February 1, 2008

Lone Rock Ranch development on the market
23,078 acres for sale of the proposed development

By Mike Potter
Staff Writer

Almost all of the proposed Lone Rock Ranch development in northeast Park County is for sale for $18.5 million.

Lone Rock Ranch Manager Dave Crane said the 23,078 acres of the development has been listed with Hall & Hall since April 2007. That’s all but 168 acres of the total development. The 168 acres is separately owned.

There have been lookers, but none seriously interested and no potential buyers, he said.

The development’s approved preliminary plan called for 309 single-family lots and 40 acres of mixed use commercial land. The 23,078-acre property is situated east of Deer Creek, to the south of Deer Creek Valley Ranchos, north of U.S. 285 and to the west of the Woodside subdivision.

Crane said development stalled when the market turned weak.

"We started the planning stages and seeking approval from Park County [over four] years ago," said Crane "But the market has changed significantly since we started planning for the project."

Jerry Humphrey, a broker with Keller Williams Foothills Realty, said he believed the development priced itself out of competition.

"The first time I talked with them, he was waiting for the market to catch up to the area," he said.

Humphrey thinks it might be a long wait before that happens.

In 2007, the average price per home in that area was $253,000, much lower than Lone Rock Ranch’s $375,000 price point and almost $25,000 higher than the average price of homes in the Conifer area. There have been no homes built at Lone Rock Ranch.

"You could be in Conifer for less money and closer to the city," Humphrey said.

Although the progress is stalled, Duke Dozier, a trustee for the trust the land is in, said he is confident the development could still happen, but not in the near future.

"It’s still very viable to do a development, but the economy needs to improve," he said.

Crane agreed, but said it could be up to any new owners to proceed with the development, if the property is sold.

"Someone could potentially develop it, or they could choose not to develop it," he said. "Everything is essentially on hold given the market."

Of the 23,078 acres of property for sale, 843 acres are in a conservation easement, meaning the owner has signed away the development rights.

Crane said it is in an area that he always envisioned preserving.

"It just made sense," he said.


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