Jon Turner considers Heron Lakes his ultimate ‘marquee’ project 2019 Bravo! Entrepreneur

WINDSOR — Jon Turner of Windsor considers the Heron Lakes and TPC Colorado Golf Course in Berthoud to be his largest marquee project, and after 30 years in the business he doesn’t plan to do anything on that scale again.

Turner, president of Hillside Commercial Group, however, is actively developing in his hometown, along with Fort Collins, Loveland, Berthoud, Timnath and Severance.

“We don’t really leave our backyard too far,” Turner said. “We stay well connected with the communities we are in. … It’s helped us get through some rough times.”

Turner co-founded Hillside Commercial Group with Christopher Frye in 1988, and they started their first development project in 1993, also a marquee or large-scale project. They have since worked on four other marquee projects and multiple smaller projects and manage approximately 35 companies in Colorado.

“It’s interesting, challenging and rewarding. I get a lot of self satisfaction out of what I do,” Tuner said.

Initially in his career, Turner worked in banking for two years after graduating in 1983 with a business degree from the University of Southern California. In 1988, he founded Pacific Commercial Group, a commercial appraisal company now operating out of Newport Coast, California. At first, the company didn’t make much headway, especially facing the S&L, or savings and loan, crisis in the early 1990s, so he and Frye, who later joined the company as a partner, decided to expand into commercial development. Turner has since left the company that Frye still owns and oversees.

With Hillside Commercial Group, Turner and Frye purchased land from Frye’s parents and starting in 1993 developed Country Meadows, which consists of 97 residential lots on annexed property near Interstate 25 and Colorado Highway 392 in Windsor.

“It was probably the first nice project next to I-25 in Northern Colorado,” Turner said. “Most of the developers wouldn’t build next to the interchange. They thought it was a liability, not an asset. … A lot of people said nobody would live that close to the interstate, and they were wrong.”

In 1997, Turner and his company organized the 3,009-acre Windsor Highlands Annexation that brought Windsor out to I-25 and kicked off the Highland Meadows and Country Farms developments and the Highland Meadows Golf Course that opened in 2004. Several other developments came into the mixed-use community of residential, commercial and office space that still is in the works.

“I didn’t own all that ground. I coordinated that annexation,” Turner said, explaining that he owned about 30 percent of the property. “I ran it, and I had a big part in the development, but I didn’t develop it all. Those annexations created other annexations in Windsor.”

In 2004, Turner and his company started developing in Timnath, where it built Timnath Ranch, a 1,500-unit mixed use development. Two years later, Turner participated in the purchase of Rocky Mountain Fuel Co., where he serves as vice president of the oldest coal company in Colorado that also had real estate, water and oil holdings. In 2008, most of those holdings were sold off.

“One project led us to the next. We launched from a small to a mid-size development company,” Turner said.

In 2007, Turner started acquiring several projects in Berthoud, including Heron Lakes, a 1,200-unit mix-use development, and the TPC Colorado Golf Course, a licensee of the PGA (Professional Golfers’ Association) Tour that broke ground in 2015 and opened in 2018.

“We’ve been able to grow through partnerships,” said Turner, who operates with a staff of four. “We haven’t grown internally, we’ve grown through partnerships. That’s our strength.”

Turner serves on the board of directors for six metro districts in Northern Colorado and has an ownership interest in and operates Highland Meadows Golf Course, Highland Meadows Tennis Center, TPC Colorado at Heron Lakes and Power to Play Sports. His wife of 23 years is Martha, and his hobbies include golfing, sailing and surfing with their sons, ages 21 and 19.