Meritage building by Apex center



  • Meritage unveils 125-home community in Arvada.
  • Meritage’s Richards Farms is across from the Apex Center.
  • Meritage will begin selling the first homes this fall.


Meritage Homes has started construction at Richard Farm in Arvada, across from the Apex Recreation Center.

Meritage Homes has started construction at Richards Farm in Arvada, across from the Apex Center.

By John Rebchook

Meritage Homes has started construction on a 125-home community on 32 acres across the street from Arvada’s Apex Center, one of the premier recreation centers in the Denver metro area.

Being able to walk out your door and arrive at the Apex center in minutes is an incredible, one-of-a-kind amenity, according to Shannon Hebert, marketing director of Meritage’s Colorado operation.

“I think it is going to be great,” Hebert said.

She said she expects a lot of couples with young families will be drawn to the community, called Richards Farms, because of Apex.

“To have Apex steps out your door is going to be huge,” Hebert said.

Apex includes a 23,000-square-foot indoor water park with 150-foot tall slides, a climbing wall, exercise area, swimming pools and an ice arena.

Base-pricing for the homes in Richards Farms, at West 72nd Avenue and Akire Street is expected to range from the $400,000s to the high $500,000s.

The size of the homes will range from 1,935 square feet to 3,646 square feet.

There already has been quite a bit of interest from prospective buyers, even though Meritage does not expect to start putting homes on the market until the fall.

“Arvada already is booming, with a lot of demand for housing. There is a shortage of homes in Arvada, which is very popular place for people to live,” Hebert said.

She thinks many of the buyers at Richards Farms likely will already live in Arvada and want to move into a bigger, newer, energy-efficient home.

Richards Farm to draw from Boulder to south Jeffco

“I also think we will see people who work in Boulder and Broomfield and even people living in southern Jeffco will interested in Richards Farms,” she said.

Housing consultant S. Robert August agreed.

“I think they are going to sell very fast, probably faster than Meritage is projecting,” August said.

“Richards Farm is in a premier, historic West Arvada location,” said Bill Inglis, a division president of Meritage, which is based in Scottsdale, but has a large Front Range presence.

“With only 125 home sites, it has the feeling of a small, established, neighborhood but is being developed with modern floor plans and innovative design,” Inglis said.

Meritage described Richards Farm as a “transit friendly community” as it is near FasTrack’s Gold Line, an 11.2 mile electric commuter trail line, which is currently under construction.

Richard Farms, by Meritage Homes, is walking distance to the Apex Recreation Center in Arvada.

Richard Farms, by Meritage Homes, is walking distance to the Apex  Center in Arvada.

Next year, the Gold Line is expected to be open to the public and connect Arvada to the recently revitalized Union Station, Denver’s transportation hub.

“With convenient access to Denver and Boulder as well as local trail systems and award-winning schools, it showcases what people love about living along the Front Range,” according to Inglis.

The Arvada area, he said, has become one of the most sought-after addresses in suburban Denver.

Arvada is a first-tier suburb that is close to Denver, but with much lower home prices than in many hot Denver neighborhoods such as Regis, Berkeley, West Highland, Sunnyside and Sloan’s Lake.

It also is near major employers, including Lockheed Martin Space Systems, MillerCoors Brewing Co., Exempla Lutheran Medical Center and Ball Corporation.

Another appeal of Arvada is its geography, according to August.

“You are close to the mountains, you are close to shopping and you are close to downtown Denver,” August said.

The Apex Recreation Center is a huge amenity for Richards Farm, a housing community in Arvada by Meritage Homes.

The Apex Center is a huge amenity for Richards Farm, a housing community in Arvada by Meritage Homes.

“It’s really ideally located,” he said.

“And Arvada has unique topography,” August said.

“You can find plains and rolling hills in Arvada, with great views of the mountains,” he said. “You really feel like you are in Colorado when you are living in Arvada.”

More homes needed

Although adding 125 homes to the supply is welcome, it will do little do alleviate the shortage of homes in the metro area, August said

“Every new home built is a step in the right direction,” August said.

“However, Meritage can’t deliver all 125 homes in one year,” he said.

That is correct, Hebert said.

“This will be a multi-year development,” she said. “We see it as a long-term commitment.”

The Gold Line is another draw for Richards Farms by Meritage Homes.

The Gold Line is another draw for Richards Farms by Meritage Homes.

The homes in Richards Farms, as all Meritage Homes, will be extremely energy-efficient and sustainable.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, in fact, recently recognized Scottsdale-based Meritage Homes with its 2015 Energy Start Partner of the Year.

“We’re very proud of that,” Hebert said.

Meritage’s equity partner in the development is San Diego-based Presidio Residential. Presidio said it “land-banked” the property with a $12.8 million commitment.

“We are pleased to close our first deal in Colorado and first project with Meritage,” said Don Faye, principal at Presidio Residential.

“We believe that the greater Denver area has room for private growth and we look forward to helping to build additional projects there,” he said.

Meritage site near open space

In addition to the Apex center, Richards Farm is surrounded by thousands of acres of open space with more than 140 parks and 125 miles of hiking, biking and horseback riding trails.

Five golf courses are within five miles of the property, which is also near Standley Lake, a 1,200-acre reservoir.

Building 125 single-family homes will generate a total of $35.8 million in local income, $4.5 million in taxes and other revenue for local governments and 493 local jobs, using a formula by the National Association of Home Builders to determine the impact of a single-family home in a typical metro area.

Interested in buying a home in Arvada? Please visit

Have a story idea or real estate tip? Contact John Rebchook at is sponsored by 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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