ARCHIVED  November 12, 2004

Florida developer scoops up Dacono land

DACONO – A $10 million, 130-acre land sale on Interstate 25 in southern Weld County could be the first step in the development of a new retail complex serving the fast-growing communities of the so-called Carbon Valley.
A Florida investment company headed by a former golf pro and resort developer bought the parcel from Dacono Gateway LLC, a Colorado partnership that has lined up just one user – a gas station and convenience store – for the site on the southeast corner of Colorado Highway 52 and Interstate 25.
Dacono annexed the property several years ago and set up a generous sales tax rebate program to establish a commercial footing on I-25.
Ironically, the land was first a target for American Furniture Warehouse, the Colorado chain that is now looking northward to Loveland or Greeley for its next super-sized retail store and warehouse.
“We are very excited about this property,´ said Warren Stanchina, managing partner of Orlando-based US Euro Partners LLC, a company that has built a string of retail and resort projects in Florida before venturing westward. “There’s a lot of activity now, where it had been just bits and pieces, here and there.”
Stanchina formed a subsidiary, Great Land Development LLC, to house his Colorado holdings that include the 410-acre Rock Canyon Ranch in Castle Rock, a residential project that Stanchina said would grow to 1,300 homes.
Stanchina said he was close to a contract with Developers Diversified Realty Corp., the Ohio-based owner and operator of retail centers nationwide, including Mulberry Lemay Crossing in Fort Collins where Wal-Mart and Home Depot are anchors.
Among DDR’s other Colorado holdings are Denver’s Aspen Grove and Tamarac Square open-air shopping centers and the 440,000-square-foot Flatirons Marketplace in Broomfield.
“It’s going to take a little while to get hard on that contract, but it will happen,” Stanchina said.
Land surrounding the I-25 interchange has been slow to develop, as residential development in Dacono, Frederick and Firestone has not progressed as quickly as earlier projections indicated.
“For some reason, this area has not had the absorption that I thought it should have,´ said Stew Mosko, who listed the 130-acre parcel for Denver-based Fuller and Co.
Reliance on water from the Colorado-Big Thompson storage and delivery system – some of the highest-priced water in the state with one acre-foot shares near $15,000 – is one of the reasons, Mosko said.
“That’s a layer of expense that filters down to the home buyers,” he said. “A house in Aurora is going to be priced about $15,000 less than a home in Dacono. For first-time home buyers, that’s a tipping point.”
Dacono has made the acreage more attractive to retail users by offering sales tax rebates that would give back to retailers five-sixths of the 3 percent city sales tax collected there through 2010.
That incentive, paired with the recent opening of the E-470 tollway link to Denver International Airport, should spur interest in the site, Mosko said.
In addition to the tax rebate, the town has rolled out the red carpet with zoning that would accommodate a variety of uses on the site, said John Segelke, a Fuller broker who collaborated with Mosko on the deal.
“Dacono has pretty liberal zoning, so there is a lot that can go in there,” Segelke said.
Stanchina said he had lined up four retail tenants, but declined to name them until contracts were signed.
Mosko said American Furniture Warehouse had made an offer on the property in September, one that was quickly trumped by the Florida group.
Ironically, the Colorado furniture chain is now looking northward, to Loveland or Greeley, for a new location for a half-million-square-foot store.

DACONO – A $10 million, 130-acre land sale on Interstate 25 in southern Weld County could be the first step in the development of a new retail complex serving the fast-growing communities of the so-called Carbon Valley.
A Florida investment company headed by a former golf pro and resort developer bought the parcel from Dacono Gateway LLC, a Colorado partnership that has lined up just one user – a gas station and convenience store – for the site on the southeast corner of Colorado Highway 52 and Interstate 25.
Dacono annexed the property several years ago and set up a…

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