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BLUE SPRINGS, Mo. – Holy cow! Drivers in Blue Springs couldn’t believe their eyes Wednesday afternoon.
The police department said a bull and two cows escaped from the Valley Oaks meat processing plant. The animals ran through town and even up and down 7 Highway.
The police department said the bull ended up on the football field at Blue Springs High School’s Freshman Campus. Officers said it displayed aggressive behavior and was determined to be a threat to people. Because of that, officers said they had to euthanize the animal.
The two cows are still on the loose, and police are working to corral them. Officers said the cows are in an area away from people at this time.
Snow wasn’t the only thing missing in metro Denver in November. Home listings dried up, with the inventory of available properties down by a third from October. The shortage is so severe that single-family home prices revisited record highs reached this summer, according to a monthly update from the Denver Metro Association of Realtors.
There were 1,444single-family homes for sale at the end of November, down 38.4% from October and 17.7% from a year earlier. The supply of condos and townhomes fell 21.6% month-over-month and 51.6% on the year to 804 listings. Normally, the inventory of homes for sale drops 11.4% between October and November, and last month’s decline was one for the record books, DMAR said.
November’s inventory was also a record low for the month, according to the report. If December sees a 25% drop in inventory from November, metro Denver could end the year with a paltry 1,686 active properties, noted Andrew Abrams, chairman of the DMAR Market Trends Committee, which compiles the monthly report.
“That is drastically lower than the end of 2020 and could lead to the most competitive year yet,” he said in comments included with the report, adding that 2021 homes sales are on track to surpass annual sales seen in any year in the past five years.
A nearly 30% drop in new listings compared to October contributed to the inventory shortages, but new listings last month were on par with November 2020. Demand remains strong, with 4,392 closings but only 3,741 new listings hitting the market. Closings were down 10.4% from October, but that appears to be more about a lack of homes to buy. Half of new listings went under contract in five days or less after hitting the market.
The lack of supply is once again putting upward pressure on home prices, which had shown signs of leveling off. The median price of a single-family home sold in November rose 2.7% from October to $600,000, tieing the record high reached in June. The median sales price for condos and townhomes did reach a record $390,000 in November, up 4% from October. Median single-family home prices are up 17.6% on the year, while condo prices are up 16.4%.
A separate analysis from Zillow may explain what is going on. It estimates that new home construction nationally fell short of population growth by 1.35 million homes between 2008 and 2020 in the 35 largest metro areas. In metro Denver, builders undersupplied the market by 64,200 homes, helping explain inventory shortages and skyrocketing home price appreciation.
“Builders in recent months have put the pedal to the metal to get new homes up and meet a rush of demand, and we just saw the first full year of above-average construction since the mid-2000s housing crash,” said Zillow senior economist Jeff Tucker in the report. “This isn’t a new boom cycle of new construction so much as it’s an attempt to get even from the last bust. There is still a long way to go to catch up from more than a decade of slow construction, and some markets have longer to go than others.”
A pair of development firms planning a large apartment complex in the Golden Triangle have purchased the land.
Denver-based Summit Capital Venture Group and New York-based Rockefeller Group paid about $11.7 million across four separate deals this week for parcels at the southeast corner of 12th Avenue and Delaware Street, according to public records.
The parcels — 328 W. 12th Ave. and 1140, 1150 and 1158 N. Delaware St. — add up to 0.72 acres, according to property records. That makes the collective deal worth about $373 a square foot for the land. Travis Hodge and Tony Bobay of Capstone represented the seller in two of the transactions.
Summit and Rockefeller said in a statement that they plan to build a 13-story, 250-unit apartment complex with about 2,000 square feet of ground-floor retail space.
“With the current focus on the redevelopment of the Golden Triangle area, this was an ideal opportunity to launch a partnership with Rockefeller Group,” Jason Marcotte, a founding partner at Summit Capital Venture Group, said in a statement. “We are excited to further enrich the neighborhood with quality housing options and thoughtful retail activation at the street level.”
The properties are home to multiple structures, including an office building at 1140 Delaware St. used by and sold by the Junior League of Denver.
“Our plan is to find another stand-alone building that is right for our purposes,” Junior League President Caryne Mesquita told BusinessDen Thursday. “We are in the process of looking at buildings right now. As we look at the market, we’re finding there aren’t many out there. We may be doing a short-term lease to give us time. We still want a Denver address, somewhere in the Central Business District or a little bit farther south. But probably not right in the middle of downtown.”
Rockefeller and Summit’s project is expected to break ground in April and be completed in early 2024, according to the companies.
Summit has 466 multifamily units in development, and owns another 174 units between Denver and Salt Lake City that it acquired, according to the company. Rockefeller, meanwhile — whose top local executive is Jay Despard, formerly of Hines — is one of the two firms that owns the former Greyhound block in downtown Denver.
The Golden Triangle has become a hub for significant multifamily development in recent years, and changes approved by the Denver City Council this summer paved the way for taller buildings.
BusinessDen reporter Eric Heinz contributed to this story.
CONIFER — A titanic battle of Colorado values and priorities is brewing over a proposed mountain bike park on a 9,000-foot mountain overlooking this quiet foothills community 40 minutes from Denver.
On one side are the thousands of cyclists who take to the state’s roads and trails every day, seeking the thrill and challenge of rolling across world-class terrain amid jaw-dropping settings. On the other are long-time mountain residents, adamant about keeping Colorado’s relentless growth at bay while protecting a peacefulness and quietude that is increasingly under strain.
The battle lines in this faceoff are drawn on a heavily wooded 250-acre parcel along Shadow Mountain Drive just west of Conifer, where a plan to build Colorado’s first dedicated lift-access mountain bike park — with 16 miles of trails and an 830-foot vertical drop spanned by a chairlift — has resulted in dueling campaigns for and against it.
A Change.org petition in support of the project has gathered nearly 2,500 signatures while an effort to stymie the plan has garnered around 4,400 signatures.
John Lewis, a member of a well-organized group fighting the proposed project, said he and his neighbors are ready for the Full Send Bike Ranch proposal to land in front of the Jefferson County Planning Commission. The men behind the project say that could come as early as next month, with a hoped-for opening in 2023 should the county give its blessing.
Lewis last week pointed to a vast slope of evergreen trees fronted by North Turkey Creek burbling through a sun-dappled mountain meadow as natural features he doesn’t want to see degraded or disturbed by the construction of a downhill mountain bike facility with a 300-space parking lot.
He worries about hundreds of vehicles traversing narrow Shadow Mountain Drive every day, negotiating blind curves and racing past driveways to reach the bike park. He worries about impacts to wildlife and to the bucolic views he and his neighbors have enjoyed for decades.
He also worries about an increase in wildfire danger — a flicked cigarette from a moving car, perhaps — to an area that is already tinder dry.
“It’s just not appropriate for a residential area,” Lewis said, driving his truck several miles up Shadow Mountain Drive and passing dozens of signs denouncing the project. “I don’t mind these guys building their bike park — but why here?”
“These guys” are Jason Evans and Phil Bouchard, lifelong friends and bike aficionados from New Hampshire who moved to Colorado last year just as the COVID-19 pandemic was descending on the state. Bouchard, who describes himself as the “strategy” side of the Full Send operation, defends the project as a net gain for the Conifer area.
He said he and his business partner will be working with the U.S. Forest Service to do major wildfire mitigation on the site, removing dead and down trees to make it far safer than it is now. And he said the Full Send Bike Ranch will help draw cyclists off other trails in the area that are currently overcrowded.
“We think the park will alleviate a bit of pressure on a lot of trail systems,” Bouchard said.
Opponents, he said, have painted the project as an assault to the neighborhood. But there will be no nighttime operations lit up with bright lights and no plans to have competitions with loudspeakers blaring riders’ names and results, Bouchard said.
“It’s a relatively low-impact recreational development that is closed six months of the year,” he said.
The park, he said, answers an unmet demand from Colorado’s avid cycling community. While a number of the state’s ski resorts — including Breckenridge, Keystone and the popular Trestle at Winter Park — offer lift-assisted downhill freeride mountain bike runs, Bouchard said they are sideshows to their primary ski operations.
“It’s just about the riding,” he said of Full Send Bike Ranch.
Full Send would be just over a half hour from the metro area via U.S. 285, and because it’s at a lower elevation than the state’s ski resorts, could be open for more days in the year — with a season extending from April to November.
“If you want to go mountain biking, you don’t have to wait until Saturday and put in a three-hour commute on Interstate 70,” Bouchard said. “You could go after work on a Wednesday.”
Plans also call for a lodge where riders can enjoy a beer after a run. Tickets would be priced at $50 to $80 a day, with season passes available, Bouchard said. The effort to build the park would be a multi-million dollar one, money Bouchard and his partner are confident they can raise if the project is approved by Jefferson County.
The friends are working on a lease arrangement with Colorado’s State Land Board, which owns the parcel.
Gary Moore, executive director of the Colorado Mountain Bike Association, said the Full Send Bike Ranch “scratches an itch” among the state’s earnest pedalers.
“They’re coming at this from a clean sheet design,” he said. “They could really just do what they want to do without facing restraints. There’s a huge contingent of mountain bikers on the Front Range that aren’t getting access to that style of riding.”
But neighbors point to Jefferson County’s own Conifer/285 Area Plan, updated in 2014, which notes that residents “value the community’s natural environment and rural neighborhoods.”
“Passive and active recreation facilities, including recreational buildings and outdoor multi-use fields, should be designed to respect and be compatible with the area’s natural resources, rural character and adjacent land uses,” the document states.
That’s where the proposed facility falls woefully short, said Todd Jeffries, who serves on the safety committee for the Stop Full Send Bike Ranch group. Cutting trails through the forest and building a large parking lot near to where North Turkey Creek flows through will have long-lasting negative impacts on the wildlife that call the area home.
And what if the project doesn’t pencil out in the long term?
“(The land) could never be brought back to the condition it was in,” Jeffries said. “This place will be permanently scarred.”
John Patrick, who lives on 10 acres across Shadow Mountain Drive from the proposed bike park, said its mere presence would be enough to drive him from his neighborhood of 38 years.
“This is God’s country,” he said, gazing across a meadow to the mountains beyond. “We got mountain lions, we got elk, we got bears, we’ve even had moose. I never thought I’d have to leave — but I’d be moving.”
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