Special Features

A short bike ride from Littleton's historic downtown, these homes are all ranch, all mid-century modern

By Mark Samuelson

Builder Curt Stedron and Kentwood s Jason Cummings at Wilder Lane in Littleton.
At a moment when Denver area homebuyers are turning out en-masse to see the clean lines of mid-century-modern architecture, you can tour a 24-home custom enclave close to Columbine Country Club that's all ranch, all mid-mod design - a skip-hop-and-a-jump from Littleton's downtown dining scene.

Developer Curt Stedron with New Century Modern fell in love with the mid-mod style as a child visiting an uncle's home. "Even as a kid I knew it was a cool house," he recalls, noting that his admiration grew when he moved to Chicago and got a load of Frank Lloyd Wright's Prairie Style. The model you'll tour today -- 2,200 square feet with two bedrooms on the main level, shows a tall, sleek entertaining area, outdoor living spaces and an eye-catching finished basement with entertaining area and guest suite.

New Century plans to hold onto this one as a model, but prices it at $979,000 - surrounded by similar, wide lots, a mile west of downtown Littleton, where Stedron commissioned architect Brian Gunn of Studio Gunn Architecture to take the George Jetson look into the next millennium.

"Wilder Lane is an attempt to combine mid-century design with a new century lifestyle," Stedron says. Before Denver's current lust for modern that's shown in new homes in LoHi, Cherry Creek North and Hilltop, Denver had period neighborhoods dating from when Dwight Eisenhower was president that highlighted the trend - including Arapahoe Hills, a mile north of Wilder Lane. "We want to be part of that chain, a legacy neighborhood," he adds.

Buyers love the look. They've picked up Wilder Lane's first four homes on the north side of the enclave (one closed this week), and now Stedron is launching four more specs - each a unique mid-mod design to set it apart. "You shouldn't have to drive by your house to get to your house," he quips.

On the model, he and Gunn show some 2.0-release changes that he thinks buyers will like: a bigger master suite, an even larger Great Room and more finish-and-trim choices to allow purchasers to personalize their own take on mid-mod, in cabinets and lighting.

Kentwood agent Jason Cummings says that buyers go for the setting of these homes as a much as the mid-mod lines. A block away is Columbine Valley's new city hall, a golf-cart ride from Columbine Country Club, getting a makeover of its clubhouse (memberships are available). Ninety degrees east, bike riders are headed into downtown Littleton via the Mary Carter Greenway Trail to a growing array of bistros, wine bars and taverns. "It's really hot now," Cummings adds.

Among buyers you can discern the wide popularity of the mid-century look: Some are empty-nesters after ranch layouts, old enough to recall when this was a new look; but others are younger, attracted by the schools (Wilder Elementary is a 10-for-10 at GreatSchools.com) and by the low-maintenance (the most recent closing was to 30-somethings). Wilder Lane gets full yard landscape maintenance and snow removal as part of a package.

You can buy the model as-is, or personalize an upcoming phase-two design, or talk with Stedron and Cummings about a personalized version from the $900s (sites range to 12,000 square feet and many can take a 3-car garage).

From downtown Littleton, take Bowles west past Santa Fe, a mile to South Middlefield Road and turn south one long block to a right at Wilder Lane.

WHERE: Wilder Lane by New Century Modern, spacious ranches in mid-century-modern architecture, 2,200 s.f. finished on main level plus basement finish to 1,300 s.f.; snow removal & full yard landscape provided; close to Columbine Country Club, downtown Littleton; one home for quick move. 24 Wilder Lane, Littleton; from downtown Littleton take Bowles west past Santa Fe, 1 mile to Middlefield Road, turn south 1 block to Wilder

PRICE: From $900s, show home ready now $979,000

WHEN: Today, 11 a.m. until 5 p.m., or by appointment

PHONE: 720-409-7330

WEB: WilderLane24.com

- Mark Samuelson writes on real estate and business; you can email him at mark@samuelsonassoc.com. You can see all of Mark Samuelson's columns online at DPHomes.today

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