As Manitou Springs prepares to enter phase 5A of a three-year facelift to its downtown, Economic Development Director Kitty Clemens has alerted local merchants to some possible construction-related obstruction in the area.
“The burial of overhead power lines and streetscape improvements for Manitou Avenue will continue as … the downtown revitalization project resumes in the 900 block of Manitou Avenue the first week of January 2009,” she said.
Crews from Colorado Springs Utilities will begin trenching to prepare for the removal of poles and overhead wires. Overhead utilities will be removed along Manitou Avenue and around the corner to 22 Ruxton Ave. Qwest and Comcast also will start pulling down overhead lines through the month of December.
The final phase trenching and burial of power lines will take about 16 weeks, Clemens said.
The revitalized Manitou Avenue streetscape is being paid for by a 0.3 cent sales tax approved by voters during 2004, Clemens said, adding that contractors are required to provide construction schedules to minimize obstruction of on-street parking in the central business district.
First Commercial Bank has leased 2,418 square feet at 115 N Tejon St. from Tejon Equities LLC.
The landlord was represented by Samantha Bruner of The Equity Group and the tenant was represented by Edwina Rogers of Edwina Rogers and Associates.
Security Title has leased 1,760 square feet in the Phoenix Tower at 2864 S. Circle Drive.
The landlord was represented by Danny Mientka of The Equity Group and the tenant was represented by Erik Ozolins of Orion Realty Group of Santa Barbara, Calif.
Endodontic Specialists of Colorado P.C. has relocated to the Lake Plaza Professional Building at 1230 Tenderfoot Hill Drive.
The 2,700-square-foot condo is in a new office building developed by Niebur Golf and Thomas General Contractors. The developers represented themselves and Endodontic Specialists was represented by Tom Binnings of Pan-Com Inc.
Michaela Matei has purchased a 1,806-square-foot office condo for a medi-spa and salon at 13570 Meadowgrass Drive
The purchase price was $284,700.
Tim Leigh and R.D. Trinidad of Hoff & Leigh represented both the buyer and the seller, Canon Builders LLC.
Rents at small commercial properties across the country have declined for seven straight months, according to Boxwood Means Inc., which views trends in small-cap properties as indicative of general economic conditions.
The Stamford, Conn., research firm, in partnership with LoopNet Inc., compiles property operating and sales data about small-capitalization properties at office, retail and industrial properties in 100 metro areas across the country.
Nationally, small-cap properties — those valued at $10 million or less — account for about 40 percent of all commercial property. In the Pikes Peak region, $10 million-or-under buildings account for between 75 and 80 percent of the total market, said Paul Turner of Turner Commercial Real Estate.
Boxwood Means analysts determined that through the third quarter of 2008, retail properties were the hardest hit. So far, rents have decreased 2.8 percent from last year’s peak, dropping from $19.22 per square foot during July 2007 to $18.67 per square foot.
In El Paso County, the news is a little better. Commercial rents have flattened but so far none of the major categories — shopping centers, office or industrial — have seen a major drop-off, Turner said in his third quarter 2008 report.
In contrast, asking rents at Colorado Springs’ non-regional shopping centers hovered near $14 per square foot for the third quarter of 2008. That represents a 0.3 percent increase, off from a 5 percent average increase during July 2007.
Nationally, office rents fell to $17.27 from a peak of $17.40 per square foot during February. Industrial rents were down slightly, to $8.10 per square foot from a peak of $8.39 during March.
The Pikes Peak region’s Class A offices saw slightly higher rents. Turner reported that through the third quarter of 2008, the local average “asking” office rents were $11.48 per square foot, or 0.3 percent higher compared to December 2007. Industrial rates rose slightly as well, to an average of $7.12 per square foot, up from $7.02 during December 2007.
“The small-cap market is more reflective of what’s going on in the residential market than in the large-capitalization market,” said Randy Fuchs, Boxwood Means’ principal and co-founder. “The thinking had been that the small-cap and large-cap markets moved together but that’s just not the case.”
The country’s residential market saw peak prices during the summer of 2006, as did the small-cap commercial property market. But pricing for large-cap properties continued to climb and didn’t peak until early 2007.
“When small businesses sneeze, small-cap properties catch colds,” Fuchs said. “And because of the relatively short-term nature of small-cap property leases, those colds are caught almost immediately. Larger properties in and around central business districts tend to cater to larger businesses that usually lease their space for 10 to 15 years at a time. In contrast, leases at small properties tend to be for three to five years.”
The Federal Housing Finance Agency announced that the 2009 conforming loan limit will remain $417,000 for most areas, although there will be higher limits for some cities and counties.
That confirmation comes from Judy Ingels at Rocky Mountain Bank and Trust, who said that as during previous years, the 2009 maximum conforming limits are higher in Alaska, Hawaii, Guam, and the U.S. Virgin Islands than in the contiguous United States.
In those areas, loan limits vary from $625,500 to $721,050 for single-family properties.
Becky Hurley covers real estate for the Colorado Springs Business Journal.