Plans advance for Jewish Community Center

BOULDER – Even when the Boulder Jewish Community Center purchased its building at 3800 Kalmia Ave. in 1999, the organization knew it was a temporary space and had an eye on future expansion. Now those dreams finally seem to be nearing reality.

Plans for the Boulder Jewish Community Center’s new 52,500-square-foot building were slated to go before the city’s planning board for site and use reviews on Oct. 24 – after the Business Report went to press. The project is part of a larger area owned by the Oreg Foundation dubbed Cherryvale Commons, a 32-acre parcel of vacant land at the southeast corner of Arapahoe and Cherryvale roads.

As part of Thursday’s review, the Oreg Foundation was seeking annexation and zoning by the city of the 18.2 acres of the land that sit outside city limits.

The Oreg Foundation purchased the Cherryvale Commons land in 2000 with the intent of facilitating nonprofit usages. Multiple iterations of concept plans have existed over the years. The Oreg Foundation has donated about 9.5 acres to the Boulder JCC for its new building. The rest of the land is divided into one chunk for other future development and one parcel of open space.

The JCC’s capital campaign, which began in 2010, has exceeded its goal of $18 million to cover construction of the new building as well as support of some ongoing operational expenses.

“It definitely seems tangible,” Jonathan Lev, executive director of the JCC, said recently. “This has been an idea, a vision, documents on paper. Now it’s going to the planning board and the city council. It really is a tangible thing that is exciting.”

The JCC began as a preschool 25 years ago. It is open to all in the community and now houses the preschool as well as offering cultural programming and other activities that serve all ages and cultures. The building on Kalmia Avenue includes about 15,000 square feet.

The new building will allow the JCC to expand the preschool, add infant care to its early childhood center and increase other community offerings. It will include an events hall, classroom space and a fitness center with a gym.

“The biggest thing with this project is we’ve worked very hard to ensure that it is a project that serves the community, works well with the neighborhood and brings great programs and services to the community,” Lev said.

Pending the planning board’s nod of approval, the project would go before city council for at least two readings, including a public hearing. Then technical documents and building permits would need to be secured.

Once the entitlement process is complete, Lev said, the JCC would break ground on its new building, although he and other JCC staff members hesitate to set a target date for groundbreaking. Once started, Lev said, construction will take about a year.

RB+B Architects Inc. in Fort Collins is designing the building.

GOLDEN BUFF SELLS: NAI Shames Makovsky closed recently on the purchase of the Best Western Golden Buff Lodge property at 1725 28th St. at Canyon Boulevard in Boulder.

The Denver-based real estate and development firm paid $10 million to the Boeve family, longtime owners of the hotel, according to county property records. Officials for Shames Makovsky could not be reached.

The site is one of two properties at the northwest corner of the intersection slated for a major redevelopment project along with the former Eads Newsstand building that is owned by local developer Lou DellaCava.

Scott Pedersen of Boulder-based Pedersen Development Co., last winter received approval from the city to demolish the Golden Buff and Eads and construct a pair of new hotels as well as a 35,000-square-foot building for offices, retail and restaurants.

Represented by Gibbons-White broker Michael-Ryan McCarty, Pedersen had a contract to purchase the Golden Buff property and had brought on Shames Makovsky as a partner in the redevelopment. Pedersen said he recently sold the development rights, entitlements and purchase agreement for an undisclosed sum to Shames Makovsky.

“It was in both groups’ best interest to have (just) one of us moving forward with it,” said Pedersen, who also is the developer spearheading the Depot Square development just east of the intersection of 30th and Pearl streets.

JAMES TRAVEL SALE: The owners of a pair of Broomfield-based companies – Tax Guard Inc. and 20/20 Tax Resolution Inc. – paid $2.6 million to purchase the James Travel building at 1750 14th St. in a three-way deal that left Element Properties with the parking lot around the building.

The James family, whose late patriarch Donald James started James Travelpoints International in 1957, sold the building and the three-quarter-acre parcel on which it sits to Element Properties for $3.7 million at the end of August. Element then sold the building to B&H LLC, an entity formed by Brian Biffle and Hansen Rada.

Biffle is the president of 20/20, and Rada is president of Tax Guard. Biffle said the intent is to move Tax Guard to Boulder from the 22,000-square-foot office the two companies share now at 11800 Ridge Parkway in Broomfield.

Frosch International Travel – which purchased James Travel in 2010 – and International Data Corp. both lease office space in the 10,000-square-foot building at 1750 14th St. EarthvisionZ LLC recently moved out of the building to 1731 15th St., Suite 101, in Boulder. Biffle said the vacant space, about 5,000 square feet, is being renovated for move-in by Tax Guard by the end of the year.

As for Element Properties, a real estate management, development and consulting firm, principal Chris Jacobs said the company plans to continue operating the parking lot for now. However, the parcel presents a significant development opportunity as the city of Boulder continues crafting a civic area master plan for the area. Jacobs said the site’s zoning accepts both residential and commercial uses.

“I think it’s a land bank for a year or two,” Jacobs said. “We believe in the civic area, and we want to own land by the civic area.”

Brokers B. Scot Smith and C. Wade Arnold of The Colorado Group represented XYZ Corp., the James family’s entity, in the initial sale of the property. Element was represented internally and brokered the deal with B&H LLC.


LUXURY PRICES INCREASE: While the number of Denver metro luxury homes in sold dipped in September, the median sale price rose 5.9 percent from the previous month to $1.369 million, according a report released by Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage.

The figures are based on Multiple Listing Service data of homes that sold for $1 million or more in the area last month.

Seventy-three such homes sold in September, up four from the same month a year ago, although down significantly from August’s count of 98.    

Joshua Lindenstein can be reached at 303-630-1943 or


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