City’s acquisition of White Acres gets green light

Filed under: Daily News,Real Estate | Tags:,
The 42.5-acre White Acres tract is just west of the intersection of South 26th Street and Lower Gold Camp Road, adjacent to Red Rocks Canyon.

The 42.5-acre White Acres tract is just west of the intersection of South 26th Street and Lower Gold Camp Road, adjacent to Red Rocks Canyon.

There’s real estate, and then there’s incomparable and one-of-a-kind Colorado terra firma.

In a move to preserve some of the city’s prime land for open space and parks, the El Paso County Board of Commissioners has approved a zoning change that clears the way for the City of Colorado Springs to acquire 42.5 acres of scenic open space for $1 million.

The White Acres property is just west of the intersection of South 26th Street and Lower Gold Camp Road, adjacent to Red Rock Canyon, and is jointly owned by Proverbs 3:5 and Bethany Baptist Church.

The acquisition was significant because White Acres provides trail connections between Red Rock Canyon Open Space, Section 16, and El Paso County’s Bear Creek Regional Park. As a result, the property was identified as a priority for preservation by groups including the Trails and Open Space Coalition, the Friends of Red Rock Canyon and the Palmer Land Trust — most of which are helping to raise money to offset the property’s $1 million price tag.

The plan splits the property into several parcels, allowing the purchase to take place during four annual phases. Voter-approved money and private donations will be used to pay for the acquisition.

Don Ellis, a spokesman for Friends of Red Rock Canyon, said his organization has pledged to help raise $75,000 and, with the help of a challenge grant, expects to reach its goal this year.

“We’ve had a great response so far,” he said. “One business sponsored a wine dinner, and Mountain Chalet downtown is working with us to sell T-shirts as a fundraiser.”

Mountain View sold

A 252-unit apartment complex at 4085 Westmeadow Drive has been purchased by Hamilton Zanze of San Francisco for $11 million.

The seller was Apartment Investment and Management Co. of Denver.

The deal was brokered by Pat Stucker and Mark Favro of Cushman & Wakefield’s Denver office, who represented the seller.

Hamilton Zanze is becoming one of Colorado Springs largest apartment owners with three other properties — or about 700 units — in its portfolio at Spring Canyon, the Resort at University Park and the Falls at Quail Lake.

Site, building sold

A 4,500-square-foot industrial building on 9.2 acres at 3525 and 3655 Wabash Street has been purchased for $1.55 million by Kiewit Construction Co.

The contracting firm previously occupied the building and adjacent land as a tenant. John Rodgers of Peak Commercial Properties represented both the buyer and the seller, ASCI of Colorado Springs LLC.

Citadel dental office lease

Bright Now Dental has leased 3,409 square feet of office space at 685 Citadel Drive East at Citadel Terrace.

Peter Scoville of Palmer McAllister, Cushman & Wakefield Alliance and Jim Spittler of NAI/Highland Commercial Group represented the landlord, Red Rock Springs LLC.

The building is 95 percent leased Scoville said.

More new leases

Mail Solutions has leased 1,000 square feet at 7702 Barnes Road in the Willowind Center.

Candace Seaton and Jim Chacon of Grubb & Ellis Quantum Commercial Group represented the tenant and the landlord, High Gate Farms LLC.

Seaton and Chacon also represented Colorado Springs Used Cars and Trucks on the lease of a 6000-square-foot retail building at 195 N. Academy Blvd.

The property previously housed a Nissan dealership headquarters.

Greg Zindorf of Z Investments represented the owner, Western Auto Development Ltd.

Local firm expands

Jaxson Engineering and Maintenance has leased 10,522 square feet of office space at 1975 Research Parkway in the Corporate Pointe building.

The defense contractor moved from a smaller local office as a result of winning new contracts with the military, said Rich Kelly of Grubb & Ellis Quantum Commercial Group who represented the tenant.

Greg Phaneuf of Palmer McAllister represented the landlord, Colorado Springs Office Buildings LLC.

Renewal season

Local business retention leaders should be pleased; a number of the community’s major commercial tenants and corporate employers — with leases in excess of 10,000 square feet — have decided to stay put.

During a tough economic environment, fewer companies are looking to expand into new markets, so it’s good to know those that are here plan to stay a while.

In good news for owner Oracle USA LLC and the city, the company’s former headquarters building at 12320 Oracle Blvd. will keep its major tenant.

Westwood College Online reviewed a range of options before re-signing on its 15,082-square-foot lease, said Peter Scoville of Palmer McAllister Cushman & Wakefield who, along with Greg Phaneuf and CRESA partners, represented the landlord.

Greg Holm of C.B. Richard Ellis represented the tenant.

“They decided to renew at its current location because it fit all their needs as well as offers Class A amenities like an on-site cafeteria, workout facility and full security,” he said.

And there’s more.

Computer Sciences Corp. renewed its 12,433-square-foot lease at 460 N. Wooten for three years.

Amber Strang of Jones Lang Lasalle represented the tenant and Andrew Olyer of Grubb & Ellis Quantum Commercial Group represented the landlord, Platte Airport Development LLC.

Strang also represented the tenant, Traveler’s Insurance, on the renewal of a 15,157-square-foot lease with landlord NET REIT, at 1365 Garden of the Gods Road.

And, the State of Colorado’s Lottery Division has renewed its 19,758-square-foot lease at 250 S. Santa Fe in Pueblo.

Mary Francis Cowan of Grubb & Ellis Quantum Commercial Group represented the Lottery Division in negotiations with landlord, Santa Fe 250 LLC.

Becky Hurley covers real estate for the Colorado Springs Business Journal.

One Response to City’s acquisition of White Acres gets green light

  1. Becky,

    There’s a little more detail to the White Acres story than you reported. The Friends of Red Rock Canyon’s $75,000 participation is actually a requirement (as outlined in the city council resolution aythorizing the purchase) for phase 1 of the purchase to close before the end of the year.

    With the failure of the negotiations over Section 16, the purchase of White Acres becomes absolutely vital.

    The Friends has done a great job raising about $25,000 in donations so far. Even better, an anonymous donor has come forward with a $25,000 challenge grant, meaning that every dollar donated by the public from now on will be doubled. That means that the public only needs to come forward with another $25,000 to meet the goal by November 15.

    Jim Schwerin
    August 28, 2009 at 1:18 pm