- Brookfield Homes building biggest urban infill development this close to downtown in decades.
- Homes in Midtown of Clear Creek near Highland at a fraction of the cost.
- Homes are super-energy efficient.
Brookfield Homes of Colorado next month is scheduled to officially showcase its 184-acre Midtown of Clear Creek community, which it believes is the largest urban infill development underway in the Denver area.
Brookfield Homes, a division of Brookfield Residential, will have 50 homes in the first phase of the community at 67th Avenue and Pecos Street, which eventually will have 1,300 homes.
“We think this is the largest single-family development built within five miles of downtown in 40 years plus,” said Perry Cadman, general manager of Midtown at Clear Creek.
The energy-efficient homes Brookfield is building will be priced from the high $340,000s and will range in size from 1,793 square-feet to 2,188-square-feet, Cadman said.
A community open house is scheduled for March 9.
David Weekley Homes also is building at Midtown, with homes priced from $290,990 to $340,990 and ranging in size from 1,497 square feet to 2,303 square feet.
Cadman, a 30-year veteran of home buildings in Colorado, said he has never seen a stronger reaction by consumers for a new community than at Midtown.
Part of the interest may be the unprecedented lack of inventory of resale homes in the Denver area. There were only 7,094 unsold homes on the market in the Denver area at the end of January, according to Metrolist, which may be the lowest inventory level since the 1970s.
Cadman, who previously worked for Sanford Homes, MDC and New Town Builders, said he thinks the homes themselves and the location of Midtown are driving much of the interest.
“We are about eight minutes from Highland,” Cadman said. “While homes in Highland are selling for around $300 per square foot, our price range is about $165 to $190 per square foot.”
He said a recent event in Highland to let people know about Midtown drew about 140 people.
At the same time, people living at Midtown can make it to LoDo within 15 minutes, a faster commute than driving from Stapleton, he said.
“Because we are close to I-76, you can make it to the Boulder turnpike very quickly,” Cadman said. “So if one person in the family works downtown and the other along the Boulder corridor, this is really a great middle ground. If you go to DIA a lot, Stapleton has us beat, but for downtown or the Boulder area, this is a great choice.”
He said he doesn’t buy the argument that some critics have made that the area is too industrial, too isolated and too gritty to be appealing to home buyers.
“I don’t think it is gritty at all,” he said. “You know, Stapleton is close to the Denver’s Women Correctional facility and that hasn’t stopped people from buying homes and loving living there.”
He said that Midtown has a lot going for it and will only become better as it matures.
“We’ll be opening a commercial building that likely will have some restaurants and retailers like dry cleaners to serve residents and the YMCA is talking to us about possibly having a day-care center, although nothing has been signed,” he said.
“We will have a 47-acre park and the Clear Creek is basically our southern border. Once you are on your bike or roller blades on Clear Creek, you can connect to numerous trails.”
Also, the community is close to the light rail stations for FasTrack’s Goldline and Northwest Line.
“I think they open in 2016 and will provide another transportation option for our residents,” Cadman said.
Then there are the homes.
The homes themselves are extremely energy-efficient and sustainable.
Construction materials include blue-stained beetle-kill lumber, concrete window wells, 2X6 walls and double-paned low-e windows. The homes exceed the Energy Star version 3.0 standard. A DOW Powerhouse solar shingle, 1.2-kilowatt system, is standard.
“We just had a HERS (Home Energy Rating System) test and it came in at 33,” Cadman said. That is better than the 48-53 HERS rating that was expected. With HERS, as with golf, the lower the score the better.
Brookfield Homes describes the design of the homes as “zesty,” with interesting roof lines and plenty of windows. The architects are William Hezmalhalch Architects Inc., DTJ Design and the Abo Group.
“I don’t know if anybody will care, but to some extent the design of the homes took inspiration from Arapahoe Acres (in Englewood),” where many of the homes have the clean lines found in Frank Lloyd Wright-designed homes.
He said homes built in California by Joseph Eichler from the 1950s to the 1970s were another inspiration.
“A lot of the homes Eichler built find their way into movies. I wouldn’t say were copying homes in Arapahoe Acres or Eichler homes, but they were among the inspirations. I hate to use the word “cutting edge,” because it is so over-used, but I think these homes are cutting edge.”
The kitchens include appliances from the GE Cafe line, base cabinets have roll outs and big drawers for pots and pans, there are keyless entry locks on the back door from the attached garages in the alley-loaded homes, and there are plenty of built-in storage areas, he said.
“We also have big outdoor living spaces, which are basically side courtyards,” he said.
“These are just fun houses.”
Want to compare Midtown to the Highland area? Please visit COhomefinder.com.
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.
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