Ironbridge development near Glenwood Springs has buyer, new name
GLENWOOD SPRINGS — A bankrupt golf course development south of Glenwood Springs soon to be formerly known as Ironbridge has a new buyer, a new name and a renewed extension of its development rights from Garfield County.
Longtime Roaring Fork Valley resident and real estate investor John Young introduced himself to county commissioners Monday as one of the partners in an investment group that plans to purchase what will become known as the Blue Heron Club.
The golf course and stalled residential development owned by LB Rose Ranch, a subsidiary of Lehman Brothers, has been in bankruptcy for nearly five years.
“As of Friday, we did officially enter into a binding contract to buy the golf course assets, and the undeveloped lots at Ironbridge,” Young said. “We think we can do a lot of great things for the neighborhood, and we have put together a group of investors who believe in this project.”
The group also includes Jim Light, another longtime valley developer who is a partner in the Roaring Fork Club in Basalt and was also involved in the Park East residential development in Glenwood Springs, and Garrett Reuss, a partner with Light in Aspen Snowmass Sotheby’s Real Estate.
Young and Light, in a follow-up interview Monday afternoon, declined to release the purchase price contained in the contract.
The investment group is operating through Lumen Investments as Blue Heron Properties, which will become the new name for the golf course development once the deal closes next month.
“It will no longer be Ironbridge, it will be known as the Blue Heron Club,” Young said. “The property does have a blue heron rookery on the [Roaring Fork] river, and it will become part of our identity and branding.”
The investment group was the successful bidder out of four finalists in a recent auction of the Ironbridge assets, Light explained.
“We went through that process with other interested parties, which was narrowed down to four bids,” he said. “We submitted what we thought to be a fair value, and that bid was accepted.”
Young was before the commissioners Monday along with Karl Hanlon, an attorney representing LB Rose Ranch, seeking an extension of development rights for the project, which includes 111 undeveloped residential lots.
A previous extension granted by the county for the project expired in March, but the owners did not realize it until the deadline had already lapsed, Hanlon explained.
Under the county’s former land-use code, another extension would not have been permitted because of the missed deadline. However, with the county’s revised land-use code, adopted last month, extensions can be granted after a deadline has passed if there are “extenuating circumstances.”
The county commissioners unanimously agreed to grant another two-year extension for the project.
Once the sale is complete, the new owners expect to be able to move ahead with developing the remaining 111 undeveloped lots. They will also put seven deed-restricted affordable housing units that are already built but unsold on the market, Young said.
A restaurant that was part of the clubhouse plans but was never completed before the project fell into bankruptcy will also be finished, and the new investors plan to make several improvements to the semi-private golf course.
“It is considered the second hardest course in Colorado, because of its high slope rating,” Young said. “We intend to soften the course, which involves simple things like changing the mowing patterns and moving the tees up.
“We want to make it a community asset that everyone is proud of,” he said.
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