- Western Development met its goal for pre-sales at 250 Columbine.
- $100 million mixed-use development is in Cherry Creek North.
- Dawn Raymond of Kentwood is listing the 70 units.
Well-heeled buyers snapped up 25 percent of the contracts for the luxury condominiums being developed by Western Development in the heart of Cherry Creek North.
The pre-sale goal was quickly met and Western Development took the remaining condos in its $100 million 250 Columbine development off the market, which is scheduled to be completed in the second quarter of 2015.
Sales of the remaining condos, which will include penthouses that currently are priced north of $5 million, will resume next summer.
It took Western Development less than two weeks to hit its pre-sale target.
Because of condo construction defect liability concerns, the 70 units in 250 Columbine represent virtually the entire new condo market in the Denver area.
In the first eight months of the year only 124 condo permits have been issued along the Front Range, according to the Home Builders Association of Metro Denver.
Condo activity represents 1.19 percent of the entire residential construction market. Apartment activity, by contrast, represented 34 percent of all planned residential construction, according to the HBA.
During the pre-sale period, several of the condos received multiple offers.
Under the current plan, units range in size from 900 square feet to 6,632 square feet and are priced from $450,000 to $5.4 million. However, instead of two penthouse units, three might be offered, which could mean the largest unit would have about 5,000 square feet. All the units have decks. The decks range from 49 square feet to 1,546 square feet; the biggest deck isn’t with the largest unit.
“We foresaw a strong market for condominiums, especially considering the spike in apartment construction, and the limited availability of luxury, ‘for-sale’ condos,” said David Steel, a partner at Western Development Group, which is a driving force in the continuing evolution of Cherry Creek North.
“With construction of 250 Columbine already underway, and the immediate and strong response to our ‘pre-sale’ event, we’re confident that we’re hitting the market at a great time,” Steel continued.
“Demand for condos in Denver is high, especially in prime locations such as Cherry Creek North,” Steel said.
Dawn Raymond of Kentwood Cherry Creek, held the event and compiling an “interest list” from other prospective buyers.
“It was crazy,” Raymond said about the interest from the first round of prospective buyers.
“Even though people were getting ready to travel for the Thanksgiving holiday, the people knew what residences they wanted and didn’t hesitate, even though completion is 18 months out,” she said.
“We even had some multiple offers on some units and we picked the best and highest offer,” she said.
The penthouse units weren’t available for the first round of buyers.
The most expensive home she sold during the event was a 2,000-square-foot unit with balcony views of the mountains and downtown. It sold for more than $1.8 million.
She noted that these units sold quickly, even though they are priced at the top of the market.
“Basically, they go from $500 to close to $1,000 per square foot (not including the deck space),” she said.
“This the only game in town,” Raymond said. “If you want a new, luxury condo, this is it. There is no other choice.”
She said construction liability has but ended condo developments in the Denver area.
“That is huge,” Raymond said.
What surprised her, is that many of the prospective buyers were aware that construction liability has all but ended condo developments.
“I’m in the real estate business, so I was aware of it, but quite a few of the people who looked at 250 Columbine knew about it,” she said.
Earlier, Steel said Western Development was willing to take the risk of developing condos because they would be built to such a high quality that they would be “lawsuit proof.”
Raymond let prospective buyers know that if they bought they could be confident the units would be built to the highest standards.
“Plus, all they have to do is walk across the street to look at NorthCreek (also developed by Western Development) to learn what a high-quality product they build,” she said.
Even if a condo high-rise was under construction in downtown, she said she thinks units at 250 Columbine would still fly off the shelf.
“I have found that buyers who are interested in Cherry Creek North, typically aren’t interested in high-rise living in downtown,” Raymond said.
“They like all of the unique restaurants and retail in Cherry Creek North,” she said. She said one observer of Cherry Creek North described it this way: “LoDo for adults.”
So far, most of the prospective buyers are empty nesters, downsizing from bigger homes in places such as Cherry Hills and Country Club.
She expects most will pay cash, when the units are ready for occupancy.
“At NorthCreek, I think only two of the sales were financed; the rest were all cash buyers,” she said.
A number of the first round of buyers also own homes in Vail or Aspen.
“Some people are interested in having a small, urban home when they are visiting the city,” she said. “A smaller unit would make a perfect pied-à-terre.”
In addition to the 70 condos, when completed 2015, 250 Columbine will include an 80,000 square foot office building (which will be ready for delivery for tenant improvements in the late fourth quarter of 2014) and approximately 30,000 square feet of retail space, all above two levels of underground parking.
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