Veteran developer joins Koelbel



  • Veteran developer joins Koelbel & Co.
  • Peter Benson has resort and homebuilding experience.
  • Benson will help guide Koelbel Urban Homes

Veteran Denver housing executive Peter Benson, who has cultivated new products and land acquisitions for a variety of prominent Colorado homebuilding and resort ventures during the past two decades, has been appointed Senior Vice President at Denver-based developer Koelbel and Co.

Peter Benson

“This is an experienced professional who’s a perfect fit with this company’s storied history and with where we’re headed in the coming decade,” said Walter ‘Buz’ Koelbel, Jr., President and CEO of Koelbel and Co.

“Peter has a depth of understanding of Front Range real estate that’s a precise match for our own areas of focus, including an extraordinary familiarity with the infill urban market, as well as suburban community growth patterns,” Koelbel continued.

Benson will be involved in land acquisitions on behalf of the company that traces a six-decade-long history in metropolitan Denver, and that fashioned prominent communities including Pinehurst Country Club and The Preserve at Greenwood Village.

Benson also will be involved in guiding Koelbel Urban Homes, a new specialty venture that has created highly successful residential infill projects in Lower Highland, Platt Park and other emerging neighborhoods around the urban core.

Architect by training

Trained as an architect, Benson began his career in California with San Francisco-based Fisher Friedman & Associates Architecture & Planning.

Later he joined Kaufman & Broad in Santa Rosa, Calif., where he specialized in high-density civic, residential and mixed-use projects.

Moved to Colorado 17 years ago

In 1996 he joined Intrawest to manage its partnership with Vail Resorts and guided the real estate development of Keystone Resort.

In 2001, Benson moved to Denver-based Village Homes, where he directed a move into the Northern Colorado market. In 2006, he was named Senior Vice President of Community Development for Village’s wide range of products, from mountain resort homes to ‘new urban’ designs

When the credit markets swept Village to Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in 2008, Benson created the new business plan that attracted investors, culminating in a successful restructuring of Village in 2009-10.

Benson’s experience with innovative product types, including with new mountain resort homes and higher density products designed around city infill sites, fits well with Koelbel and Co.’s new directions, according to Koelbel.

Koelbel’s roots

Founded by Walter Koelbel in 1952, Koelbel and Co. launched its first residential master-planned community in 1958 at Pinehurst Country Club; his son Buz joined the company in 1976.

In 1990, Koelbel and Co. transformed a square mile along the south Intersate 25 corridor into The Preserve at Greenwood Village – a development that served as a model for Front Range development centered on natural amenities made accessible to the public by trails.

In 2000, Koelbel and Company launched Rendezvous at Winter Park (it now comprises a 1,100-acre resort master plan that wraps the town of Winter Park) and introduced successful lines of resort homes there through its homebuilding affiliate Colonnade Communities.

The company’s new Koelbel Urban Homes venture, begun in 2009, has pioneered a variety of new-urban residential products and transit oriented developments, including Yale Station, University Station, and LoHi Court .

Koelbel and Co. has been actively involved in sensitive and responsible use of land through its 60-year participation with the Urban Land Institute and its founding membership in the CU Real Estate Council.

Have a story idea or real estate tip? Contact John Rebchook at is sponsored by Universal Lending, Land Title Guarantee and 8z Real Estate. To read more articles by John Rebchook, subscribe to the Colorado Real Estate Journal.



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John Rebchook

John Rebchook has more than 30 years of experience in writing and communications. As the Real Estate Editor for the Rocky Mountain News, he wrote about residential and commercial real estate for 26 years. He has won numerous awards for business stories and columns that he wrote, both as an individual and part of teams. In addition to real estate, he also covered economic development, banking and financing, the airlines, and cable TV for the Rocky. In addition, he was one of the original freelance writers for, covering commercial real estate for the Internet publication.

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