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ARCHIVED  December 3, 1999

Pratt plans Johnstown campus

1.5 mil. square feet envisioned

LONGMONT — Longmont real estate development giant Pratt Properties LP is poised to offer competition to other Interstate 25 business parks, with plans for a 1.5 million-square-foot technology business center west of Johnstown proper.

Pratt plans to host high-tech business and industrial tenants, build a hotel and meeting center and open retail space that includes a grand-scale nursery on the 145-acre Hoover Farm, located at the northeast corner of Colorado Highway 60 and I-25.

The path to groundbreaking, which Pratt spokesman Phil Marti said could happen as soon as next summer, goes first through Johnstown officials. The town board later this month will consider a zoning revision that would expand use definitions to include the retail, restaurant, office and hotel facilities that Pratt says it needs to develop the parcel.

“I can tell you we’re awfully excited about this,” Johnstown administrator Roy Lauricello said. “I can’t speak for the members, but I would think that it would be something that the town board would look upon very favorably.”

Marti said the land was under contract and scheduled to close before the end of the year. He would not disclose the purchase price.

The selection of the Johnstown site came after a months-long Pratt shopping trip for property on I-25. The company looked at available real estate from the junction of Colorado Highway 7 north to Fort Collins, Marti said.

“This was our clear first choice,” he said. “First, it has a community that is willing to grow, and has the capacity to grow. Second, we felt that it offers a chance that allows us to develop an attractive gateway to Johnstown.”

If built out, the proposed business center would almost double Pratt’s already-vast holdings in Northern Colorado.

Pratt is best known for developing the Raintree Plaza Hotel and Conference Center in Longmont, with its 295 rooms and 42,000 square feet of conference and banquet facilities. The Raintree is the cornerstone of a Longmont empire that includes 2 million square feet of office, industrial, manufacturing and retail space.

But the company has also put its stamp on Northern Colorado’s high-tech economy, most recently with a Nov. 5 agreement to build a 450,000-square-foot corporate campus in Longmont for Maxtor Corp., the data-storage-device manufacturer that now occupies 300,000 square feet of space in buildings scattered around Longmont.

Marti downplayed the role that Pratt’s plans would play in competing with the Global Technology Center, the sprawling, 1,500-acre business park under development by McWhinney Enterprises at U.S. 34 and I-25 east of Loveland, and just four miles north of Pratt’s property.

“What we are doing is much, much smaller than their project is,” Marti said. “We think that their development is of great benefit to us, and we hope that ours will be of benefit to them.”

Marti said it was impossible to predict when the development might build out, and that no prospective tenants had yet made commitments.

“When we talk about a development of 1.5 million feet, it’s not going to happen in a year, or even in five years,” Marti said. “It’s taken us 20 years to build the 2 million feet we have in Longmont.”

Pratt operates one of the most comprehensive real estate development businesses in Colorado, and is noted for holding the projects it builds rather than selling them to users.

At Pratt’s Longmont campus, the company is responsible for everything from providing telecommunications service to plowing snow. Pratt’s Longmont holdings are extensive enough that the firm operates a bigger snowplow force than the city of Longmont.

The nursery center planned for the site will draw from Pratt’s experience with The Village Gardener, a popular and successful retail nursery the company developed last year in Longmont.

A portion of the 145-acre tract will be held as farmland — to grow nursery stock for the two Pratt nursery businesses.

1.5 mil. square feet envisioned

LONGMONT — Longmont real estate development giant Pratt Properties LP is poised to offer competition to other Interstate 25 business parks, with plans for a 1.5 million-square-foot technology business center west of Johnstown proper.

Pratt plans to host high-tech business and industrial tenants, build a hotel and meeting center and open retail space that includes a grand-scale nursery on the 145-acre Hoover Farm, located at the northeast corner of Colorado Highway 60 and I-25.

The path to groundbreaking, which Pratt spokesman Phil Marti said could happen as soon as next summer, goes first through Johnstown officials. The town…

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