Archive for December, 2009

In town of Erie, half-in, half-out of Boulder County, commuters find allure in the prices…and the lifestyle

When you drive through the town of Erie on your way to see a great looking custom ranch in an alluring neighborhood, you’ll pass right down County Line Road…Boulder County to your left, Weld to your right. “This is a town at the tipping point, coming into its own,” says Mayor Andrew Moore, who points out the new rec center, new library…new park where the Erie Lady Tigers will play. (They’ve played in the state’s 3-A division final game for all of the past 12 years, and took the title ten of those times.)

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Mayor Andrew Moore of Erie, left, joins builder-owners Cat and Kirk Velarde and their Kentwood Cherry Creek agent Paula King, in front of a 5-bedroom ranch on the re-sale market at $597,000.

And don’t forget new Erie High School, on the Weld side of town on the way out to I-25. A few years back Erie was losing students, due to open enrollment. Now ACT scores, Moore notes, are way up…and the school is actually drawing enrollments from other towns. “This is so much closer to downtown,” says Kentwood Cherry Creek agent Paula King, who lives in Erie Village, where she’ll show you the 2,699-foot, 5-bedroom ranch that has another 3,000 down in the basement, with movie screening room and other goodies. It’s at $597,000…a “steal” King says…all the more so if you live in Boulder proper, where, she adds, it would be priced well over a million. more »

San Rafael shows ‘Denver’s best stock of Victorian homes’

Thirty-two years ago, Jim Wiseman took a drive from his house in Wash Park, up into Denver’s San Rafael neighborhood, northeast of downtown. Now he has a showplace Victorian there (his daughter, Keller Williams agent Lindsey Wiseman calls it “the ultimate Christmas house”)…close to two other period Victorians that are on the market now from $400,000, and some spectacular new row homes, as well.

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Keller Williams agent Lindsey Wiseman (left) joins her father, San Rafael restoration pioneer Jim Wiseman, and Coldwell Banker agent Soledad Tobar, in front of Wiseman’s historic home at 22nd and Emerson Street.

“It was pretty marginal back then,” says Wiseman, who went on to help establish national historical recognition for San Rafael, and to fix up no less than 80 homes in the four or five blocks surrounding his address at 22nd and Emerson. more »

Passive solar is alive and working well in Englewood near Swedish Medical Center

It was 20 degrees out last Thursday, but 74 indoors with no heat running, in a 3-bedroom passive solar design in Englewood’s ‘Evanston-Broadway’ neighborhood centered between the Swedish and Porter Hospital complexes. “I get plenty of solar,” said architect Bence Kovacs…despite the fact that the house he designed for himself at 3055 S. Ogden is on a north-south street with lots of trees to block the sun.

Passive_solar_12-13-9Keller Williams agent Larry Champine (left) joins his client, Hungarian-born architect Bence Kovacs, beside the passive solar home Kovacs created in old Englewood, between Swedish Medical Center and the University of Denver.

Sure enough, at 3 p.m. the low winter sun was still peeking over the top of the 2-story house next door, filling a family room that has massive concrete floors (with radiant back-up heat) to absorb the solar gain. Kovacs, who works for Fentress Architects on projects surrounding the new airport for San Jose, Calif., and the new city hall for North Las Vegas, took a totally ‘green’ approach indoors: engineered ‘paralam’ beams, OSB-type flooring, and Xeriscaped yard for low water use. more »

Fraser Valley’s $16 million rec center opens to vacationers Dec. 18

Skiers and other vacationers are getting an entirely new way of looking at Winter Park and the Fraser Valley this year…with a newly made-over base mountain area, new amphitheater for concerts in downtown Winter Park, and opening Dec. 18, a new $16 million, vacation-oriented rec center with splashdown pool, 20-foot water slide, climbing wall and other attractions.

New Fraser Valley Rec Center
New Fraser Valley Recreation Center opens Dec. 18, with resort-style pool, climbing wall.

“The center will allow people to consider Winter Park in an entirely new light,” says, Dan O’Connell, president of the Fraser Metropolitan Recreation District’s Board of Directors. “When going on vacation, many times it’s kids that drive the decision on where you go, even if the parents pay for it. To have an attraction as fun as this is a great thing.” more »