October 28, 2016 John Rebchook, Denver Real Estate Watch
Buz Koelbel has come full circle with Lowry.
He began acquiring ground around Lowry almost four decades ago, when it was still an Air Force Base to create the Breakers Resort, a 1,523-unit apartment community on 190 acres anchored by a 60-acre, private lake.
Koelbel and his institutional partner recently sold the Breakers for a record $350 million, although his privately held company, Koelbel & Co., still retains a minority interest.
“When we first started acquiring land for the Breakers in the late 1970s, Lowry was kind of a big barrier to development,” Koelbel recalled.
“It was a large enough piece of land that it kind of created an interruption to the orderly process of development and traffic,” he said.
Still, many feared that closing the base would hurt the local economy, as it had been the experience of many towns and cities across the U.S.
Even Rep. Pat Schroeder, D-Denver, voted against the closing.
“Based on attending ULI (Urban Land Institute) meetings for the past 20 or 30 years, and my involvement with the Breakers, I would have to say the decommissioning the military base at Lowry was a great decision,” Koelbel said.
“How they ultimately executed the redevelopment of Lowry into a mixed-use development where people can live, work and play, is the absolute pinnacle of what could and should happen with a base closure,” he said.
Now, a division of his family-owned company, Koelbel Communities, is playing a key role in the final development parcel in Lowry
KUH is finishing the construction of 35 luxury rowhomes in Boulevard One at Lowry. Boulevard One is a 70-acre site at Quebec Street and Lowry Boulevard.
Units in CityHomes at Boulevard One will range in size from 2,296 to 2,824 square feet. With basements, they are 3,600 to 3,800 square feet in size.
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