Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Initial group of home builders named for Banning Lewis Ranch

Nobody will ever accuse owners of the sprawling Banning Lewis Ranch of making hasty decisions. The owners recently named a trio of builders to construct homes on the property that covers more than 21,000 acres and makes up most of Colorado Springs' east side; the announcement comes 5 1/2 years after the property was purchased. Classic Cos., John Laing Homes and Capital Pacific Holdings will tackle the property's initial residential construction, according to the announcement. Classic is headquartered in Colorado Springs and one of the area's largest home builders and real estate development companies. John Laing, based in California, entered the Springs' market several years ago and now is one of the area's more prolific builders. Capital Pacific Holdings, based in southern California, paid $55 million to buy the ranch in September 2001; the ownership later was restructured and an entity called Banning Lewis Ranch Management Co. is now listed as the property's developer. About 330 acres on the ranch's far northwest corner, to be called Northtree, will be the initial area to be developed. Builders are expected to start model home construction this spring, with an opening scheduled later in 2007; Northree will have slightly more than 1,000 homes and prices will start in the low $200,000s. Colorado Springs city officials annexed the Banning Lewis Ranch in 1988 and original plans envisioned 75,000 homes over 30 to 50 years. The area is bounded roughly by Woodmen Road on the north, Fontaine Boulevard on the south, Meridian Road on the east and Marksheffel Road on the west.

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