Golden Run

Erie, CO

Prepared By:

American Research Corporation

Description of Property and Market Influence

The Golden Run will consist of 330 acres (N ½ Section 25, T 1 N, R 69 W, Boulder County) currently zoned Agricultural and is designated in Erie's Development Plan as Urban Density for the Western most ¾'s and as Commercial (employment) for the eastern ¼. It's borders are: 119th St to the west., Canyon Creek Development By Johnson Communities to the north, Weld County Road. 1 to the east, and Boulder County Open Space (SW ¼ Section 25) and the Young Annexation (SE ¼ Section 25) to the south. The land is gently sloping from west to east at about a 1-2% slope on average. Most of the ground is being farmed and there is a Wildlife Pond Habitat of approximately ten acres with nice trees and brush at the middle southern border of the property. Golden Run is surrounded by land currently annexed to the Town of Erie. It is important this centrally located parcel be annexed and developed in a manner that it contributes to Erie a community rich with excellent housing and life style possibilities for all ages. It must include open spaces and habitats for generations to enjoy. Adequate commercial and business opportunities will enrich and enable those living there, and surrounding it; to flourish and interact with each other on a daily basis without having to travel far outside it's borders.

Golden Run affords an extraordinary development opportunity for Erie in Boulder County. The location is within a one mile radius of Erie "Old Town" and is a natural Southwestern gateway to Erie. The property provides convenient access to major Front Range destinations while providing a rural feeling due to its idyllic setting. The property offers a rare combination of attributes that make it the perfect place for a gateway development. Golden Run is adjacent and contiguous to 570 acres of newly purchased Boulder County Open Space. These parcels are strictly regulated and any development will benefit greatly from its presence-just in terms of views, view corridors, wildlife, retention of the country feel for the area, and aesthetically as the South-West Gateway to Erie. The entire property is within the Boulder Valley School District.

The property is virtually "surrounded" by property already annexed to the Erie for both commercial and residential development. Development in the area has accelerated over the past three years with major regional and national developers involved. The immediate areas nearby include substantial annexations and new construction. At the South-Eastern edge is the Young annexation (commercial-employment). To the West is the Price and Young Annexations (residential), to the North is Canyon Creek (mostly residential with some regional commercial), and to the East is the Feuer annexation (commercial-employment). The most significant features of the property are its size, location, and natural habitat and, most importantly, its proximity to Old Town Erie.

Boulder County is one of the most sought-after locations in the United States for businesses seeking expansion and relocation opportunities. Anchored by the University of Colorado, the County presents the opportunity for a lifestyle focused on family, hard work, exercise, health, outdoor recreation, good nutrition, and alternative life -- style choices. With a highly -- educated population, Boulder County remains a prime target for many businesses and individuals. Year after year the area is rated as a Top Ten location by many national publications and trade groups as a "Best Place to Live" in the United States and the World. The Property meshes well with all of the attractions Erie offers and is an integral component to connecting Erie Old Town with its Southwestern areas and hundreds of acres of open space.

Aesthetically, the property has great mountain views. There are views of both Longs Peak in Rocky Mountain National Park and Pikes Peak in Colorado Springs. It is rare that one can see both peaks from the same location. The property also includes a ten acre pond full of wildlife (currently used for irrigation). Blue Herons, pheasants, owls, hawks, and eagles often are seen on the property as well as foxes, coyotes, turtles and an abundance of other wildlife. The pond will be an integral part of the Golden Run development as a Nature Habitat that is well - connected to the Boulder County Open Space to the south as well as the interwoven residential and commercial parcels within. It also will be linked to the School and Park site for children to access for educational hikes and excursions.

Golden Run is ideal for a wide range of uses and offers superb access to major Front Range destinations. It is far away from the maddening crowd, yet convenient to Boulder and Denver. The site is only 20 minutes from downtown Boulder, 30 minutes from downtown Denver, 45 minutes from Denver International Airport (less once C-470 and the Northwest Parkway are completed), and perhaps only a 5-10 minute walk (1 mile) to Old Town Erie via the planned Open Space and Trails. Golden Run will offer a broad range of residential and commercial structures and other uses to supply the wide range of demands and desires of the "New Urbanism" marketplace. The property has very convenient access to all parts of Erie, as well as to Boulder, Broomfield, Denver, Fort Collins, Greeley, Lafayette, Louisville, Longmont, and Superior. It has incredible access major roads and highways, yet is far enough away from each of these areas to avoid the immediate traffic noise, congestion, and challenges they may present. Even Colorado Springs is only 90 minutes away via a very direct, high-speed route (I-25). In the immediate area, the cities of Broomfield, Lafayette, and Louisville offer extraordinary attractive family-oriented environments with reasonably priced housing, shopping, great recreational facilities, municipal libraries, child care, extensive shopping, and other highly-sought-after amenities. Each of these cities, especially Lafayette, offers a healthy base of potential customers for any commercial development on the property.

The city of Boulder, with all its major employers (especially the University of Colorado) is easily accessed from the property to the west. Any location in Broomfield (including the expanding Interlocken Office Park), Lafayette, and Louisville, is just minutes away. These include major shopping, entertainment, recreation, and major employer destinations as well as the Colorado Highway 36 (Boulder Denver Turnpike), Colorado Highway 7, and Colorado Highway 287 corridors. Longmont is only 15 minutes way via Highway 287 (now four lanes the entire route) and Denver International Airport can be accessed via four different routes, with two providing fast, easy access without having to go through any traffic-burdened metropolitan area. Highway expansion plans in the coming years will improve access even more (the C-470 completion, the installation of the Northwest Parkway, and the widening of Highway). The City of Fort Collins, with Colorado State University, is located only 45 minutes away from the property via three different routes. CSU's Veterinary Teaching Hospital in one of the top veterinary schools in the world and serves the pet and other animal needs of many owners across the entire Front Range. The City of Greeley with the University of Northern Colorado, also is a similar distance away and is conveniently reached. And Front Range Community College has three campuses all conveniently located to the property (in Westminster, Boulder, and Broomfield).

Downtown Denver is a quick 30-minute drive away. There is very easy access to the, Denver downtown business district, the Denver Tech Center, the University of Colorado in Denver, the CU Health Sciences Center, Coors Field, Mile High Stadium, the Pepsi Center, Union Station, Elitch's Amusement Park, Ocean Journey, The Denver Art Museum, the Denver Library, the Denver Museum of Natural History, the Denver Botanic Gardens, the Cherry Creek Shopping Center, the Park Meadows shopping Center, the new Flatirons Shopping Mall, Lower Downtown Denver, Larimer Square, and many other retail, commercial, educational, and entertainment destinations. The Northwest Parkway is being built just south of the property and will provide even better access to all metro Denver destinations (especially DIA, Broomfield, and the Interlocken Office Park).

A major, mostly 65 mph roadway (Colorado Highway 7, parallels the property and is just 60 seconds away. Highway 7 goes directly East to Interstate 25 which, in turn, goes directly south to Denver, DIA, and Colorado Springs or, if heading north, to Longmont, Berthoud, Loveland, Fort Collins, Greeley (and on to Wyoming.) The highway is expected to be re-routed even closer to the property at the intersection of Arapahoe and 119th.

Vision for Residential and Commercial Development at Golden Run

Golden Run will be master-planned community (PD zoning) for all ages with an emphasis on the environment and a healthy diversity of land uses that will remain as timeless as most of our cherished "Old Town" areas. It is being planned and will be developed with "New Urbanism" model in mind. Its planning will incorporate ideas such as:

community gardens * community composting and re-cycling centers * wastewater reduction measures * alternative/green building materials * flexible building and zoning standards that allow live/work units-efficiency units-studios-retail/residential mixed units-accessory units- townhomes-patio homes-apartments-duplex and triplex units* ample park and open spaces * on site employment opportunities * affordability components * cross generation planning * diverse senior housing * traffic slowing designs * aesthetically pleasing streetscapes * clustered housing areas with pocket parks * neighborhood anchors such as schools-parks-daycare-churches * a ten acre wildlife habitat including pond * protected view corridors for all residents to enjoy

Golden Run has goals, which go beyond the typical, or traditional profit-motivated course set by most developers. Golden Run believes the integration of long-term community needs, environmentally-sensitive development, and similar factors, actually makes good economic sense and will improve the long-term attractiveness, livability and, values of the community being created, for all concerned (including developers). The owners of the property, Aaron and Doreen Harber, live on the property and are the principals behind the annexation and development of their property. The fact they live on the property along with their continued involvement, insure a quality development from beginning to end. What makes their plan different from others is they have not sold the property to a developer or have even involved a developer in the process. Rather, they are seeing approval of their environmentally and socially responsible vision and they will require a developer to meet those unique conditions. Some of the primary goals of the Golden run development include the following…

· Creation of extensive interconnected Parks and Open Space while creating long open views throughout project.

· Access to Parks and Open Space for both residents of the developed site and, for a majority of the Parks and Open Space, access to those areas for the public (unlike so much Open Space, which is not accessible to the public).

· A proactive environmental design which includes investment in infrastructure which supports lifestyles focused on the environment. This may include some combination of: (a) community composting center, (b) a community re-cycling station or center, (c) community gardens and on-site gardening expertise for all residents, (d) environmentally-sensitive design which seeks to protect current wildlife habitats and minimize the impacts of the development on the environment, (e) a pro-active design and plan to actually decrease and minimize any damage to trees, other vegetation, and wildlife, and (g) a basic design which minimizes impacts on the environment.

· The Basic Design cited above is likened to a "New Urbanism" approach which deploys a high density within the development to provide a mix of residential types along with very accessible office, retail, livework, and Nature Habitats. Development components will be organized to create a healthy diversity of housing and commercial development into neighborhoods, districts, and corridors that will give the area an Old Town character with pedestrians in mind. Work locations and commercial developments will be designed so residents can walk to work and shop to lessen their dependence on automobile use.

· The high density should be structured along the lines of "cluster development" wherever possible. This will maximize parks and Open Space opportunities. Similarly, there will be a wider-than-typical range of housing types so almost all lifestyle and price needs will be met (including those which will be created by the recent tax law changes, which should make condominiums, townhomes and, patios homes very attractive). The housing types will include a mix of apartments, condominiums, townhouses, patio homes, live/work units, mixed residential and retail units, affordable efficiency units, duplexes and triplexes (HR & MRC zoning) , clustered single family homes on high to medium density lots (HR & MR zoning), and single family homes on lower density larger lots (LR zoning) to some estate lots (ER zoning).

· The needs of older adults will be emphasized so they are a vital part of the Golden Run community. This possibly could mean including facilities which would make up a senior community sufficient in size to be a vital anchor and cover the housing needs older adults and seniors need throughout many of the stages of life. This could include housing types all the way from total independent living (such as patio homes and townhomes) to very limited care homes/non-assisted/independent-care units all the way to total care facilities. This concept would and should be fully integrated into the entire community. This will help meet the needs of many older residents and families and will promote the idea of generations of families living and being together.

· Streetscapes and major collector roadways will be designed in the spirit of a Monaco Parkway in Denver or Mapleton Avenue in Boulder to create beautiful tree -- lined boulevards that are not only attractive as entrances but are also enjoyable and relaxing to drive or walk. Diverse areas of different housing types will be connected by extensive Open Space and trails that will serve to connect, not isolate or, divide neighborhoods as many developments do. The main East-West collector will be integrated into a long open space corridor creating long views west to the Continental Divide and east to create a nice open corridor view throughout the commercial village areas. A central pond/fountain feature will anchor the community along this collector at the heart and center of the community. Also under the roadway will be a pedestrian underpass to allow schoolchildren and Opens Space users to freely move without having to negotiate the roadway. This links the wildlife habitat to the south.

· Commercial development planned for the eastern portion of the property will be planned as an Urban Village to primarily serve the local resident's needs. Designs will incorporate live/work units, mixed - use units for retail below and residential above, employment zones to create density to further support the local merchants, attractive light industrial to give local small business people a place to live and practice their crafts and trades. Pocket commercial parks will add convenience and connections throughout the western areas of Golden Run. Commercial development planning will be integrated into the Open Space and trails systems connecting it to the Wildlife and Pond habitat. This will give workers an escape during lunch hours alone, with colleagues, or with their families. They can hike the hundreds of acres of existing open space or perhaps bike downtown to Old Town Erie. It is this type of connection which allows Golden Run to strengthen Old Town Erie. This will create a wonderful environment that will also attract important employment intensive tenants to Golden Run.

Economic Assessments and Outlook

National and local economies have enjoyed unparalleled economic growth in the last ten years. Many factors have contributed to the growth. The factors that have driven the Front Range the last decade will be largely the same factors for the next ten years. Most economic analysts believe that the national economy will slow, and so will Colorado's. Golden Run by its intrinsic nature and timing will be highly desirable and in such demand that it will stand the tests of time, including both market downturns and corrections.

Ten to fifteen years ago, many of Colorado's cities and towns and most of our local communities were heavily focused on expanding and improving the infrastructure necessary to attract major employers and talent. Much of that has been accomplished in this area. Many of the companies and people locating here have recognized the many benefits of living in the eastern Boulder County/southwestern Weld County portion of the Denver Metropolitan area. For the same reasons that many have located here in the past, others are sure to follow.

While the State population has grown annually during the past ten years at about 1.5% to 2.9 %, the forecast is that it will slow from about 2% in year 2000 to about 1.2% in the year 2010. What will be most significant in the next ten years will be the increase in the population over age 65 and the need for a more diverse housing stock with a corresponding variety of price points.

Population estimates indicate most of Colorado's growth will be in the Front Range cities along I-25 - about 1-2% per year until the year 2010. By the year 2025, the I-25 corridor will most likely be the economic backbone of Colorado's Front Range. Most of the communities surrounding Erie are either building out or are putting into place growth controls. The trend begun by Mead of requiring voter approval of significant annexations is likely to become the norm instead of the exception. Nearby communities without growth controls will end up growing at a much greater rate. As raw land capable of being annexed becomes harder to find, the costs of development and the price of real estate of all kinds will continue to climb. With the changing demographics of rapidly-aging yet healthy and more affluent "Baby Boomers" and the newly arriving "Generation X'rs" the types and prices of residential property will need to shift to accommodate them.

With the added traffic from growth in the North and Eastern Sectors of Colorado, the state will begin to see commercial development become viable as growing populations develop the critical mass necessary to support local commercial activity. As increased traffic congestion negatively impacts the ability to travel longer distances, it will influence people to shop closer to home - more good news for the local economy and its merchants. This will start to take effect in approximately ten years. As the Front Range expands through the year 2010, it will see the I-25 corridor become its "Main Street" -- the economic magnet for job growth and sales tax revenues.

Golden Run will focus on a more neighborhood-scale and community-based plan for it's commercial development. It is unlikely that the commercial development at Golden Run will attract or that golden run will seek out large retail anchors or tenants for the interior of the community. This type of commercial activity will be reserved for the intersections of our Main Collector and Weld County Road 1, which will become a significant destination for our region. Golden Run's community designs will promote local shopping with a working and living environment that will attract local inhabitants who will gather as neighbors in order to shop, work, and converse with each other in a well-connected, pedestrian-friendly atmosphere. Golden Run will also become a magnet for those outside the immediate area to come and enjoy the rich and diverse cultural, housing, and commercial atmospheres created at Golden Run as well as for the open space and Wildlife emphasis.

Residential Development Plan

Because of the unique, timely, and diverse planning of Golden Run, the build-out and success will not be constrained by the market as with other more conventional developments. Though not a radical development idea, Golden Run is a fresh and timely approach to providing the type of communities people have been seeking for years, but not finding. The typical model of development is: buy land cheap, build lots of houses (and not much else), sell them quickly, and move on. With most surrounding communities either approaching build -- out or limiting growth, Golden Run is positioned to pre-sell parts of its community to those who will want to participate in the final stages of planning the individual communities themselves. The successful co-housing communities and recent cluster communities in Boulder are good models of success for Golden Run. The market demand is quite large given the pent-up demand that exists for thoughtful community development and planning.

Using population and job growth estimates from numerous sources, (all of which use the under-estimated 1990 Census numbers, adjusted by multipliers), it is clear from recent home sales (many with wait-lists and some doing lotteries), low unemployment numbers, and other labor statistics, there is plenty of growth projected to absorb the housing planned for Golden Run. The Golden Run development has a great location, a creative and diverse housing stock, an integrated community housing/commercial plan, and it is only one mile to Old Town Erie. Golden Run is completely within the Boulder Valley School district and is a mere 30 minute drive to virtually every major attraction in the Front Range. This makes it a prime relocation area for people from most parts of Adams, Boulder, Weld, and Larimer counties. Today, no current project in Erie offers all these advantages.

By most conservative estimates from market studies done within the last two years, sale prices of new real estate have substantially outpaced projections by almost 20% to 30%. While there may ultimately be a market correction, it is unlikely to severely impact this project. Given positive economic forecasts for the next four to six years, it is most likely that demand in the greater Erie area will remain high, even as several thousand homes become available in Erie, Broomfield, and Lafayette. Most importantly, as the largest single property left in Boulder County available for annexation, Golden Run is likely to face a much higher residential demand than any other Erie project. Finally, there is a scarce amount of available land situated as Golden Run is. With the diversity of our housing plan, Golden Run will be better equipped to meet its sales objectives. It will also be better able to respond to a changing market place with a more diverse and uniquely superior product. Golden Run will have units that will serve most of the types of buyers in the market place today and it will be prepared to meet the needs of buyers whose demographic characteristics and social preferences have yet to be completely defined by our evolving technological economy.

At time of submittal Golden Run proposes that of the 274.5 acres established for residential purposes 138.1 acres will accommodate a total of 790 units (approximately 42% of the property). In total there are 136.4 acres of open space committed (approximately 41% of the property). For more detail, please refer to the Density Calculations spreadsheet (on the following page) and the Golden Run Conceptual Development Plan (land use calculations).

Commercial Development Plan

Golden Run is ideally situated within a one mile radius of Erie Old Town. It will have a significant intersection at Weld County Road 1. Most of Golden Run's commercial development will be a reflection of its unique planning and its immediate surroundings, including adjacent subdivisions. There will be major anchor opportunities if commercial development occurs in coordination with the three properties adjacent to Golden Run - all annexed with a variety of commercial, retail, industrial, and employment sector well-suited to such a plan. Golden Run will cooperate fully with its neighbors to take advantage of any opportunity along these lines.

The New Urbanism model is built on a premise that people can and will be encouraged to conduct their business closer to home, within a well-designed community's borders; provided shopping is easily accessible and the goods and services they need on a recurring basis are readily available. As important is the creation of a streetscape and architectural style that makes it more enjoyable for people to live this way.

Golden Run's Village Center concept will be a multi-faceted community and business complex. It will be complete with anchor tenants that have significant employment bases at the fringes. The interior areas will feature live/work units and light industrial for smaller trades and service-oriented businesses in addition to mixed retail opportunities for shops and residents that want to be in the heart of things. The more traditional retail sectors will be along Weld County Road 1 and at the intersection of Golden Run's Internal Collector and Weld County Road 1. With most traditional commercial development, it takes a critical mass of people to support local business. The New Urbanism model of commercial planning, incorporated into vibrant neighborhoods, may flourish earlier because they begin with places to live and work. This requires less capital, while it reduces the inherent risks associated with start-up businesses, making it easier to manage for the sole proprietor or small business. Golden Run may be able to jump start smaller-scale commercial growth earlier than it might otherwise be predicted by providing business incubator space that can enable business people to set up shop sooner rather than later.

Gross square footage for commercial development at Golden Run will be approximately 2,430,000. Our current plan designates about 2,160,000 square feet as "C" - Commercial for more typical commercial planning and will also include building types such as attached workplace commercial "AWC" and attached mixed-use types "AMT". This "C" area may be used for traditional strip commercial, high-density employment zones, live/work units, light industrial, transportation, etc. Approximately 270,000 square feet of the commercial square footage planned is designated as "MRC"-Attached Mixed Use Commercial which will allow for attached mixed use building types "AMT, DRT, ART" that will be for a blended retail and residential in a "Urban Village" setting allowing for retail, office, and residential uses that mix shopping, entertainment, restaurants, and other compatible uses.

The Golden Run Village Center plan will be a success for its residents, its immediate neighbors, and others in Erie and the region who will be attracted to it as a destination shopping area due to its uniqueness and pleasant ambience - like the Pearl Street Mall, but with a nearby nature preserve and views of the Continental Divide as added attractions.


Market Study