Developer Martin Lind, CEO and president of Water Valley Co., points to an artist’s rendering of what The Brands will look like when complete. The Brands at the Ranch and The Brands West will be built on 60 acres within city limits north of Crossroads Boulevard east of I-25 , and on 140 acres west of I-25 across from the events center. Image by Joel Blocker

Martin Lind lives where he works

WINDSOR — As a developer, Martin Lind of Windsor finds one of the keys to his success is living where he works and builds.

Lind, president of Water Valley Land Co., and his wife of 32 years, live in the same community where he developed Water Valley and is working on Brands at the Ranch and RainDance, all mixed-use developments with different brandings and focuses. He also acquired another 4,000 acres of undeveloped land, most of it east of Interstate 25 and north of Crossroads Boulevard crossing both Loveland and Windsor.

Lind’s office is at 1625 Pelican Lakes Point in Windsor, which houses Water Valley, Larimer County Sports LLC and the Colorado Eagles, another of his business ventures. He operates with a staff of 250 in the summer months and 120 the rest of the year.

“We’re a small, family-owned office that works 24-7 in the community,” said Lind, 57. “We live where we work. We never get away from the tangible side of the contact of the people we’re doing business with, everyone from the residents to the people going to the Eagles games.”

Lind grew up on a 160-acre family farm south of Windsor, growing crops and, for a while, livestock, until the family expanded the crop operation by renting additional farms. Lind left for six months to attend college, realized school wasn’t for him, and returned to the farm, which has been in his family since the 1930s and now is rented out.

In the mid-1980s, a large hailstorm wiped out the farm, so Lind and his father, Ted, quit farming and auctioned off the farm equipment. Lind took a job at an oil company, selling oilfield pipe and supply for 1½ to two years and automobiles for another couple of years.

“All the while, I had a love of real estate, water rights and all the things I grew up around,” Lind said, explaining that the farmers he encountered saw developers as a threat to the agricultural community, not caring about leaving behind messes. “I was always under the impression if you were local and you cared, you could (build) a really cool place for people to live.”

In 1989, Lind organized a partnership, Trollco, to purchase 1,200 acres from Kodak, which owned the majority of land in Water Valley. He later bought out his partners and in 2005 changed the company name to Water Valley Land Co. to be more recognizable. Water Valley, which is nearly built out, has 2,000 homes, restaurants and commercial offices, two golf courses at Pelican Lakes Golf Course and five man-made lakes with 10 miles of beaches.

“We got really busy until 2008 when the monster crash hit, and we suffered until 2016 until it started to renaissance,” Lind said. “We hung on for eight years of living on fumes and working hard with our banks and lenders, making sure we could pay our bills and perform. We came out of that in 2016.”

Lind was 100 percent in, even with his home and car, and when auctions of his land failed, he leveraged some mineral rights to buy time with the banks, he said.

“I don’t have a fear of things or money,” Lind said. “I don’t work for money. I want to leave the legacy of my company of someone raising the bar for development in Northern Colorado. If you put money first, that is never accomplished. If you put your community … first, you end up with some pretty cool projects.”

Lind and his companies have plans for $1.5 billion in new development as part of a regional tourism grant that is in the conceptual phases. The plans are for a whitewater adventure park, a water park resort and hotel, and the PeliGrande resort and conference center on the shores of Lake Water Valley.

Lind is further along with a couple of other development projects that he is part of with other developers.

Brands at the Ranch, being developed by Water Valley Land Co. in conjunction with Stellar Development, is planned as a mixed-use lifestyle center near Centerra in Loveland. It has a 10-year build-out and will feature 1,200 residential units and 1 million square feet of retail, commercial and industrial space and Northern Colorado’s first IMAX theater.

Water Valley Land Co’s RainDance, in conjunctions with Convexity Partners, will be a 2,800-unit farm-to-table development based around agriculture with working farmland, orchards and gardens, plus an 18-hole golf course at County Road 13 and Crossroads Boulevard in Windsor.

Construction of Brands at the Ranch is scheduled to begin this summer and of RainDance in May.

“Real estate became intriguing again to bankers and builders,” Lind said. “It’s now fever pitch. It’s busy now.”

Oftentimes, developers get blamed for that “fever pitch,” especially by those who like things the way they are, Lind said.

“The developer has nothing to do with growth. The developer is simply providing a commodity for demand,” Lind said. “Northern Colorado has been growing at 2 percent (a year) since it’s been settled by the people who brought the sugar factories. It’s going to continue to grow because of that air we talked about. People want to live here.”

Developers define quality of life when they bring in new projects, Lind said.

“Anybody can push a street out into a cornfield. But to actually develop a community where property values accelerate faster than all other communities, that means you did something right and people want to live there,” Lind said. “That takes a lot of time and a lot of creativity. It’s the compassion to the community and the region.”

Lind likes getting to know the areas where he develops, honoring what is already there and paying tribute to history. For instance, old Windsor has recessed sidewalks, something he built into Water Valley, and Water Valley reflects the water in the flood plain with its man-made lakes.

“Martin brings a unique vision toward development in this community,” said Tom Siegel, director of residential real estate for Water Valley and project manager for RainDance.  “Martin thinks of Windsor as his community and has its interests at heart at all times. He brings forth the sense of family in the Water Valley company.”

Lind is able to see the big picture with his various development projects, said Destiny Bennett, executive assistant at Water Valley and a Windsor resident.

“It’s really just seeing the overall picture, not just one little piece of it. It’s bringing everything together to make it work,” Bennett said. “He’s just genuine. He cares about his employees, is a dedicated family man, and you can tell he loves his community. … It’s not just about building the biggest things; it’s about building something for the community.”

In addition to real estate, Lind got into professional sports by accident. Ralph Backstrom, the founder of the Colorado Eagles, was looking for a space in 2002 for his hockey team, and Lind inquired after the team’s ownership, learning there wasn’t an owner. That same year, Lind put together an ownership group, Larimer County Sports, and became the company’s chief executive officer.

“Every game is sold out,” Lind said. “It’s one of the best minor leagues in the nation.”

Next year, the Eagles will become a part of the American Hockey League, the second highest level of hockey worldwide, Lind said. 

Lind is athletic himself, engaging in cross training, pilates and golf. He likes big game hunting and deep sea fishing. He also likes spending time with his four children and six grandchildren.

“The grandkids are a big part of our lives,” Lind said. “We’re doing a lot of grandkid chasing.”

WINDSOR — As a developer, Martin Lind of Windsor finds one of the keys to his success is living where he works and builds.

Lind, president of Water Valley Land Co., and his wife of 32 years, live in the same community where he developed Water Valley and is working on Brands at the Ranch and RainDance, all mixed-use developments with different brandings and focuses. He also acquired another 4,000 acres of undeveloped land, most of it east of Interstate 25 and north of Crossroads Boulevard crossing both Loveland and Windsor.

Lind’s office is at 1625 Pelican Lakes Point in Windsor, which houses Water Valley, Larimer County Sports LLC and the Colorado Eagles, another of his business ventures. He operates with a staff of 250 in the summer months and 120 the rest of the year.

“We’re a small, family-owned office that works 24-7 in the community,” said Lind, 57. “We live where we work. We never get away from the tangible side of the contact of the people we’re doing business with, everyone from the residents to the people going to the Eagles games.”

Lind grew up on a 160-acre family farm south of Windsor, growing crops and, for a while, livestock, until the family expanded the crop operation by renting additional farms. Lind left for six months to attend college, realized school wasn’t for him, and returned to the farm, which has been in his family since the 1930s and now is…