Work to begin on Gunbarrel Center in March

BOULDER — More than a decade in planning, the Gunbarrel Center mixed-use development is slated to break ground by the end of March.
Situated on about 9.3 acres at the southwest corner of Gunpark Drive and Lookout Road, Gunbarrel Center will include 251 market-rate apartments and about 29,000 square feet of commercial space spread out among 14 three-story buildings to the east of Gunbarrel’s King Soopers grocery store. The project is being developed by Scottsdale, Arizona-based The Wolff Company.
The Wolff Company spokesman Rob O’Dea said the first apartments could be delivered by spring of next year, with the entire project taking 18 to 24 months.
Gunbarrel Center will include a small amphitheater and a new “Main Street” running through the center of the development. BAR Architects of San Francisco designed the project. O’Dea said the makeup of the commercial space is to be determined, but could be a mix of restaurants, retail and professional office space.
O’Dea declined to disclose an estimated project cost for Gunbarrel Center.
The Wolff Company owns the project. But the Boulder-based O’Connor Group, which first got the idea of the development rolling in the late 1990s, is still working with The Wolff Company on bringing the project along.
The project plans took on multiple iterations over the years as city officials, neighbors and developers hashed out the best use for the site. The O’Connor Group had the project entitled in a similar form in the mid-2000s. That was before Terry O’Connor, who started the company, died unexpectedly in 2005.
The Wolff Company’s plan for Gunbarrel Center has a similar makeup to the O’Connor Group’s original plans.
“That was important to us as far as working with the Wolffs,´ said Chris Rebich, Terry O’Connor’s stepson and president of the O’Connor Group. “We were fortunate the Wolffs had a similar vision to what we had before.
“It’s been in our family for a long time. Our whole family is very excited.”
The Wolff Company – which finalized purchase of the land last year for $4.15 million according to Boulder County property records – obtained entitlements for the project in its current form in early 2012. But O’Dea said there was a lot of detail to be finalized with the city and designers in the meantime before construction could begin.
“It’s simply a case of planning and making sure we do it right,” O’Dea said.

HOTEL PLAN NIXED: Could the new hotel bubble in Boulder be bursting soon? Maybe, maybe not. But at least one development group has scrapped plans for a hotel in favor of more office space.
The developers of Pearl Place in Boulder submitted to the city a second concept plan for the site that does away with a 120-room hotel near the intersection of 30th and Pearl streets. They were scheduled to go before the planning board Feb. 27 to gain feedback from the board and community members on the changes.
New plans for the project call for three – instead of two – four-story office buildings totaling about 300,000 square feet of space.
Denver developers Darren Fisk of Forum Real Estate Group and Dan Otis of Brickstone Partners led the purchase of four parcels of land last year for $12.2 million. The four parcels total 4.33 acres and wrap around the Chase Bank at the southwest corner of 30th and Pearl.
“We were just getting nervous about the saturation of hotels,´ said Kevin Foltz, director of development for Forum.
Developers have submitted design review plans for new hotels all over central Boulder. A half block to the east of Pearl Place, a Hyatt Hotel is planned at the under-construction Depot Square development. A hotel is also planned at a mixed-use development at the site of the former Sutherlands lumber yard on Valmont Road. At 28th and Canyon at the site of the former Golden Buff Lodge, an Embassy Suites and Garden Inn are planned. Across the street from that a new Residence Inn is in the works.
A little farther from Pearl Place, a new Hampton Inn opened last summer in Gunbarrel. And a hotel is also planned at the corner of Baseline Road and 27th Way across from the University of Colorado law school.
“We just think the office market in that area is going to be stronger over the long term,” Foltz said.
Foltz said developers hope to have the entitlement process completed by midyear, with demolition and construction beginning by the end of the year.

SOFTWARE TRAINER MOVES: Software developer training company DevelopIntelligence LLC announced that it has moved its headquarters from Louisville to Boulder.
The company leaves an 800-square-foot former space at 706 Front St. in Louisville for 2,200 square feet at 3200 Carbon Place, Suite 101, in Boulder.

LUXURY PRICES UP: January luxury-home prices in the Denver metro area increased 9.6 percent year over year and nearly 4 percent compared with December thanks in part to a shortage of such listings on the market.
The figures come from a report released by Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage, and are based on Multiple Listing Service data of homes sold for $1 million or more.
The median sale price of a luxury home in the region last month increased to $1,389,300. But only 42 million-dollar homes sold in the region, down from 46 a year ago and 74 last month.
Denver boasted the area’s most million-dollar sales in January with 13, followed by Boulder and Cherry Hills Village with five each. The most expensive sale in the metro area last month was an eight-bed, six-bath, 14,600-square-foot home in Cherry Hills Village that went for $5.9 million.

DEAN CALLAN AWARDS: Dean Callan and Co. recognized Tom Hill of Wright-Kingdom Real Estate and the late Fenton Bain, a former local attorney, with the Dean Callan Recognition Award.
The Boulder brokerage gives the award annually in memory of Dean Callan and in recognition of his years of dedicated commercial real estate service. Criteria include professional service, respect, integrity, community involvement, and leadership and mentoring.
Dean Callan and Co. president Becky Callan Gamble presented this year’s awards at the Commercial Brokers of Boulder February meeting to Hill and Bain’s wife Vicki. Bain died in July. In addition to the awards, the McElwain and Callan families make a $2,500 charitable donation in the names of the award winners.

LAFAYETTE
MARKEL BUYS BCH LAND: Markel Homes closed recently on the purchase of eight acres of vacant land owned by Boulder Community Hospital that is slated to become part of a new 53-home single-family neighborhood in Lafayette called Blue Sage.
An affiliate of Markel paid $800,000 to the Community Hospital Association for the land, which sits just north of the intersection of W. South Boulder Road and Cimarron Drive near Lafayette’s border with Louisville.
BCH originally owned the parcel as part of development of the Community Medical Center in 1985. The CMC moved to a new Lafayette location in 2000, and sold its building to Clinica Campesina, which operates there now. The vacant land, BCH spokesman Rich Sheehan said, no longer fit into the hospital’s plans.
Markel Homes’ president Michael Markel said his company is under contract to purchase an adjacent five-acre piece of land to the west that will also become part of Blue Sage. That land abuts the Louisville border to the west, and also abuts Phase II of the North End development that Markel is building on the east edge of Louisville.
Michael Markel said it was largely coincidence that the new land purchases fell next to North End, though he said the two neighborhoods will have some connectivity eventually.
Blue Sage will include homes with a mix of front- and alley-loaded garages, with lots ranging in size from 5,000 to 7,000 square feet. Homes will range from 2,200 to 2,800 finished square feet and from roughly $400,000 to $600,000 in price – comparable to the single-family homes in North End.
Markel said his company would likely break ground on Blue Sage about a year from now, with the first homes coming online in about 15 to 18 months.
LONGMONT
PARK MANOR SALE: Blueline Properties Inc., a Denver development and management company specializing in apartment building renovations, has closed on the $5.25 million purchase of the Park Manor Apartments at 720 Fairlane Ave.
The complex, which includes 17 four-plex units on about 6.25 acres at the northeast corner of S. Pratt Parkway and Fairlane, had been owned by the Kanemoto family.
The Park Manor Apartments sit along the bank of the St. Vrain River. Ed Kanemoto, a commercial real estate agent with Re/Max Traditions and a former partner in the apartments’ ownership, said some of the units were damaged by September’s flood and that repairs there are ongoing.
Terrance Hunt of ARA Real Estate Investment Services represented the sellers in the deal.

LOUISVILLE
CHURCH TO SAM’S CLUB: Ascent Community Church plans to hold weekly Sunday services in April in 20,000 square feet of the former Sam’s Club building at 550 S. McCaslin Blvd. in Louisville.
Ascent has signed a month-to-month lease for the smaller space in the 127,000-square-foot building, said co-pastor Jim Candy. Candy and co-pastor Bill Stephens have ties to First Presbyterian Church in Boulder and a congregation of about 300 people.
Building owners Centennial Valley Investment LLC and Seminole Land Holdings Inc. are looking for a permanent retail tenant to fill the space, which has been vacant since 2010. Earlier this month, the new owners paid Sam’s Club $3.65 million for the building and the 13.2 acres on which it sits. Low Cost Office Furniture will also temporarily lease space in the building.

Joshua Lindenstein can be reached at 303-630-1943 or jlindenstein@bcbr.com.


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