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

  • Longtime Summit County developer donates water rights to Silverthorne

    The headgate of Sawmill Gulch stems from Willow Creek.Elise Reuter, Summit Daily
    Thanks to a donation by a longtime Summit County developer, Silverthorne will receive a significant increase in water rights because of an old diversion in the wilderness behind Ruby Ranch.
    “This much water could be a significant portion of the overall town usage,” Silverthorne public works director Bill Linfield said. “How the town might use these newly acquired rights is not yet known but will be carefully explored in the coming years.”
    Developer Gary Miller donated 1.833 cubic-feet-per-second (cfs) in water rights to the town, the rough equivalent of 13.71 gallons per second, or 1.2 million gallons per day.
    Sawmill Gulch is diverted from Willow Creek, within the Eagles Nest Wilderness, Linfield said. The diversion, appropriated in 1918, was originally intended for irrigation. “I’ve owned this water for a long time,” Miller said. “I think the town of Silverthorne has done such a great job. I thought, ‘I’ve got the water; they’ve got a lot of people moving into the town.’ I thought the best thing for me to do was to give it to them.”
    Read the full story on SummitDaily.com.
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  • US homeownership rate of 62.9 percent matches a 51-year low

    WASHINGTON (AP) — The proportion of U.S. households that own homes has matched its lowest level in 51 years — evidence that rising property prices, high rents and stagnant pay have made it hard for many to buy.
    Just 62.9 percent of households owned a home in the April-June quarter this year, a decrease from 63.4 percent 12 months ago, the Census Bureau said Thursday. The share of homeowners now equals the rate in 1965, when the census began tracking the data.
    The trend appears most pronounced among millennial households, ages 18 to 34, many of whom are straining under the weight of rising apartment rents and heavy student debt. Their homeownership rate fell 0.7 percentage point over the past year to 34.1 percent. That decline may reflect, in part, more young adults leaving their parents’ homes for rental apartments.
    The overall decline appears to be due largely to the increased formation of rental households, said Ralph McLaughlin, chief economist at the real estate site Trulia. McLaughlin cautioned, though, that the decrease in homeownership from a year ago was not statistically significant.
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  • Auction of Colorado farm and water brought in $12.6 million

    The auction of family-owned Reynolds Farm outside Mead raked in $12.6 million Thursday as farmers, developers and five cities bid for land and the attached water and ditch rights.
    The auction room was packed with bidders, but only 13 emerged from the Larimer County Fairgrounds with a piece of the Reynolds portfolio. Municipalities, developers and farmers all grabbed some units of Colorado-Big Thompson water, while developers and growers signed deals for land.
    The auction was of high interest, given the land’s location in the path of northern Front Range development and the large amount of water attached to it.
    Although the numbers are still preliminary, Hall and Hall Auctions partner Scott Shuman said 276 CB-T units brought in the largest chunk of money, about $7.6 million or an average of $27,356 each. The CB-T units, already trading for high sums, were expected to be the most pricey given their scarcity and the ability to use the water for uses such as agriculture, development and industrial processes, including oil and gas extraction.
    But on a per-share basis, the 15.75 Highland Ditch shares stole the show, averaging $148,900 each for an estimated total of $2.3 million. All the shares were sold to farmers or investors.
    Although CB-T water got most of the attention prior to the auction, Shuman said the ditch shares provide more acre-feet of water than CB-T and are not limited to a specific geography. CB-T water, which is conveyed from the headwaters of the Colorado River near Grand Lake, can be used only within the boundaries of the Northern Colorado Water Conservancy District.
    The 461 acres of land averaged $6,970 each, bringing in roughly $3.2 million. At the last minute, a 50 acres of land and two Highland Ditch shares were added to the auction.

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  • Former Japanese consulate residence hits the Denver market for $4.2 million

    Photo courtesy of Rick Machle, Rockin MediaThe mansion that once served as a Japanese consulate in Cherry Hills Village has maintained much of its 1970s postmodern character, even after renovations were made a few years ago to make the home more energy efficient. The property is on the market for $4.2 million. Photo courtesy of Rick Machle, Rockin MediaThe mansion that once served as a Japanese consulate in Cherry Hills Village has maintained much of its 1970s postmodern character, even after renovations were made a few years ago to make the home more energy efficient. The property is on the market for $4.2 million. Photo courtesy of Rick Machle, Rockin MediaThe mansion that once served as a Japanese consulate in Cherry Hills Village has maintained much of its 1970s postmodern character, even after renovations were made a few years ago to make the home more energy efficient. The property is on the market for $4.2 million. Photo courtesy of Rick Machle, Rockin MediaThe mansion that once served as a Japanese consulate in Cherry Hills Village has maintained much of its 1970s postmodern character, even after renovations were made a few years ago to make the home more energy efficient. The property is on the market for $4.2 million. Photo courtesy of Rick Machle, Rockin MediaThe mansion that once served as a Japanese consulate in Cherry Hills Village has maintained much of its 1970s postmodern character, even after renovations were made a few years ago to make the home more energy efficient. The property is on the market for $4.2 million. Photo courtesy of Rick Machle, Rockin MediaThe mansion that once served as a Japanese consulate in Cherry Hills Village has maintained much of its 1970s postmodern character, even after renovations were made a few years ago to make the home more energy efficient. The property is on the market for $4.2 million. Photo courtesy of Rick Machle, Rockin MediaThe mansion that once served as a Japanese consulate in Cherry Hills Village has maintained much of its 1970s postmodern character, even after renovations were made a few years ago to make the home more energy efficient. The property is on the market for $4.2 million. Photo courtesy of Rick Machle, Rockin MediaThe mansion that once served as a Japanese consulate in Cherry Hills Village has maintained much of its 1970s postmodern character, even after renovations were made a few years ago to make the home more energy efficient. The property is on the market for $4.2 million. Photo courtesy of Rick Machle, Rockin MediaThe mansion that once served as a Japanese consulate in Cherry Hills Village has maintained much of its 1970s postmodern character, even after renovations were made a few years ago to make the home more energy efficient. The property is on the market for $4.2 million. Photo courtesy of Rick Machle, Rockin MediaThe mansion that once served as a Japanese consulate in Cherry Hills Village has maintained much of its 1970s postmodern character, even after renovations were made a few years ago to make the home more energy efficient. The property is on the market for $4.2 million. Photo courtesy of Rick Machle, Rockin MediaThe mansion that once served as a Japanese consulate in Cherry Hills Village has maintained much of its 1970s postmodern character, even after renovations were made a few years ago to make the home more energy efficient. The property is on the market for $4.2 million. Photo courtesy of Rick Machle, Rockin MediaThe mansion that once served as a Japanese consulate in Cherry Hills Village has maintained much of its 1970s postmodern character, even after renovations were made a few years ago to make the home more energy efficient. The property is on the market for $4.2 million. Photo courtesy of Rick Machle, Rockin MediaThe mansion that once served as a Japanese consulate in Cherry Hills Village has maintained much of its 1970s postmodern character, even after renovations were made a few years ago to make the home more energy efficient. The property is on the market for $4.2 million. Photo courtesy of Rick Machle, Rockin MediaThe mansion that once served as a Japanese consulate in Cherry Hills Village has maintained much of its 1970s postmodern character, even after renovations were made a few years ago to make the home more energy efficient. The property is on the market for $4.2 million. Photo courtesy of Rick Machle, Rockin MediaThe mansion that once served as a Japanese consulate in Cherry Hills Village has maintained much of its 1970s postmodern character, even after renovations were made a few years ago to make the home more energy efficient. The property is on the market for $4.2 million. Photo courtesy of Rick Machle, Rockin MediaThe mansion that once served as a Japanese consulate in Cherry Hills Village has maintained much of its 1970s postmodern character, even after renovations were made a few years ago to make the home more energy efficient. The property is on the market for $4.2 million. Photo courtesy of Rick Machle, Rockin MediaThe mansion that once served as a Japanese consulate in Cherry Hills Village has maintained much of its 1970s postmodern character, even after renovations were made a few years ago to make the home more energy efficient. The property is on the market for $4.2 million. Photo courtesy of Rick Machle, Rockin MediaThe mansion that once served as a Japanese consulate in Cherry Hills Village has maintained much of its 1970s postmodern character, even after renovations were made a few years ago to make the home more energy efficient. The property is on the market for $4.2 million. Photo courtesy of Rick Machle, Rockin MediaThe mansion that once served as a Japanese consulate in Cherry Hills Village has maintained much of its 1970s postmodern character, even after renovations were made a few years ago to make the home more energy efficient. The property is on the market for $4.2 million. Photo courtesy of Rick Machle, Rockin MediaThe mansion that once served as a Japanese consulate in Cherry Hills Village has maintained much of its 1970s postmodern character, even after renovations were made a few years ago to make the home more energy efficient. The property is on the market for $4.2 million. Photo courtesy of Rick Machle, Rockin MediaThe mansion that once served as a Japanese consulate in Cherry Hills Village has maintained much of its 1970s postmodern character, even after renovations were made a few years ago to make the home more energy efficient. The property is on the market for $4.2 million. Photo courtesy of Rick Machle, Rockin MediaThe mansion that once served as a Japanese consulate in Cherry Hills Village has maintained much of its 1970s postmodern character, even after renovations were made a few years ago to make the home more energy efficient. The property is on the market for $4.2 million. Photo courtesy of Rick Machle, Rockin MediaThe mansion that once served as a Japanese consulate in Cherry Hills Village has maintained much of its 1970s postmodern character, even after renovations were made a few years ago to make the home more energy efficient. The property is on the market for $4.2 million. Photo courtesy of Rick Machle, Rockin MediaThe mansion that once served as a Japanese consulate in Cherry Hills Village has maintained much of its 1970s postmodern character, even after renovations were made a few years ago to make the home more energy efficient. The property is on the market for $4.2 million. Photo courtesy of Rick Machle, Rockin MediaThe mansion that once served as a Japanese consulate in Cherry Hills Village has maintained much of its 1970s postmodern character, even after renovations were made a few years ago to make the home more energy efficient. The property is on the market for $4.2 million. Photo courtesy of Rick Machle, Rockin MediaThe mansion that once served as a Japanese consulate in Cherry Hills Village has maintained much of its 1970s postmodern character, even after renovations were made a few years ago to make the home more energy efficient. The property is on the market for $4.2 million. Photo courtesy of Rick Machle, Rockin MediaThe mansion that once served as a Japanese consulate in Cherry Hills Village has maintained much of its 1970s postmodern character, even after renovations were made a few years ago to make the home more energy efficient. The property is on the market for $4.2 million. Photo courtesy of Rick Machle, Rockin MediaThe mansion that once served as a Japanese consulate in Cherry Hills Village has maintained much of its 1970s postmodern character, even after renovations were made a few years ago to make the home more energy efficient. The property is on the market for $4.2 million. Photo courtesy of Rick Machle, Rockin MediaThe mansion that once served as a Japanese consulate in Cherry Hills Village has maintained much of its 1970s postmodern character, even after renovations were made a few years ago to make the home more energy efficient. The property is on the market for $4.2 million. Show Caption of Expand
    A Cherry Hills Village home that once served as a Japanese consulate is on the market for $4.2 million.
    The two-story, 14,400-square-foot postmodern residence most recently served as the home and office of Joe Durnford, CEO of JD Ford. It was built in 1976 by MDC Holdings CEO Larry Mizel for his own private residence and then served as the consulate residence from 1998 to 2011, Dumford said. Dumford renovated the home after he bought it in 2012.
    The 1.11-acre property at 9 Sedgwick Drive in the Devonshire Heights neighborhood offers six bedrooms and 10 bathrooms. It’s just a 2-mile drive from former Broncos coach Mike Shanahan’s mansion, which is also on the market. (And closer than that, as the crow flies. Durnford said if he were a better golfer, he could hit it with a driver. He could practice at the Wellshire Golf Course, just across East Hampden Avenue from the neighborhood.)
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