plaza has welcomed five new tenants in recent months, including Boulder Salad, Young Suk LLC doing business as Goody Monster, Pedersen Architects LLP and The Princeton Review. College Corner recently opened an expanded store at Hilltop Plaza as well.

All of the new Hilltop leases were brokered by Karen Clarke and Bucky Dilts, brokers at Transwestern.

“Chase Bank’s new location at Hilltop Plaza shows that national retailers are recognizing the high traffic levels and access to the CU community that ‘The Hill’ shopping district provides to retailers,” Clarke said.

Clark and Dilts represented the landlord, GCP Hilltop Plaza LLC, an investment affiliate of Green Courte Partners LLC. Brian Shorter and Michael Kendall of SullivanHayes represented Chase Bank.

NEW VILLAGERS: The Village shopping center has a new restaurant and a new kitchen- and bath-design store, and will soon see a new bed-linen store.

Rincon Argentino restaurant is located near the northeast corner of Folsom Street and Arapahoe Avenue in The Village in Boulder, according to a press release.

Denver-based Brass Bed Fine Linens and Furnishings will open a store in a vacant space near the corner of Folsom Street and Canyon Boulevard, next door to a new KB Studio, which designs kitchens and bathrooms.

CrossFit gym also is expected to open soon at The Village, according to the press release.

The Village is at 2525 Arapahoe Ave. and is anchored by McGuckin’s Hardware and Sprouts. The Village has more than 40 retailers and other businesses, most locally owned.

Dallas Heltzell and Beth Potter contributed to this report. Michael Davidson can be contacted at 303-630-1942 or


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