Developer’s plan targets Golden Buff Lodge
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Construction is under way on a new Roman Catholic church, St. Francis of Assisi, at 3791 Pike Road, just west of Airport Road in southwest Longmont. Krische Construction Inc. of Longmont is the general contractor and Eidos Architects PC, based in Greenwood Village, designed the structure for the $4.5 million first phase of the project.
Pedersen Development would build two hotels — a 212-room full-service hotel and a 137-room extended stay hotel — if its plans go through, principal Scott Pedersen said. Pedersen said the project could cost in the $80 million range.
“It’s pretty simple,” Pedersen said. “We are just going to redevelop the Golden Buff and take it from an aging, 54-year-old lodge and bring it into the modern era.”
Plans also call for a restaurant, a 280-space underground garage and 10,000 square feet of meeting and conference space. The entire project would build about 240,000 square feet on 114,000 square feet of land. The vehicular entry would be on Canyon Boulevard.
Pedersen Development submitted a site development plan with the Boulder Planning Department on May 7. Pedersen hopes the project will be on the Planning Board’s June agenda, and the company’s target date to begin construction is August 2013.
The Golden Buff Lodge and the Buff restaurant will continue normal operations as the project goes through planning, said Clint Folsom, managing broker of Folsom and Co. and the Boeve family’s spokesman.
Pedersen declined to discuss potential financing options. He said the hotel, which has long operated as part of the Best Western chain, would likely change families.
Pedersen also is developing a hotel at Depot Square, a mixed-use transit project being built as part of the Regional Transportation District’s new station at Boulder Junction. Planning that project taught Pedersen that Boulder’s hotel market is lacking new, high-end lodging.
New rooms, along with additional meeting space, will be good for the city, he believes.
“In order for the city of Boulder to retain tourism opportunities and prevent leakage to surrounding communities, Boulder has to improve its hotel stock,” Pedersen said.
The Boeve family has owned and operated the 112-room Golden Buff since 1958, according to the hotel’s website. It was built in 1956 and opened as the Wayside Inn.
Pedersen said the family’s involvement and possibly even the Golden Buff name could be passing into history, but his company would like to honor the institution’s memory.
“They’ve had a wonderful run,” Pedersen said. “We’d like to pay tribute to the Golden Buff and do something that recognizes what has been there so long.”
Four generations of Boeves have run the Golden Buff. The family is “very excited” that the site is likely to remain a hotel, Folsom said.
Pedersen’s proposal is not the first redevelopment plan for the site. In the mid-2000s Urban Frontier Inc. and Lou Della Cava had plans for a joint redevelopment project on the site, which would include 284,060 square feet of office and retail space. That plan would have included the Eads News & Smoke Shop building.
The prior plan stalled when the recession hit and the developer then had trouble finding major tenants that would pre-lease the buildings years in advance of completion and occupancy, Folsom said.
RENTS SURGING: The average rental price for an apartment in Boulder and Broomfield counties surged 6.7 percent in the first quarter of 2012, as rents in the Denver metro area climbed faster on a year-to-year basis than they have in more than a decade.
The rate of growth in the Boulder/Broomfield submarket was the fastest of all metro-area submarkets, according to the Denver Area Apartment Vacancy and Rent Survey. The quarterly survey is sponsored by the Apartment Association of Metro Denver and the Colorado Division of Housing.
The average rent in Boulder and Broomfield climbed to $1,070 during the quarter, well above the average rent of $952 per month for the metro area. On average, rents in the metro Denver area increased 4.5 percent.
Demand is outstripping supply and is strong enough to buck regular trends, the report’s author said in a press statement.
“Rents continue to increase as demand grows faster than the production of new units,” said Ron Throupe, professor of real estate at the University of Denver’s Burns School of Real Estate and Construction Management. “Rents often tend to moderate a bit during the first quarter, but this year the rent rose to an all-time high instead.”
The vacancy rate for the Boulder/Broomfield market fell to 3.9 percent, down from 4.9 percent in the first quarter of 2011 and 4.4 percent in the fourth quarter of 2011.
The Denver metro area vacancy rate was 4.9 percent, falling from 5.5 percent in the first quarter last year and 5.4 percent in the fourth quarter.
SEVEN-YEAR LEASE: American Recreation Products Inc., the parent company of outdoor equipment and apparel brands including Kelty, Sierra Designs and Slumberjack, has signed a long-term lease for an expanded home in Gunbarrel.
American Rec signed a seven-year lease for a 32,000-square-foot space at 6235 Lookout Road in the Gunbarrel Business Park.
American Rec relocated its headquarters to Boulder from St. Louis in 2010 and has been consolidating operations into one facility. The company’s new space required extensive renovations, according to Andrew Freeman of Freeman Myre Inc., who represented the building’s owner, Tyler Pacific LLC.
“The Boulder location and exposure from the Diagonal Highway is an integral part of our corporate identity. The new building remodel will meet the new demands of the consolidated divisions along with anticipated growth over the next several years,” Brett Jordan, chief executive of the equipment group, wrote in a release.
“The large transaction is consistent with strong demand for space in the Gunbarrel market. The addition of two new multifamily developments within a mile of the building did play a major role in ARP’s decision to commit to this area,” Freeman said.
PLACEWAYS’ NEW PLACE: A Boulder software company that helps with community planning is finding a new home.
Placeways LLC, a software and services firm that develops interactive geographic information system, or GIS, tools primarily for community and land-use planning departments and government agencies, is relocating to a 2,985-square-foot office at 1790 30th St. in Boulder.
The company is growing, president and principal Doug Walker said, although he declined to say how many people it employed. The company currently is located at 1722 14th St., Suite 150, in Boulder.
Placeways’ flagship product is CommunityViz, a GIS program that includes tools such as 3-D visualization. The package enables planners, developers and interested community members to visualize how new buildings or roads will impact their settings, Walker said.
“It’s (about) what your world is going to look like in five, 10, 15 or 20 years and what you want it to look like,” Walker said. “These are really important decisions that are going to last for generations.”
Placeways is hiring and needs software developers with experience creating applications around GIS platforms, he said.
The 1790 30th St. property is owned by Dales Investments Ltd. Hunter Barto of Dean Callan & Co. represented Placeways, and Wade Arnold of the Colorado Group represented the landlord.
LEASES SIGNED: Smart Storage Systems Inc. has signed a lease for 5,813 square feet of office space at 1880 Industrial Circle. Scott Garel of Newmark Knight Frank Frederick Ross represented the landlord. Dean Callan and Co. and the Zall Co. represented the tenant.
TRIMBLE BUILDING: Trimble Navigation Ltd., the company that in April announced a definitive agreement to purchase SketchUp from Google Inc., has broken ground on a $22 million, 125,000-square-foot office and research and development center in Westminster.
Trimble in April purchased 15 acres in the Westmoor Technology Park to build the center. The acquisition cost $3.28 million, according to the Jefferson County Recorder’s Office.
Trimble employs about 360 workers in Westminster at 10355 Westmoor Drive in a 99,000-square-foot office across the street from its new property. The company expects to add another 125 employees by 2016, according to a memo from the city of Westminster.
Trimble does not plan to move SketchUp to the new facility, a spokesperson for the company said. SketchUp develops 3-D modeling software.
Trimble develops GPS applications, and the Westminster unit develops applications for agricultural and heavy construction vehicles.
The company could build a second building on the site within five years, according to Westminster.
Trimble will receive an economic development package from Westminster. Trimble also considered relocating to Broomfield, Boulder and Louisville, according to city documents.
Bill Baldwin of CRESA Partners represented Trimble. Chris Nordling of Newmark Knight Frank Frederick Ross represented the seller, Westmoor Business Park Ltd. LLLP.
Michael Davidson can be reached at 303-630-1943 or via email at email@example.com.
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