We find ourselves in the middle of one of the greatest wealth transfer periods of all time. Those with wealth must decide whether they want to make transfers, and if they do, they must decide how much, to whom, when and in what structure?
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The Boulder Planning Board on Jan. 17 approved local developer Scott Pedersen’s plan to demolish the Best Western Golden Buff Lodge at 1725 28th St. and Eads Newsstand at 1715 28th St. and replace them with the hotels and a 35,000-square-foot building for offices, retail and restaurants.
The site will have a 184-room full-service hotel and a 177-room select-service hotel built over an underground parking garage.
Developers are deciding which national chain with which to partner. Pedersen said the two hotels will be affiliated with the same chain.
“We’re working hard on it now,” Pedersen said. “We’ve got multiple hotel companies that would like to be there.”
If the rest of the planning process goes smoothly, Pedersen said the project could start in late summer and be completed in 18 months.
Following the unanimous decision, Pedersen is optimistic the project will not be called up for further review by the Boulder City Council.
“City Council will typically defer to the planning board on stuff like this because of the unanimity,” he said.
Pedersen also is the developer of the Depot Square project in Transit Village, which will have a 140-room Hyatt Place hotel. Construction will begin in 30 to 45 days, he said.
MITCHELL CASHES IN: Ron Mitchell, longtime owner and manager of the Boulder International Hostel, a youth hostel on University Hill, has sold the property for $4.4 million and plans to focus his attention on redeveloping property in downtown Nederland.
The hostel, at 1107 12th St., was closed last summer and now is occupied by the Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity. A company owned by Mitchell, Boulder International Hostel Ownership LLC, sold the building to 1107 12th LLC, according to property records.
Mitchell, 74, said he is leaving the hostel business partly because his wife wants him to retire and because his adult daughters are not interested in running it. He had owned the Boulder International Hostel since 1971.
“I loved the career,” Mitchell said. “I certainly shed a tear parting with it, but my pocket book didn’t.”
Mitchell said the new owners are investors based in Boulder but could not name them, citing a nondisclosure agreement. He believes they intend to renovate or redevelop the property into student housing. The old hostel is an 11,687-square-foot building on 0.42 acres and was built in 1947, according to public records.
Mitchell has redevelopment plans of his own. Through his ownership of Nederland Central Business Redevelopment LLC, Mitchell owns several buildings and land near the intersection of Colorado Highway 119 and East First Street in central Nederland. Tenants include 1st Street Pub, he said.
Mitchell said he will host open houses on consecutive Sundays — March 17, March 24 and March 31 — to discuss his plans. He wants the new construction to meet the needs of Nederland residents. Construction will be phased so that tenants can stay in business during the building, he said.
LUXURY HOMES: Nine homes in the city of Boulder sold for more than $1 million in December, bringing the total number of homes in that price range to 127 for the year, according to a survey of high-end home sales by Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage in Denver.
The number of $1 million-plus sales in Boulder was down one from November, but up from the four sold in December 2011.
The city of Boulder ranked third on the list of December sales behind Denver, where there were 17 million-dollar sales, and Greenwood Village, where there were 11.
Across the metro Denver area, 65 homes sold for more than $1 million in December, up from 60 in November and 41 in December 2011.
In Boulder County as a whole, 11 properties eclipsed the $1 million mark in December, with the other sales occurring in Lafayette and Longmont. One property in Broomfield County sold for $1.22 million.
The report is compiled from Multiple Listing Service data.
The top-selling property was a $4.75 million, eight-bedroom, 12,000-square-foot home at 8925 Mountain View Lane in Boulder. Scott Franklund of Legendary Properties/Coldwell Banker Previews International was the listing agent.
SIGNATURE DEAL: A Boulder real estate investment group paid $2.61 million, or $56 per square foot, recently to buy the 46,400-square-foot industrial building occupied by Signature Offset Inc., a national printing company.
Flagstaff Holdings LLC led the investment group that made the acquisition, which included local and nonlocal individuals and family trusts, said Dan Cohen, a Flagstaff Holdings principal.
The warehouse, at 224 Commerce St., is completely occupied by Signature Offset, which signed a long-term lease last year.
Freeman Myre Inc. represented the new owners. The seller, Flatiron Properties LLP, was represented by Chris Boston of Gibbons-White.
Financing was provided by 1stBank. Flagstaff is financing 60 percent of the purchase price at an “attractive interest rate,” Cohen said.
SILVER CREEK: Meritage Homes of Colorado Inc. has closed on the $2.1 million purchase of the land for the next phase of the Silver Creek residential development in Lafayette.
The subdivision is north of Lafayette, off 111th Street between Baseline and Arapahoe roads.
The buyer is part of the Scottsdale, Arizona-based Meritage Homes Corp. (NYSE: MTH), one of the largest national homebuilding companies. The company has completed the first phase of Silver Creek, and the homes have sold out, according to its website.
Earlier this month, the Louisville City Council approved the plat for the 54-lot second phase of the development.
Silver Creek LLC sold the land. According to public records, Silver Creek was formed by Michael Markel, founder of Boulder-based Markel Homes. Documents filed with the Lafayette Planning Department show Markel Homes once planned to build the project before selling the majority of the 61-lot first phase of Silver Creek to Meritage.
TWIN PEAKS DEMO: The deconstruction of Twin Peaks Mall is under way, with workers cutting off access to the mall’s old food court.
NewMark Merrill is converting the 550,000-square-foot mall at 1250 S. Hover St. into an outdoor shopping village that will include a modern movie theater with at least 12 screens and be anchored by a 100,000-square-foot retailer. The new shopping center will have approximately 470,000 square feet of retail space.
The food court will be the first part of the mall to be stripped for reusable and recyclable materials, according to a release from the mall’s owners, NewMark Merrill Mountain States. Existing retailers will continue to operate.
The estimated cost of the redevelopment of the nearly 30-year-old mall is $80 million, according to a tax incentive agreement between Longmont and NewMark Merrill. Construction must be completed by Dec. 31, 2015, according to the agreement.
Longmont City Council voted Jan. 8 to issue $27.5 million in public money for the project. The debt is to be repaid by sales and property taxes generated by the redeveloped mall.
NewMark Merrill bought the property in 2012 for $8.5 million.
REZONED: Preparing for transit-oriented development it hopes will come eventually, the Longmont City Council rezoned the area around the intersection of First Avenue and Main Street from light industrial to mixed use.
The Regional Transportation District sees the area as an ending point for bus rapid transit and commuter rail service as part of its FasTracks plan, which was approved by voters in 2004 but delayed by soaring costs and an economic downturn. With FasTracks’ arrival still a possibility and the closure of the Butterball turkey processing plant at that location, council members sought to open the door for commercial development in the lower downtown area.
The mixed-use designation allows a combination of commercial and noncommercial uses, including commercial and residential as well as industrial. The zoning would allow existing businesses to stay.
REAL CAP BUYS COURSE: Real Capital Solutions, the Louisville-based real estate investment group that specializes in buying distressed assets across the nation, has purchased 136 residential lots and a semi-private golf course in Meadow Vista, California, for $8.5 million.
The property, located about halfway between Sacramento and Lake Tahoe, was bank-owned after going into foreclosure in May 2008.
Real Capital Solutions, which is headed by Marcel Arsenault, intends to spend $300 million this year to acquire distressed properties, according to a press release from the company. The sellers include banks looking to sell foreclosed properties and undercapitalized developers and builders.
The lots are part of a 409-lot upscale development, according to local press reports.
Michael Davidson can be reached at 303-630-1943 or email@example.com. Dallas Heltzell contributed to this column.