Colorado Springs Real Estate Briefs: October 21, 2005

Colorado Springs Real Estate Briefs: October 21, 2005

Becky Hurley

The CSBJ recently caught up with Todd Parker, executive vice president with private real estate investment trust company Equastone (formerly Equus Real Estate). The firm’s Colorado region office is based in Denver. Its national headquarters is in La Jolla, Calif.The firm specializes in opportunistic, value-add and core- plus real estate. We are bullish on the Colorado Springs market and have determined that the area offers us the opportunity to add value and capitalize on our investments, Parker said during a visit to the Pikes Peak region last week.Three of Equastone’s portfolio properties purchased in the past 12 months are in the Pikes Peak region and a fourth is in Denver. They account for 437,000 square feet and include Tech Center I, Tech Center VI and Pikes Peak Research Center – all along or near the north Interstate 25 corridor. Some updating and improvements at each facility are budgeted for 2006.Parker differentiates his company’s approach from that of a tenants-in-common investor group. We don’t have as many complications as a TIC because we don’t ask investors to put all their eggs in one basket, Parker said. A privately funded REIT allows the company to buy and sell without having to move individuals from one building to the next, he explained, noting that Equastone averages about five years to make its returns. We recently closed our first fund at $175 million and are considering offering a second investment opportunity for between $175 and $300 million with a $100,000 investor minimum. The company intends to use third party leasing and property management firms to support its goals. So far Parker has been working with Sierra Commercial Real Estate’s Kent Mau and Greg Phaneuf as well as with Peter Scoville and Michael Palmer of NAI Highland Commercial. Property management will be handled by Sierra Commercial Property Management.Looking to the future, Parker said the company is considering $50 million to $75 million in acquisitions in the near term. Plans include a focus on office acquisitions initially, but may branch out into light industrial or retail.Front Range Commercial transactionsJay Carlson leased a 2,050-square-foot retail space to Klooster Salon Inc. at 6510-C S. Academy Blvd. He represented owner Cheyenne Montana Property Owners Management Inc. The tenant was represented by Jack Gloriod of Gloriod and Associates.Carlson also facilitated a lease for owner David Leinweber of 952 square feet and tenant Mountain States Telecom Inc. at 293 S. 21st St. in the new Angler’s Covey building.The retail specialist represented landlord Gateway Commercial LLC on the lease of 1,474 square feet of storefront space in Gateway Shopping Center to Hot Rod Tattoos. DLR Group kicks off corrections projectFrom principal Tim Christiansen at DLR Group Architects comes news that the Colorado Springs branch of the national firm will team with Tobin & Associates of Cheyenne, Wyo., to design and build an $84 million prison project for the state of Wyoming. The 650-bed medium-security correctional facility will be in Torrington.DLR Group is a full service architectural, engineering, planning and design firm with 16 offices throughout the country. They are the architect of record for the El Paso County judicial building addition and Mountain Range High School in Westminster.The Canyons at BroadmoorThose who have lived here since the 1970s may remember the early development of a 3,100-acre master planned community at Cheyenne Mountain Ranch. Gates Land Co. started the project in 1969. Today the property is home to more than 15,000 residents, a corporate business campus, commercial services, parks and schools. CMR originally stretched south from Lake Avenue to Fort Carson, east from Old Broadmoor, and west from Interstate 25, including a 100-acre commercial complex near the World Arena.Now the last remaining estate-sized lots at Cheyenne Mountain Ranch are being marketed by the DeLay Development Co. at the Canyons at Broadmoor. Lots will cost between $200,000 and $350,000 – and lots- plus-home will cost between $800,000 and $1.3 million.Highlights of the 42-lot upscale Tuscan-inspired property include two streams, 50 acres designated for privately held preservation, and room for plenty of outdoor spaces for patios and courtyards.The community will be at the foot of Cheyenne Mountain, just west of Highway 115 and north of NORAD Road. It will consist of 52 lots on 110 acres for custom and semi-custom homes. This is one of the last great pieces of land in the city, said marketing broker, Heath DeLay. We are maximizing home designs and site plans to capture very dramatic views of Cheyenne Mountain.One builder already breaking ground at The Canyons at Broadmoor is The Branan Co. Other luxury homebuilders who have bought lots include Trends West, High Country Homes and High Mesa Homes. Branan’s $1.3 million Tuscan-inspired home, for example, will incorporate vintage beams, mirrors and dressers as well as barreled or cathedral-like ceilings and will likely be entered in the 2006 Parade of Homes.Becky Hurley covers real estate for the Colorado Springs Business Journal.

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