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 September 10, 1999

Land plan may close gap in I-25 tech strip

LOVELAND — The drive to fill the east side of Interstate 25 north of U.S. Highway 34 with high-tech companies is picking up momentum.

The pioneering Airport Business Park is virtually built out. The Global Technology Center, a centerpiece of the massive McWhinney Enterprises transformation of the landscape on both sides of I-25, is catching fire with the construction of new office buildings, including one that houses Factual Data Inc.

But a 186-acre piece of the high-tech puzzle is just now taking form. Developers of the Loveland Technological Park are angling for an anchor — a company that will buy or lease land and whose presence will ignite activity at the site.

“What we really want there is a high-end, technology-based business,´ said Gary Kounkel of Bighorn Resources Inc., which represents site owner Trend Properties Inc. “We won’t really get going until we get that anchor. We won’t plat the property until we have the user.”

Sandwiched between the Airport Business Park on the north and the Global Technology Center to the south, the new wedge-shaped park enjoys an advantage that its southern neighbor would like — maybe even enough to buy the parcel.

“We’re zoned, annexed and ready to go,´ said Kounkel, who has worked closely with the McWhinneys on their development. “They still have a ways to go before they can be zoned and permitted. The McWhinneys are better than anybody at going through that process, but it can’t happen overnight.”

Kounkel said the door remains open to McWhinney Enterprises to fold the parcel into their holdings.

“We would sell to them if we get together on a price,” Kounkel said. “We would not be opposed to that, obviously.”

But, oh, the price.

A promotional package advertising the Loveland Technological Park offers the entire parcel for $4 million.

“We’ve explored the purchase, and Gary is a good friend of ours,´ said Nick Christensen, vice president for real estate at McWhinney Enterprises. “But it’s a much better idea for us right now to stay focused on what we’ve got going now.”

Sale or no sale, both the McWhinneys and Kounkel said the two developments complement one another well.

The plans have a similar look because, well, the same planner did them both. BHA Design Inc. of Fort Collins gets credit for the preliminary McWhinney design that uses vast areas of open space and bike paths to make the mixed high-tech commercial, retail and residential master plan more livable.

BHA landscape architect Roger Sherman said the McWhinneys and Kounkel share concern that what goes up along “Main Street,” as I-25 is so widely known, should speak well for Northern Colorado.

If the two parcels remain in separate hands, competition for business buyers and leases should not interfere with the parallel development of the neighboring parcels, Kounkel said.

“I may talk to some people who might not like the property I’m working with, but would work better with the McWhinneys,” Kounkel said. “On the other hand, the McWhinneys might have somebody looking who needs something a little sooner than they can do it.”

Tom Hacker can be reached at (970) 221-5400, (970) 356-1683, (800) 440-3506 or via e-mail at thacker@ncbr.com. His fax number is (970) 221-5432.

LOVELAND — The drive to fill the east side of Interstate 25 north of U.S. Highway 34 with high-tech companies is picking up momentum.

The pioneering Airport Business Park is virtually built out. The Global Technology Center, a centerpiece of the massive McWhinney Enterprises transformation of the landscape on both sides of I-25, is catching fire with the construction of new office buildings, including one that houses Factual Data Inc.

But a 186-acre piece of the high-tech puzzle is just now taking form. Developers of the Loveland Technological Park are angling for an anchor — a company that will buy or lease…

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