Longmont to consider annexing 11.6 acres
The site is located at the northeast corner of U.S. Highway 287 and Quail Road west of the 49-acre Quail Campus, which is home to the Longmont Museum and Longmont Recreation Center.
Before the annexation is considered, a property swap involving four parcels between the city of Longmont and MNR LLC must be approved. The swap would give MNR the space it wants, and the city would acquire land that would be incorporated into the St. Vrain Greenway.
City planner Don Burchett said the city requires a “dollar for dollar” land swap.
Property owner MNR LLC, headed by William Novell, has submitted plans to construct a mix of commercial and residential including a Homewood Suites hotel, mixed-use buildings and a pair of tennis courts for public use. MNR operates the Hampton Inn, which is north of the proposed project.
The architect on the project is Tom Moore of Moore & Bishton Architects PC in Longmont.
BROWNSTONES PLANNED: Construction will begin before the end of the year on a series of town homes patterned after Chicago-style row houses, which will be built on the northwest corner of Fourth Avenue and Terry Street in downtown Longmont.
The Terry Street Brownstones will consist of 14 upscale one-, two- and three-bedroom town homes with brick exteriors.
The development will be built by Daystar Enterprises LLC, which was founded in 1978 by Kevin Miller of Longmont. He remains as one of three Daystar partners along with Broomfield’s mayor Pat Quinn and another Longmont resident, Ken Davis.
Longmont-based Moore & Bishton Architects PC designed the town homes.
Daystar is buying the land from the Lehman family, former owners of the Longmont Times-Call, a newspaper whose building is diagonally across Fourth and Terry from the site of the brownstones. The land has not yet changed hands from the Lehmans to Daystar but is under contract, and plans for the townhomes await final approval by the city.
Financial terms of the property sale and estimated cost of the project were not disclosed.
RECORD RENTAL RATES: Residential rental rates in Boulder and Broomfield counties have hit an all-time high.
The two counties are those in the Denver metro area that continue to have the lowest vacancy rates and the highest rents per square foot, according to the latest Denver Metro Apartment Vacancy and Rent Survey, released by the Apartment Association of Metro Denver and the Colorado Division of Housing.
The first-quarter vacancy rate in the combined Boulder-Broomfield market was 3.2 percent, according to the report, and the average monthly rent was $1,150.02.
The first-quarter vacancy rate dropped from 3.7 percent in fourth-quarter 2012, according to a Colorado Division of Housing press release.
Rental rates increased during the quarter. Boulder/Broomfield is the Denver metro area’s most expensive market, based on rent per square foot, which is $1.33. Only in Douglas County is the average monthly rent higher, at $1,186.34.
The metro area vacancy rate was 4.6 percent in first-quarter 2013, down from 4.9 percent in first-quarter 2012. It was the second-lowest vacancy rate in any quarter since first-quarter 2001, according to the survey.
The average rent across the metro area increased to $992 in the first quarter, up 4.2 percent from 2012’s first-quarter average rent of $952.
In local submarkets, Broomfield had a 4.5 percent vacancy rate and an average rent of $1,173. The university area of Boulder had a 0.3 percent vacancy rate, with an average rent of $966.90. The rest of Boulder reported a 1.4 percent vacancy rate, with an average rent of $1,207.25.
LUXURY HOME SALES DOWN: The number of luxury home sales in the Boulder Valley dropped 25 percent in March compared with the same month a year ago, according to a report released by Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage.
In March, 12 luxury homes sold — 10 in Boulder County and two in the city and county of Broomfield, according to Steve Maita, a spokesman for Coldwell Banker. In March 2012, 16 luxury homes sold in the Boulder Valley, he said. The figures are based on Multiple Listing Service data of homes sold for more than $1 million on a monthly basis in the Denver metro area.
The average sale price increased for homes in the Boulder Valley, according to the report. The average sale price was $1,441,350, a 3.48 percent increase from the same month in 2012, Maita said. The average sale price in March 2012 was $1,392,794.
A home on the east side of Boulder at 3853 57th St. sold for $2.3 million in March, the top-selling luxury home in the Boulder Valley, according to the report.
Across the Denver metro area, the number of luxury home sales increased 45 percent from the same period a year ago. Seventy-one homes in the metro area — including those in the Boulder Valley — sold for more than $1 million. In March 2012, 49 luxury homes sold.
The average luxury home sale price across the metro area was $1,534,964. The high end of the market also was strong, with 10 sales of more than $2 million each.
Two other key market indicators also improved in March, according to the report. Homes sold more quickly than they have in recent months, and sellers received a higher percentage of their asking price than they have in recent months.
WHITEWAVE SPACE: Natural foods company WhiteWave Foods Co. is seeking space in Denver for a corporate office it wants to open in June, according to a company spokeswoman.
Employees at the Denver office will perform “certain corporate functions” of WhiteWave, said Sara Loveday, who works in WhiteWave’s office in Broomfield. The new location will not impact WhiteWave’s North American division office in Broomfield, Loveday said.
No further details were available from WhiteWave (NYSE: WWAV), which is in a quiet period mandated by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission before its quarterly earnings announcement scheduled for May 9, Loveday said.
WhiteWave became a publicly traded company Oct. 26, although parent Dean Foods Co. in Dallas owns a majority stake. Dean Foods (NYSE: DF) plans to keep about a 20 percent stake in WhiteWave after it spins off the rest of its financial interest in the company this month, according to the company’s February quarterly earnings statement.
WhiteWave makes and sells Silk soy milk beverages, Horizon Organic dairy products, International Delight brand creamers and Land O’Lakes brand products.
Boulder entrepreneur Steve Demos founded WhiteWave in Boulder in 1977. Dean Foods acquired the company in 2002. WhiteWave reported in December that it has about 1,730 employees, including about 465 in Broomfield.
MOVING FROM BOULDER: Columbine Appliance & Fireplaces will move its store in Boulder at 1780 55th St. to the town of Erie.
Columbine, owned by Doug Salmen, has been operating in Boulder County for 55 years. It also has a showroom in Longmont at 1108 Francis St., which will remain open.
“We outgrew or space in Boulder,” Salmen said. “And our customer base has grown geographically. We think this move puts us in a more central location to serve our customers.”
The company purchased an 18,000-square-foot building in October at 1020 Carbon Court, Unit A, in Erie, for approximately $1 million, according to Paula Mehle, economic development coordinator for the town of Erie.
Salmen said his company will continue to provide service to customers in the Boulder area, including service on appliances. “We stopped selling appliances about a year ago, but we became a preferred service provider for several appliance brands.” Top on this list is Whirlpool Corp., whose brands include Whirlpool, Maytag, Amana, Jenn-Air, KitchenAid, Brastemp, Gladiator, Consul and Bauknecht. Columbine is one of 93 Whirlpool preferred service providers nationwide. Salmen said appliance service makes up 80 percent of his business, and fireplace sales and service makes up about 20 percent.
The company’s showroom and service area will take up about 7,500 square feet of the building and feature approximately a dozen burning fireplace displays and a variety of gas barbecues. Salmen said there will be room to set up a technician training facility and offer classes and events.
Norm DeHart of Guidance Corporate Realty Advisors represented Salmen Columbine Appliance.
ADDING A PARTNER: George Seward, owner of Vista Ag Properties LLC in Yuma, has become a part owner of the undeveloped Pratt Technology Campus in Johnstown along the east side of Interstate 25.
Pratt Management Co. reorganized the entity that owns the land from Pratt Properties LP to Seward & Pratt LLC in March.
Al Linton with Pratt Management Co. said because the ownership entity was reorganized the transaction was not recorded as a sale. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.
“Development of the property is still in a holding pattern,” Linton said. “We are looking for a buyer or a group to come in and develop the entire parcel.”
The property has been annexed into Johnstown and is zoned for commercial use: office and retail, hospitality, research and development, manufacturing, production, light industrial and service. Water and sewer lines are in place to serve the site with a full delivery water agreement with the town of Johnstown. Natural gas and electricity are available adjacent to the site.
Seward & Pratt LLC owns the mineral rights.
JAX CENTER JUMPING: Music, food and drink are themes of retail stores open or slated to open in the 93,000-square-foot shopping center around the Jax Ranch and Home store at 400 W. South Boulder Road.
A farmer’s market is scheduled to start Sunday, May 12, in a pedestrian area being created at the rear of the shopping center, said Jax Mercantile Inc. owner Jim Quinlan. Quinlan bought the shopping center last fall for $2.8 million, opening the 40,000-square-foot Jax store on Nov. 17.
The Unseen Bean Inc. coffee roasting store is open in the shopping center, as is Lafayette Music, Quinlan said. Subway, Thai Kitchen and Krishna Kafe restaurants also are open in the shopping center, along with an Herbal Wellness store and Krishna Groceries, said Debbie Wilmot, a Lafayette spokeswoman.
Slated to open in the next couple of weeks are the Bistro 503 restaurant, the Front Range Brewing microbrewery, Gourmet Cheese Pantry Shoppe, the Cottage Home gifts and home furnishings store, and a Boulder Piano Gallery showroom, Quinlan said.
Later this spring, Juliana’s Bakery and Cakery and the Stone Hearth and Patio store also are in the works, Quinlan said. The Wine Cellar wine store plans to open there as well.
Quinlan said he also is negotiating with representatives of a sushi restaurant and a medical uniform, or “scrubs” store to fill the two remaining 1,500-square-foot spaces in the shopping center. He wants to find a flower shop to operate out of a former 200-square-foot ATM location in the shopping center.
Shopping center lease rates were set below market rates to draw in tenants, Quinlan said, declining to give specific prices. He estimated that he has spent more than $500,000 to make various improvements to the center, including redevelopment of the pedestrian plaza in the rear. The plaza area also will be available for musical events, craft fairs and other community events, he said.
“I think it will make Lafayette more of a destination,” Quinlan said of the scheduled Sunday farmer’s markets.
The Jax Ranch and Home store carries hardware, clothing and shoes, and horse, pet and agricultural products. A 33,000-square-foot Jax outdoor gear store nearby at the intersection of U.S. Highway 287 and South Boulder Road soon will carry bicycles and archery equipment, Quinlan said.
That store also offers other Jax signature products: outdoor clothing, military surplus items and gear for camping, hunting and fishing. Fort Collins-based Jax Mercantile Inc. has six locations along the Front Range.
MEDTRONIC LEASES IN CTC: Medtronic Navigation Inc. has leased 40,657 square feet of space at 1480 Arthur Ave. in the Colorado Technology Center in Louisville.
Medtronic Navigation is a division of medical device-maker Medtronic Inc. (Nasdaq: MDT), based in Minneapolis. It has three locations in Colorado, with operations in Denver, Parker and the Coal Creek Business Park in Louisville.
The lease at 1480 Arthur, which will be used primarily as a production facility, will allow the company to expand its presence in the area, according to Ryan Good, vice president for leasing/sales of Etkin-Johnson Group, who negotiated the transaction with Todd Wheeler of Cushman & Wakefield in Denver, who represented Medtronic.
Medtronic plans to move into the space in July, which is part of a 92,576-square-foot office/flex building built and owned by Denver-based Etkin-Johnson Group.
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