BY FREDA MIKLIN
Five years ago, the Greenwood Village City Council approved a plan for the development of Harrison Oaks, a neighborhood of 11 lots on the south side of Belleview Avenue just west of Colorado Boulevard. Although the property had been zoned R-2.5 residential for decades, many people who lived nearby had assumed it was open space and were dismayed to learn that it was going to be a residential development.
Complicating matters was the fact that the property was bifurcated by the High Line Canal trail (HLC). There were five platted lots north of the HLC that were directly accessible from Belleview but there was no public street that accessed the six platted lots that were south of the HLC, despite the fact that the law requires all residentially-zoned property to be accessible via a public street. Over the years, the closest street, Colorado Boulevard, had been designated as a private road both north and south of those six lots and was not directly connected to them.
After months of discussions, most of the neighbors nearby the south lots came to agree that the best solution for accessing those properties was to construct a bridge over the HLC. That way, all 11 lots in the development, which had addresses on South Jackson Place, would be accessed exclusively from Belleview Avenue, making it the only street used to go in or out of the new neighborhood.
With the agreement of most of the neighbors, the GV City Council approved the construction of the bridge as part of the development of Harrison Oaks. The owner of the property then engaged The Koelbel Company to manage its development. Koelbel executives requested and got permission from the City of Greenwood Village to form a metropolitan district for the property to perform the functions of an HOA. They did not request nor did they receive permission for the district to incur debt for infrastructure or any other purpose.
Over the next few years, utilities were installed and attractive landscaping to shield the property from traffic was designed and placed along the side of the property that bordered Belleview. Two attractive brass wall-mounted signs with the new name of the development, now called “Crossings at High Line Canal,” were installed. Multiple social gatherings were held at which marketing materials were distributed with information for potential buyers of the 11 lots. Individual signs showing the address of each lot were placed on the property for marketing purposes. Several potential buyers expressed interest in individual lots but no sales were completed.
Then one day all the signs on the six lots on the south side of The Crossings disappeared at the same time. According to public records reviewed by The Villager, all six lots were purchased on January 21, 2020 for $8,125,000 by a company called HOA LLC.
Later that year, the address signs used to identify and market the north lots of Crossings at High Line Canal also disappeared all at once. Public records The Villager located showed that the five lots on the north side of The Crossings were sold in five separate transactions on November 2, 2020 to the same company, HOA LLC, for amounts ranging from $817,100 to $1,439,700. When the prices of the five lots sold on that day were added together, they totaled exactly $5,000,000.
No publicly available records The Villager could locate that are on file with the Secretary of State, the Arapahoe County Assessor or the Arapahoe County Treasurer contain the name of the owner or owners of HOA LLC. The registered agent is an attorney at a large national law firm.
One year after the north lots were purchased and nearly two years after the south lots at The Crossings were purchased by HOA LLC, there is no sign of any construction begun or planned anywhere in the entire 11-property development. Natural grasses have been allowed to grow on the entire property though they are trimmed and relatively tidy. The description under the term “Land Use” on the county assessor’s records reads, “vacant residential lot.”
In addition to the $13,125,000 cost of the 11 lots purchased by HOA LLC, property taxes for the year 2021, all paid in full and on time, were $321,824. The Koelbel Company website for the property, https://www.koelbelco.com/communities/crossings-at-high-line-
canal/ just says “Sold out in 2020.”
Asked whether there were any plans to build on any of the 11 lots, Koelbel Company said, “We were hired by ownership to develop the property and to market and sell it. The property was sold to a buyer who wishes to remain anonymous. We are not privy to their future plans for the property.”
Since each of the 11 lots are platted for one home in a designated building envelope (see map), no home could be built outside a designated building envelope on an individual lot unless the property owner requested and received permission from Greenwood Village to re-plat the lots on which they wished to build, an action for which there would be a public record.