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$230 million Schwab campus part of emerging trend

An aerial view of the future $230 million Charles Schwab campus in RidgeGate.

An aerial view of the future $230 million Charles Schwab campus in RidgeGate.

Article Highlights:

  • Charles Schwab plans $230 million campus in RidgeGate.
  • RidgeGate’s developer sees Schwab’s move as a growing trend.
  • RidgeGate offers the walkability of an urban center in the suburbs.

Charles Schwab plans to build a 950,000-square-foot, $230 million campus in the 3,500-acre RidgeGate community in Lone Tree, officials announced on Wednesday.

Coventry Development Corp.— the developer of RidgeGate, which has long heralded its community as providing urban-like features such as being walkable in a suburban setting — considers Schwab’s announcement the latest in an emerging trend of large corporations embedding themselves within mixed-use master-planned communities.

A state official shares that sentiment.

“The announcement of Charles Schwab’s new campus demonstrates a commitment to Colorado,” said Ken Lund, Executive Director of the Colorado Office of Economic Development and International Trade.

“Selecting RidgeGate for the site of their new campus reinforces the value of walkable communities with a diverse mix of housing, amenities and transportation options,” Lund continued.

Charles Schwab, the financial service firm, has had a presence in the Denver-area since 1978 and employs about 2,000 people in the metro area.

Coventry Development officials believe Denver’s large financial-services industry talent pool and a pro-business environment make the region attractive to companies and a master-planned community like RidgeGate is a lynchpin when it comes to expansion or corporate relocation.

“The right mix of housing, amenities, transportation options and recreation is essential to attracting residents,” said Keith Simon, Executive Vice President and Director of Development for Coventry. “It’s also critical to recruiting and retaining employees. Corporations know this and they’re leveraging what we’re creating to gain strategic advantages.”

When completed, Coventry’s RidgeGate community will have more than 12,000 homes, as much as 20-23 million square feet of office, hotel and institutional space, three dedicated light-rail stations operated by the Regional Transportation District, the $23 million Lone Tree Arts Center, the Level III Trauma Sky Ridge Medical Center, and 1,000 acres dedicated to parks and open space.

Coventry also has recruited large corporations to communities it is developing in other parts of the country.

In 2008, ExxonMobil purchased 400-acres for its new 10,000 person corporate campus located in Coventry’s 2,000-acre Springwoods Village mixed-use community in Northwest Houston.

When complete, the $10 billion Springwoods Village community will be home to 15,000 residents and 35,000 to 50,000 employees. ExxonMobil’s campus is currently under construction with plans for phase one occupancy in 2014. Southwestern Energy has also purchased 26 acres in Springwoods Village for its new corporate headquarters campus with construction slated to begin in 2013.

“Many economically healthy cities have populations and commute times that continue to grow,” said Simon, who is also Development Director for Springwoods Village. “Current and future residents are demanding a newer, greener and smarter way of life where work, family, and nature co-exist in close proximity. We’re pleased that major employers are following suit.”

Coventry is also developing Hobe Grove, a 2,800-acre sustainable community along Intersate 95 in Martin County, Fla. When completed, it is anticipated that Hobe Grove will have up to 3.9 million square feet of office and research space and the potential to support 11,000 new high-quality jobs.

For more information please visit RidgeGate

Have a story idea or real estate tip? Contact John Rebchook at JRCHOOK@gmail.com. InsideRealEstateNews.com is sponsored by Universal Lending, Land Title Guarantee and 8z Real Estate. To read more articles by John Rebchook, subscribe to the Colorado Real Estate Journal.