- Developer Nathan Adams was going to buy site in West Highland.
- Adams never bought the property.
- Neighbors are rallying to save the home at 29th and Zenobia.
Developer Nathan Adams at one point was going to buy and develop a site in West Highland that on Tuesday will be the subject of a Landmark Preservation Commission hearing.
However, Adams, owner of Adams Development, who is involved in a separate historic designation battle in Jefferson Park, does not and never had any ownership or investment stake in the home and property 5115 W. 29th Ave., which includes what is known as the Lambourn house.
If the Landmark Preservation Commission recommends a historic designation for the Denver Square-style home, built in 1918, it will got to the Denver City Council for a public hearing and a final decision.
The commission hearing starts at 1 p.m. in room #4.f.6 in the Wellington E. Webb Building, 201 W. Colfax Ave.
Dozens of neighbors are rallying to save the home, although its owner, a limited liability company owned by Carter Design Builders, opposes the historic designation.
Initially, Adams was going to buy the home and property for $850,000. His plan was to raze the home and build 13 to 16 for-sale townhomes on the site.
He even created 5115 Developers LLC to buy the property on a hill at West 29th Avenue and Zenobia St.
Before he bought it, Adams said he was approached by Brad Teets from Carter Design Builders, who said he was looking for something to buy. Teets has done some general contracting work for Adams in the past. (Teets has not returned calls from Denver Real Estate Watch).
“I told Brad that we were spread pretty thin, so why don’t you take this off our hands,” Adams said on Saturday morning. That included using the limited liability company he created to be the owner of record.
He said he might have considered investing in the deal if Carter Design Builders was planning for-sale units on the site.
“When he told us he was planning an apartment building, that took us out of the mix,” Adams said.
The land is zoned U-MX-3, which allows for three-story buildings, including apartments.
Teets used the 5515 Developers LLC to buy the property in May 2014 from 5115 Sheridan Trust, according to public records.
A day before the sale, 5115 Sheridan Trust had bought the property for $650,000 from its long-time owner, Steve Perkins, according to public records.
Later, Teets decided that he no longer wanted to develop the site.
The brokerage arm of Adams Development listed the property and found another developer willing to pay $1.3 million, Adams said.
That developer planned to build townhomes on the 0.3-acre site.
“We had a zero financial stake in that transaction other than the brokerage commissions we would be paid for putting the deal together,” Adams said.
That sale, however, fell apart.
“We did find a buyer, but when the neighbors started the hostile historic designation process, he wanted nothing to do with it,” Adams said. Adams and other developers consider a hostile designation anytime neighbors seek a historic designation without the consent of the owner. Some neighbors feel that is an unfair label, if their intent is to save a grand, old home and not to stop development.
In this case, the planning staff has recommended the Landmark Preservation recommend a historic designation.
Adams said that if the historic designation is granted, he said the best chance Teets may have of recouping his money is by renting the home to something like a half-way house, which he doesn’t think the neighborhood will like.
Separately, for more than a year, Adams has been trying to buy a Queen Anne-style home and the surrounding parcel in Jefferson Park, in a highly publicized deal that has sparked controversy. City Council will consider historic designation for that home at Nov. 16. It has resulted in an ongoing debate between historic preservationists and property right advocates.
Interested in buying a home in West Highland? Please visit COhomefinder.com.
Interested in buying a home in Jefferson Park? Please visit COhomefinder.com.
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