Phillips 66 Vacant Lot

phillips 66 road sign for blog by bob gordon
Photo courtesy of Shutterstock. Phillips 66 lot in Louisville remains undeveloped years after Storage Tek moved out.

This Week In Boulder

Hello world. I’ve been away from blogging far too long.  My goal for the day? One blog post.  It might not be perfect, but am hoping that something is better than nothing.  My inspiration for thought today?  What’s happening with the Phillips 66 property in Louisville and the overall real estate market.  Read on and please leave a comment below.

Boulder Open Space Policy and Planning

I realize its not so simple as to say, this is just about Boulder open space.  But the council’s rejection of the planned development for the Phillips 66 parcel is a tough one for future development and jobs in the area.  Ever since Storage Tek moved out of the space, this has been one giant vacant lot.

Were this parcel more visible on a day to day basis, I can’t help but wonder if we would be seeing some reasonable movement on this land.  Maybe not. After all, the central commercial district where the old Sam’s Club and recently emptied Kohl’s sits vacant.  While Louisville and Boulder County are humming along, the lack of forward thinking development could bite the area in the tail one day in the future.

Neither of these locations is currently zoned for residential.  Redtail Ridge is zoned rural and the Sam’s Club area is commercial.  So its not like the community is losing out on previously planned housing.  What we are missing out on is tax revenue from commercial property development. As our communities deal with the Coronavirus, we may soon wish we had a larger tax base to fund our community budgets. 

Redtail Ridge Rebuffed

june 2020 denver real estate sales graphic with various graphs depicting the market conditions
courtesy of RE Colorado multiple listing service.

Planning commissioners in turning down the project in the end of June stated it was just too large.  I wonder if the new reality of living with Covid-19 will inspire a smaller project that creates more tax base from residential housing.  Long term, it seems evident that the community should develop the property in some fashion.   I guess time will tell.

What’s Happening In Residential Real Estate

Here’s a graph for the Denver Real Estate Market.  This includes a large swath of counties along the Front Range, including Boulder.  Home values are climbing, pending sales are up.  But inventory is down.  Translation: strong Sellers market with rapid sales of listings, especially at entry level and lower price points.

June Home sales are up.  By about 3% over the same month last year.  Some of this should be attributed to the reality that April and May sales were depressed due to showing limitations imposed by the Coronavirus. 

New Listings Decreased.  This is serious news for home shoppers and home owners contemplating the sale of their Denver homes.   Less properties, year over year, came to market.  My thought would be, in the age of a pandemic, now is not the time to get caught homeless.   So those that have the space are staying put. 

But, when you look at how long inventory is available, this year 5 weeks versus 2019’s seven weeks, this suggests there is high demand.  And I can well imagine those with a one bedroom condo now need a second bedroom for the home office/gym.  And families that were managing in an entry level house want to spread out with two home offices required plus space to home school kiddos.

I expect we will see continued pressure on homes this summer as owners reorient their needs based upon sheltering in place and teleworking from home.

Home Sellers Have Great Market Conditions

For Boulder home sellers, now is a great moment to sell your house.  High demand, low inventory power the real estate market.  And it doesn’t hurt that Boulder home buyers are getting super low thirty year fixed mortgages to act.   You couldn’t ask for better conditions and timing to sell your house!


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