Special Features

Outdoor living on a Colorado scale: Final Parade weekend offers dramatic outdoor entertaining at Pradera in Parker

By Mark Samuelson

AronPhoto.comUmbria model at Pradera open for final weekend of the Parade of Homes.When veteran builders Dan Verdoorn and Kurt Miller brought luxury homes to some city-sized lots in Lone Tree's Heritage Hills six years ago, Colorado's housing market was headed for the tank - but Celebrity Custom Homes, all with dramatic outdoor-living spaces, sold well anyway, right through the downturn. Now the market is vastly better, and Verdoorn, Miller and award-winning architect Mike Woodley have applied those same concepts to the expansive terrain around the private Jim Engh-design golf course at Pradera, near Parker. And you can come see how great those work on this final weekend of the Parade of Homes.

"The city grew up around Lone Tree, and now we're seeing some of our buyers who look for more privacy," Miller said, showing off the two homes you'll see - each with wide-open settings where outdoor living unfolds from the home's interior, seamlessly into the rolling panorama. There's room for a 'casita' that could be an added guest suite; or a party room that unfolds from a giant pool and terrace.

"This is the line," Miller said as he traced an imaginary divide that Woodley has created between the entertaining spaces and the functional areas like bedroom suites. The latter are also decked out, showing creative uses of light and color to complement the outdoors.

All of this is an add-on to a private golf club setting that offers plenty of value in its amenities, says Verdoorn. "It's a nice, family-styled club with an amazing social membership," he added. $94 a month gets you the inviting clubhouse and its gym and grill (great chef, Verdoorn notes) along with four foursomes a year on the course, and a calendar of activities with your neighbors.

"A lot of value in a custom purchase ends up being about who's doing it," notes Craig Penn, sales manager at Pradera, who has already seen six sales of these homes this year. "This is a custom builder at a semi-custom price. You won't find this quality anywhere around."

Prices start under $900,000. Tour the homes, and then Penn can tell you about home sites at Pradera - some ready for you to go to work on a custom version of these right away. Celebrity also has one home set for early delivery: an Avila 3-bedroom-plus-study plan on track to be ready this year. You still have time to have that personalized, from a price including lot premium estimated at $1.1 million.

Penn adds that Pradera has the new connectivity offered by the west side of Parker, with its Hess Road and Ridgegate Parkway connections to Southeast office campuses. You can get there by heading south on Parker Road past the town of Parker; but Penn recommends you take the I-25 route: south to the first Castle Rock exit, Founders Parkway, then east a mile to Crowfoot Valley Road, north three miles to Pradera Parkway, and right a half mile to Wildgrass Place.

WHERE: Parade of Homes featuring Celebrity Custom Homes at Pradera, final Parade weekend; two designer-furnished custom homes, attractively priced sites, some on private Jim Engh designed golf course. Take I-25 south to first Castle Rock exit, Founders Pkwy, east 1 mi. to Crowfoot Valley Rd., turn north 3 mi. to Pradera Pkwy, then right ½ mi to Wildgrass Pl.

PRICE: From $835,000 to $1.5 million, ready soon $1.1 million

PHONE: 720-851-9411

WEB: CelebrityCommunities.com

Mark Samuelson writes on real estate and business; you can email him atmark@samuelsonassoc.com. You can see all of Mark Samuelson's columns online atDenverPostHomes.com

  • Del Corazon will bring 197 affordable apartments to Westwood neighborhood

    A $40 million project now under construction will bring 197 affordable apartments to Denver’s Westwood neighborhood by the first quarter of 2018.
    The 4.5-acre Del Corazon complex spans the north and south sides of the 4400 block of Morrison Road and will consist of seven buildings. A pedestrian median on Morrison Road and a public plaza also are part of the project.
    All of the one- and two-bedroom units will be open to households that earn 60 percent or less than the area’s median income — $33,660 for one person or $43,260 for a family of three.
    “Denver is proud to invest in safe and affordable housing for the Westwood neighborhood,” Denver Mayor Michael Hancock said during an official groundbreaking ceremony Wednesday. “This is a key project that serves as a catalyst for additional revitalization of the Morrison Road corridor, bringing more housing, retail, amenities and jobs for local residents.”
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  • Add Toronto to the list of cities preparing to regulate short-term home rentals

    By Katia Dmitrieva, Bloomberg News
    Canada’s largest city, facing low apartment vacancies and soaring real estate prices, is considering regulations of short-term home rentals amid concern that companies such as Airbnb Inc. are removing much-needed supply.
    The City of Toronto released a report Wednesday that lays out potential control measures for short-term rentals, including a licensing system, updated zoning bylaws and additional tax requirements. The report, which will be considered by policy makers next week, recommended consultations with the public and stakeholders early next year to help decide whether regulation is needed.
    “Toronto residents have raised questions and concerns about whether short-term rentals are permitted in the city and whether short-term rentals should be subject to further regulation,” according to the report, submitted by the city’s planning and licensing departments. “Cities around the world are facing similar issues and are in various stages of researching and regulating short-term rentals.”
    Cities are grappling with how to handle home-sharing services and their effect on neighborhoods, housing affordability, tourism and taxes. The Toronto report comes a month after Vancouver, another Canadian city with a tight housing market, announced it would begin steps this fall to regulate short-term rentals, which that city estimates is withholding 5,000 properties from the market. San Francisco enacted a rule this year barring platforms like Airbnb from collecting fees from hosts who haven’t registered units with the city, and New York is considering a state bill to regulate the service.
    Airbnb use in Toronto almost doubled last year, according to the report, showing the growing popularity of the service at a time when rising home prices are squeezing housing availability. The apartment vacancy rate in Toronto was 1.6 percent as of October 2015, and in Vancouver it was almost zero, according to the most recent data from Canada Mortgage & Housing Corp., the national housing agency.
    “There is a general issue of affordability in Toronto, but we don’t know what is causing that beyond market forces,” Toronto Mayor John Tory said by phone last month in a wide-ranging conversation about the city’s housing market. “We are looking at first trying to determine what’s causing the challenge of affordability in this market and then saying, “all right, now that we understand what’s causing it, what do we do about it?’”
    An Airbnb spokesman didn’t immediately respond to an e-mail and phone call with comment.
    There were 9,460 Airbnb listings rented in Toronto last year, up from 4,780 a year earlier, according to company data cited in the report. Of the 2015 listings, 6,440 were entire condominium units or homes. The City of Toronto has about 228,000 condos, according to data provider Urbanation Inc.
    Canadian cities may find it costly to regulate the service. Airbnb has sued San Francisco and Santa Monica, Calif., and is threatening to sue New York. Anaheim, Calif., dropped its effort to regulate the service after the world’s fourth-most valuable startup pursued legal action.

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  • Denver area apartment rent gains slowest since 2010

    Average apartment rents in metro Denver rose 1.5 percent in September from a year earlier, the slowest annual gain measured since March 2010, according to a report Wednesday from Dallas-based Axiometrics.
    Average apartment rents fell from $1,407 in August to $1,394 in September, and the occupancy rate dropped from 95 percent to 94.7 percent. A year ago, apartment rents were increasing at an 8.9 percent clip in Denver and nationally they rose 2.6 percent.
    “The double-digit rent growth Denver saw last summer (2015) was unsustainable,” Stephanie McCleskey, vice president of research for Axiometrics, said in the report.
    McCleskey is forecasting that after a sluggish 2017, apartment rent increases will accelerate again in early 2018 and Denver, now lagging, will again report some of strongest rent growth.
    Submarkets with the highest annual rent increases last month were central and southwest Aurora, up 4.4 percent; far southeast Denver, up 4 percent; north Lakewood, up 3 percent and Jefferson County, up 2.9 percent.
    The Axiometric report confirms the cooling trend that the Denver Metro Area Apartment Vacancy and Rent Report, released Tuesday, found. Average monthly apartment rents were $1,368 in the third quarter, down $3.36 from the second quarter. That was the first time average rents declined between those two quarters in metro Denver since 2007, according to the report prepared by the University of Denver.

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  • U.S. home construction fell 9 percent in September

    WASHINGTON — Homebuilders pulled back on construction for a second straight month in September, with a plunge in apartments offsetting gains in single-family homes. Building activity was weak in all parts of the country except the Midwest.
    Construction tumbled 9 percent in September to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.05 million units, the Commerce Department reported Wednesday. It was the slowest pace in 18 months. Construction had fallen 5.6 percent in August.
    The weakness last month reflected a 38 percent drop in construction of apartments, which overshadowed an 8.1 percent rise in single-family construction.
    Despite the two months of declines, home construction has been one of the bright spots in the economy this year. Builders have been scrambling to keep up with rising demand amid continued strong job gains and low mortgage rates.
    The September performance was weaker than expected. Analysts had been forecasting a rebound. But they noted that the smaller apartment segment of construction is often volatile from month to month.
    “Given the volatility of the multifamily sector, there is not enough in this report to suggest the steady uptrend in housing starts is changing yet,” economists at Contingent Macro Research said in a research note.
    Applications for building permits, a good sign of future activity, posted an increase of 6.3 percent in September. It was the biggest one-month gain since last November, pushing activity to an annual rate of 1.22 million units.
    By region of the country, construction starts rose 6.6 percent in the Midwest, the only region showing a gain. Construction fell 31.5 percent in the Northwest, 15.6 percent in the South and 4.4 percent in the West.
    A survey of builder sentiment on Tuesday showed that builders’ confidence about the future eased back a bit this month after surging to the highest level in nearly a year in September

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