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

  • Development opportunities emerge around Northglenn RTD rail station

    The acres of empty fields that now surround the construction of a commuter rail line station platform at East 112th Avenue in Northglenn may soon be full of housing and commercial development options.
    The Northglenn station is the penultimate stop on the Regional Transportation District’s currently funded section of the North Metro Rail line — the N line — from Denver’s  Union Station to Eastlake at East 124th Avenue — eventually ending at Colorado 7, depending on funds. The stop itself is just north of East 112th Avenue, off York Street.
    “The market is saying that there are more opportunities for housing there than for some of the other uses that we’ve looked at,” said Becky Smith, a city planner and project manager for Northglenn.  “So commercial areas have been identified, but they’re mostly optional and encouraged.”
    She said the city’s preliminary development guide so far foresees a mix of medium- and high-density residential closer to the station, transitioning to medium and lower single-family homes west of the site, toward existing residential.
    The vacant corner of York Street and East 112th Avenue could provide commercial opportunities, but that’s entirely up to three private landholders whom the city is continuing to meet with to discuss development options.
    Thornton city planners are working with Northglenn on the development guide, because two of those landowners control property in Thornton, directly east of the station across York Street.
    “The landowners are definitely excited,” said Karen Widomski, senior planner in Thornton. “We’re hoping that it will be more of a unique residential type that we haven’t seen in other parts of the city.”
    At the Northglenn stop, there are more than 100 acres of open land that could be transformed into new neighborhoods. Today, the station platform is surrounded by hundreds of homes to the west and southeast, mostly vacant fields directly north and east and a small industrial business park to the southwest.
    Anya Semenoff, The Denver Post)Construction continues at the North Metro Rail line station at 112th Avenue and York Street in Northglenn, Colorado.
    “Our working vision is to create a station that serves the surrounding neighborhoods as a vital and vibrant community hub, that provides enhanced connectivity to the station and surrounding neighborhoods and that strengthens and sustains the diverse industrial uses to the south,” Smith said.
    Among the city’s plans for the arrival of the commuter line in 2018 are new pedestrian connections such as bike lanes and crosswalks around the neighborhoods and into the adjacent industrial business park.
    Vance Sabbe, co-owner of Northglenn’s only craft brewery, Beer By Design at 2100 E. 112th Ave., said that access from the station, across 112th Avenue would be ideal.
    “It would be great if they could help people get to us since we’re still a couple blocks away from the stop,” Sabbe said. “I’ve thought about maybe doing advertising in the car itself to make sure people know we’re at the stop, and we’ve talked about starting a shuttle service to maybe attract more customers over.”
    This first phase of the planned 18.5-mile electric commuter rail line is supposed to be finished and through with testing  at the end of 2017, opening early 2018. The Northglenn station includes an open parking lot with 316 spaces.
    “What’s good about this station is the walkability that people are going to have from the neighborhoods and the commercial district nearby,” said Hadley Trent, spokeswoman for Regional Rail Partners, the company building out the line. “During peak travel times (from 6-9 a.m. and about 4-6 p.m.) the trains will be at this station approximately every 20 minutes.”
    Construction on the Northglenn station is moving quickly. Workers will create a raised platform that commuters can access with walk-up ramps and stairs from the parking lot and install the canopies over the platform in the coming months, just before the track is installed.
    The total cost of the project, from Denver Union Station to 124th Avenue, is $764 million. That includes design and construction, purchase of all necessary properties and purchase of the commuter rail vehicles.
    “We’re really excited about that station coming in,” Smith said. “We see it as a great opportunity for the city and that area. Most of the new development opportunity is on the Thornton side, but we do believe there are great opportunities to create vibrancy in that area.”

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  • Inventory shortage drives U.S. home sales down

    WASHINGTON — US homebuyers pulled back in July, as sales declined amid a shortage of available properties and steadily rising prices.
    Sales of existing homes fell 3.2 percent last month to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.39 million, the National Association of Realtors said Wednesday. The decline marks a reversal from rising demand that pushed sales in June to their highest level since February 2007.
    Fewer homes are coming onto the market, putting a cap on the sales growth enjoyed earlier this year thanks in part to a low mortgage rate and brightening job market. Rising demand for homes is a positive. But the dwindling supply of listings has pushed up prices, which suggests a market not yet at full health.
    This mismatch between supply and demand creates an environment of limited sales growth and escalating home values.
    Related ArticlesAugust 24, 2016

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  • Inventory shortage drives U.S. home sales down — except in the West

    WASHINGTON — US homebuyers pulled back in July, as sales declined amid a shortage of available properties and steadily rising prices.
    Sales of existing homes fell 3.2 percent last month to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.39 million, the National Association of Realtors said Wednesday. The decline marks a reversal from rising demand that pushed sales in June to their highest level since February 2007.
    Fewer homes are coming onto the market, putting a cap on the sales growth enjoyed earlier this year thanks in part to a low mortgage rate and brightening job market. Rising demand for homes is a positive. But the dwindling supply of listings has pushed up prices, which suggests a market not yet at full health.
    This mismatch between supply and demand creates an environment of limited sales growth and escalating home values.
    Related ArticlesAugust 21, 2016

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  • Denver City Council OKs moratoriums on small-lot parking exemption, some garden-court row homes

    RJ Sangosti, The Denver PostConstruction continues on row homes in West Colfax neighborhood in Denver, August 16, 2016.
    The Denver City Council on Monday approved two narrowly targeted moratoriums aimed at preventing recurrences of some projects seen as development scourges.
    Voting 12-0, the council approved a moratorium for about seven months that will prevent developers of larger projects from taking advantage of the city’s small-lot parking exemption, although it won’t apply to many that are under city review. That rule exempts lots of 6,250 square feet or less in mixed-use zoning districts from having to provide off-street parking.
    The other moratorium, approved 11-0 later in the night, will stop developers for at least the next year from filing new plans for modern sideways row homes with “garden courts” between the buildings that are too narrow. That is one form taken by “slot homes” that developers build perpendicular to the street in older neighborhoods — often replacing a single-family home with a dozen or more townhomes in what some critics consider a perversion of traditional garden courts.
    Related ArticlesAugust 15, 2016

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