Rifle subdivision has new owner | PostIndependent.com

Rifle subdivision has new owner

Heidi Rice
Glenwood Springs, CO Colorado

RIFLE, Colorado ” The city’s largest proposed subdivision has been sold to a new developer, but plans are still on to begin construction in the spring of 2009.

RimRock of Rifle, the city’s first master-planned community with 1,200 to 1,500 dwelling units plus commercial space, has been taken over by the Meritage Development Group of Aspen, which acquired its ownership interest from Littlestar Ranch LLP of Aspen.

“We went under contract a year ago to acquire RimRock,” said Scott Russell, a principal with Meritage. “Littlestar will remain involved and we are moving forward with the current plan for RimRock and will work closely with the city and the existing team to achieve the goals already in place.”

The 360-acre property is located in north Rifle just west of the junction of Highways 13 and County Road 325 (the turnoff to Rifle Gap and Rifle Creek Golf Course). It is proposed to include five “villages” ” or neighborhoods that include townhomes, single family homes, condominiums, duplexes and four-plexes. The neighborhoods will be tied together through a system of roads, bikes paths and trails. Amenities will include a community center with a pool and a 110,000-square-foot commercial center.

“We’re thinking of things like a grocer, a restaurant, dry cleaning and a bank,” Russell said. “Things the residents would use.”

Property is also expected to be donated for a new school site as well as creation of a natural outdoor public amphitheater.

Last spring City Council approved a metropolitan district, to be paid by homeowners in the subdivision through their property taxes, which will help to pay for the infrastructure.

“The metro district will allow us to give so much more in terms of amenities like a community center, a pool and other features that Rifle has not yet seen in its neighborhoods,” Russell said.

Prices of the homes are still unknown, but Russell estimated the multi-family units would run $200,000 and more.

“The single family homes I don’t know, but we’ll definitely try to keep it attainable,” he said.

Plans for the RimRock at Rifle originated in the late 1970s, but were scrapped after the oil shale bust in 1982, according to Assistant City Manager Matt Sturgeon.

“It died with the bust, but this group has revived it in the last 12-18 months,” Sturgeon said.

The project still needs final approval from council and if approved, construction of the multi-family units is expected to start in the spring of 2009. The subdivision will likely be built in five major phases, with complete buildout taking 12 to 15 years, depending on the market.

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