Real Capital Solutions wants place in sun

LOUISVILLE — Real Capital Solutions, a Louisville-based real estate investment company, and Boulder-based Namaste Solar are collaborating on a $600,000 project to install solar panels on Real Capital’s headquarters at 371 Centennial Parkway.

Real Capital said in a press release that portions of the installation will be filmed, and the company hopes to use the installation as a demonstration project and offer tours to schools and community groups.

Real Capital owns the 78,000-square-foot office building, purchasing it for $5.8 million in February.

Like many of the company’s acquisitions, Real Capital bought the property at a steep discount. A bank had foreclosed on the property in 2011 after its prior owner defaulted on an $8.5 million loan. The bank paid $7.9 million for the property at the foreclosure auction, according to Boulder County records.

The solar project comes during a busy year for Real Capital Solutions. The company’s subsidiaries, Condo Capital Solutions, Apartment Capital Solutions and Homebuilder Capital Solutions, have continued to snap up distressed residential properties.

Real Capital also has been buying distressed commercial properties, adding four properties to its portfolio this year. Its most recent acquisition was the Garrison Business Park in Lakewood,

“Real Capital Solutions is one of the most active buyers in the state, perhaps the whole country, in the past 12 months. We have millions more we are looking to invest before the end of the year,” Real Capital Solutions founder and chief executive Marcel Arsenault said.

BOULDER

FORECLOSURES: Foreclosure numbers through the first eight months of 2012 are improving in Boulder and beating statewide numbers, but the same cannot be said of Broomfield, according to a report released by the Colorado Division of Housing.

The division’s monthly survey of foreclosure data in Colorado’s largest metropolitan areas found that the number of foreclosure filings in Boulder County dropped 8.6 percent through August. Since the start of 2012 through that month, 583 foreclosures were started, down from 638 during the same period in 2011.

In Broomfield County, 160 foreclosures were started, a 5.3 percent increase from the first eight months of 2011.

The survey found that in the state’s largest metro areas, the number of foreclosures increased by 4 percent, to 17,241. The division’s report included Colorado’s largest urban areas, including Boulder, the metropolitan Denver area, Colorado Springs, Fort Collins, Grand Junction and Pueblo.

Foreclosure auction sales in Boulder County dropped 34.6 percent when comparing the first eight months of 2011 to 2012. According to the report, 249 homes were sold in the first eight months of 2012.

In Broomfield County, 65 properties were auctioned off through August, an 8.3 percent increase from the prior year.

Across the metro areas surveyed, the number of auctions dropped 25.7 percent, to 8,541.

11th & PEARL: Looks like the third time is the charm for Karlin Real Estate.

The real estate development company behind the Eleventh and Pearl redevelopment project has received approval from the Boulder Planning Board and Landmark Board for one of the most noteworthy redevelopment projects to happen in Boulder.

Karlin Real Estate, a California-based company, is redeveloping buildings at 1048 Pearl St. and 1023 Walnut St. in downtown Boulder. The buildings were the former home of the Boulder Daily Camera.

Karlin envisions two office buildings that would total 159,000 square feet and have space for ground-floor retail, restaurants and a movie theater. Karlin bought the property in 2010 for $9 million.

The Boulder Planning Board voted 4-3 to approve the project at its Sept. 13 meeting. It was Karlin’s third time before the planning board. After the prior two hearings, the company made extensive changes to the building’s exterior.

The Landmarks Board approved the project Sept. 19.

Now, the only hurdle is Boulder City Council, which has the option of “calling up” Karlin’s plan for review in early October, according to Elaine McLaughlin, the official in the Boulder Planning Department who is overseeing the city’s review of the project.

Representatives of Karlin Real Estate are confident the changes made to get the project approved by the planning board will be approved by the City Council, vice president Vicky Canto said in an interview after the final board meeting.

“I’m not worried,” she said. “I think and hope that what we demonstrated to the planning board last night was that we can successfully address their concerns and work through these issues and arrive at a design solution that meets everyone’s objectives. I was very pleased with (the) process and outcome.”

The team of architects on the 11th and Pearl site include Denver-based firms Shears Adkins Rockmore and Tryba Architects.

SOLAR CONDOS: A local condominium homeowners group is touting its new solar-panel system, which is expected to save the owners an estimated $300,000 in energy costs during the next 20 years.

The Remington Post Homeowners Association partnered with Syndicated Solar Inc. in Grand Junction to install the solar panels, said Barney Moran, manager of the property at 3350 Chisholm Trail. Investors in Syndicated Solar paid the installation and system costs, Moran said. Investment numbers were not immediately available from Syndicated Solar.

In return, Remington Post gets solar energy at a preset fixed rate that can only rise 3 percent per year, Moran said. Utility provider Xcel Energy Inc. has charged rate increases of as much as 6 percent in the past, Moran said. He calculated information from those two costs to find the estimated $300,000 in savings.

“This is much more than dollar savings,” Moran said in a press statement. “This solar installation provides a cushion against higher electric utility costs, and it sends a positive, green message to both the Remington Community and our larger Boulder public.”

Syndicated Solar installed arrays on four of Remington Post’s 12 buildings and on two of its carport roofs. The arrays are expected to generate more than 100 kilowatts of electricity. Investors received the tax credits and other benefits available for solar panel systems, Moran said.

Michael Davidson can be reached at 303-630-1943 or email mdavidson@bcbr.com.

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