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 November 19, 1999

Architects make city sit up, take notice

BOULDER – Local architect Stephen Sparn recently learned that a mass mailing can work wonders. This was after the city planning department made a small mistake that would have cost him and another architect considerably.Sparn and architect John Hoffman, unbeknownst to each other, were working on “modest” additions to two separate residences on Gallatin Place. For his part, Sparn had a staff architect call the planning department to get all the pertinent zoning information. He then spent considerable expense on the project after assuming it was a “use by right” project based on information received from the city.

Three weeks after he submitted for the building permit, however, he learned that the city had given him erroneous information – there was a 22-year-old underlying planned unit development that had special open space requirements.

The city told him his only choice was a site review amendment that would cost $3,000 in application fees, considerable time and that could offer no assurance.

“I was extremely frustrated,” Sparn said.

He then called City Council Member Rich Lopez, who suggested a letter to Peter Pollock, the new planning director. “We had the position (that) ‘No, it is not our problem, it is your problem,'” Sparn said.

He and Hoffman joined together to write the letters and copied them to City Attorney Joe de Raismes, City Manager Ron Secrist, the city council and the planning board.

“It did get taken care of quickly when they saw the light,” he said.

In Sparn’s project, what was missing was a little open space that could be found “floating around” elsewhere, he said.

“It got cleaned up very quickly when it turned political,” he noted.

INSPIRED: Developer Frank Hagan’s mixed-use project at Ninth and Pearl streets was awarded the American Institute of Architects design award, “which is kind of cool,” he says.

DEPOT: The board of the Boulder Jaycees is behind an ongoing relocation study for the Depot building at Pearl and 30th streets.

The board used the study to respond to a request for proposals for the Ninth Street and Canyon Boulevard urban renewal site. But the Jaycees were not picked, so the board is now looking at other opportunities and has approached Matrix Center for the Healing Arts to enter into a public-private partnership in which Matrix, which currently leases space that Naropa University owns, would lease the Depot building. At the same time, the Depot still would provide public meeting space.

Issues are the cost of maintaining the building while still serving the community in some manner. The idea is to have a lease at the present location and place about $30,000 into escrow each year toward a fund to pay for moving costs. The city planning department has helped by identifying sites for possible relocation, including 14th Street and Canyon along Canyon or in the new Valmont City Park area.

SWITCH: The Holiday Inn University on Broadway is changing hands Dec. 19. It will be a Ramada Inn.

LIZARD LIKING: Bill Reynolds of the W.W. Reynolds Cos. picked the name Vail Lizard 1313 LLC for the recent $2.7 million purchase of the Bank One drive-up building downtown at 1313 Canyon Blvd. Why? “Because I’m a little bit different,” he says.

At least five years ago he decided he didn’t like Developers of Distinction or any other “horse” name. “Just hated it,” he says.

And so he picked the Raging Thunder Lizard Co., and lizard has stuck.

“Everybody kind of likes it,” Reynolds says. “If you want to do business with a lizard, here I am.”

Elsewhere in Boulder County, Reynolds has started on an 80,000-square-foot building northwest of Valmont Industrial Park on Valmont Road near 55th Street. The new building is about half leased with existing Reynolds tenants. It will be three stories with parking underneath and “the best views in Boulder,” Reynolds says.

In the near future, Reynolds and partners will be behind tearing down the drive-up facility at 1313 Canyon and developing a vacant parcel at 1800 Broadway. For now it is all planned to be office, because, he says, the city rules as they are aren’t geared for downtown residential – thanks to the allocation system.

“You never say never,” he adds.

Also in the future, Reynolds may redo the old Public Service building downtown at the northwest corner of Broadway and Canyon, where Trios is a tenant.

COMMUTER HELL: Boulder City Council Member Spense Havlick has said for the record that the prospect of locating a new Boulder High School near the proposed Valmont City Park in northeast Boulder to replace the historic downtown school was “a total surprise” and that, if there are other such uses permitted near the park site, he would want the city to consider affordable and mixed-rate housing, which he says may be needed more and which may be more compatible with the overall site than a “commuter” high school.

BIG LEASES INC.: XOR Network Engineering Inc. is subleasing 60,660 square feet of space from Comstor.Net, a subsidiary of General Electric Capital Corp., at 5718 Central Ave. in Flatiron Park. Phil Yeddis of Aurora-based Venture Group Real Estate Inc. represented Comstor.Net and the building owner. XOR was represented by John Koval of Boulder-based Coburn Development.

XOR will lease the space for 10 years for about $10 million and place about $1 million in improvements. The company has the option to buy the building upon completion of the lease. Comstor.Net will be the sublessor for the first two and a half years. The landlord, JTR Land & Cattle Co., will then assume the role of lessor and do a primary lease for the remaining seven and a half years.

CREATING DEMAND: Hospitality Valuation Services International (HVS International) celebrated this month its new office space in a renovated 19th century Victorian house known as the Oliver-Bowman House. At 2229 Broadway, the new office is on the west side of Broadway between Pine Street and Mapleton Avenue.

BROOMFIELD

UPDATE: At Mountain View Corporate Center, adjacent to Interlocken business park, the plan is to break ground this month on a new building. The office park eventually will house 325,000 square feet of space.

NEEDS: The Broomfield Chamber of Commerce has relocated from 740 Burbank to the Garden Center 4 Building next to Midway Park North. The voice of Broomfield business is in Suite 210 – once again with the Broomfield Economic Development Corp. and the U.S. 36 Transportation Management Organization. The chamber is asking for desks, shelves, a fax machine, computers and printers, chairs, a TV/VCR, dividers, file cabinets and work stations. Call (303) 466-1775.

VACANT: Trammell Crow’s Pete Pavlakis represented Discount Tire Co. in its $650,000 purchase of one acre of vacant land at Miramonte and U.S. 287 from HB Colorado Partners Ltd.

LONGMONT

CONCEPT: The Longmont City Council has OK’d concept plans for eight business-light industrial lots on 144 acres in the Longmont Business Center.

“They have signed off on our memorandum of public improvements and our final site plan and that’s about where it’s gone to,´ said Jim Reed, CB Richard Ellis director of asset services. “We hope to be started about the first of December with some of our public improvements that we have to do.”

The development may include light manufacturing, offices, hotels and two restaurants.

CLINCH: Pratt Management Co. LLC announced Nov. 4 that Pratt had completed negotiations with Milpitas, Calif.-based Maxtor Corp. and will design and build a new corporate campus for the disk-drive maker at 2452 Clover Basin Drive in southwest Longmont.

Maxtor, under a 15-year lease, will occupy the 450,000-square-foot space, a total of five buildings, beginning in April 2001. The company, which has more than 1,500 employees in Longmont, began leasing from Pratt in 1983 as MiniScribe. It now occupies about 300,000 square feet of space from Pratt and is the company’s largest tenant.

“We are pleased and proud that our relationship with Maxtor will continue well into the next century,” company owner Susan Pratt said in a prepared statement.

REBIRTH: Trammell Crow’s Dan Bess represented Longmont Technology Park in Lexmark International Inc.’s lease renewal of 54,236 square feet at 1510 Nelson Road. He also represented Seagate Technology in its $3.265 million purchase from Western VII Investment LLC of 60 acres in Clover Basin Farm at the northeast corner of 75th Street and Nelson Road.

AMENDING: Planning commission Oct. 20 recommended approval of the proposed amendments to the municipal code regarding planned unit development (PUD) rezoning. The city council is expected to see the proposal in November.

What the amendments involve, planner Brien Schumacher reports, is a change that would allow property owners to request a PUD “base zone” – such as residential, industrial or commercial. Current code doesn’t allow that. You can zone to a PUD base zone at the time of annexation, but, aside from rezoning to mixed-use, you can’t rezone to some of the other PUD base zones such as PUD residential, PUD industrial or PUD commercial.

“I guess the bottom line is it allows a little more flexibility in terms of different types of uses that potentially could go on a property,” Schumacher says. “But again it would have to go through a public hearing process for rezoning, and it would be subject to standards and criteria that would require a higher quality development and (making) sure that it’s compatible with surrounding properties.”

CONSOLIDATION: The Schwinn building at 1801 Ironhorse Drive is under contract to a manufacturing company. The deal for the 30,000-square-foot structure, which is half unfinished, is expected to close in early December. The asking price was $2 million. Ken Gooden of the Staubach Co. is representing Schwinn, which is seeking to consolidate its real estate holdings.

LOUISVILLE

GROWTH INC.: Omni Promotional, a manufacturer of custom banners and event supplies, has moved into 16,000 square feet worth of new offices and manufacturing facilities at 258 S. Taylor Ave. in the Colorado Tech Center. Dave Skiffich, Omni vice president, said the company has experienced “unprecedented growth.”

BOULDER – Local architect Stephen Sparn recently learned that a mass mailing can work wonders. This was after the city planning department made a small mistake that would have cost him and another architect considerably.Sparn and architect John Hoffman, unbeknownst to each other, were working on “modest” additions to two separate residences on Gallatin Place. For his part, Sparn had a staff architect call the planning department to get all the pertinent zoning information. He then spent considerable expense on the project after assuming it was a “use by right” project based on information received from the city.

Three weeks after…

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