Sunday, October 9, 2011

How Does the Demise of Big Builder Magazine Relate to Southwest Denver?

As I've been saying for a while, destroying greenfields in exurbs is a business model that is slowing down and may end for a long time.

A symptom of this is the announcement of the end of Big Builder Magazine.

If there are any Big Builder types thinking of what next to do with their lives, here's an idea:

Start a land bank in SW Denver, where there are hundreds of homes available for $50k to $100k.  These prices don't seem to be going up any time very soon, but they are very competitive with the cost of greenfield lots.  Throw in the fact that they are eight times closer to the jobs and entertainment of Denver's city center, and you start to think they may eventually be worth a lot more than those far-flung lots.

Now add in some recent pro-density changes in Denver's zoning code, and you have a pretty compelling business model.


  1. I've thought this for a while, I would love to snap up a few blocks of houses on the "peninsula" formed where Lakewood gulch splits, between Tennyson and Perry streets, the elevation changes and views seem like it could become a San Fran like development(or Italian Hill town) plus its just steps from the Perry light Rail Stop

  2. Jim,

    I have to agree with you, If I had to choose an affordable neighborhood with the most potential in Denver, that would be it.

    It's loaded with beautiful (and recently refurbished) parks.
    Not far from Sheridan or Federal for shopping.
    Adjacent to West Colfax neighborhood which is adjacent to Sloan's Lake.

    There aren't too many walkable neighborhood amenities, but that will change slowly after light rail is done.

    There is a huge power line in the park that detracts, preventing it from being "Wash Park".

    I almost can't believe that D.R. Horton hasn't been caught snapping up blocks as you suggest. It certainly would be a public relations challenge, but ultimately a win-win. With a rental house already on the lot, it even cash flows until they are ready to build!

  3. This comment has been removed by the author.

  4. What do you think the timeline will be regarding the rebuilding in Southwest Denver vs the downfall of a traditional suburb like Aurora? And what would each location look like 5/10 years from now?

    I enjoy the blog very much, thanks for your contribution.

  5. Aurora is just as big as Denver, land-wise, so it depends upon what parts of Aurora you're talking about. I expect the closer in and transit oriented neighborhoods to flourish compared to the far-flung neighborhoods without transit.