Independence to bring 920 new homes to Elbert County.
Craft Cos. is master developer of Independence.
Independence will bring water recycling to a new level.
A Denver company has unveiled plans for a 920-unit housing community on more than 1,000 acres in Elbert county.
The land developer of Independence, the Craft Cos., also believes Independence, in northwest Elbert County, would have the highest level of water recycling in the state.
Tim Craft, a partner in his namesake company, believes Independence would even surpass Sterling Ranch, in Douglas County, for water conservation.
“We will be providing on-lot effluent irrigation, which I do not believe they have in their development, although they have a very high level of water recycling,” Craft said.
“Essentially, at Independence, we will use almost 85 percent of the water twice,” Craft said.
In addition, at least 45 percent of the space at Independence will be devoted to open space.
“As far as we can tell, that will be more open space than for any non-gated, non-golf course community in the metro area,” Craft said.
The open space primarily will be found in large parks, and not small strips of land, he said. That is more useful for families living in Independence, as well as for wildlife in the area, such as deer and antelope, he said.
Independence will provide a rural, ranch-like experience for buyers, which also is close to Parker and provides easy access to Interstate 25 and all of its retail and employment opportunities, he said.
“Independence provides an alternative to the homes on 7-acres or 10-acres or more, where you spend your entire Sunday mowing the grass,” Craft said.
“You can still enjoy the land with good-sized parks and your backyards are still big enough for a barbecue,” he said.
Construction likely will start in about 12 months, he said.
Craft Cos. will develop the land, which is north of Hilltop road and east of the future Delbert Road extension, but will not build the houses.
“We are the master developer and will leave the vertical construction to others,” he said.
He said he expects Independence will feature three or four builders.
Lot sizes likely will range from about 5,000 square feet to about an acre.
He expects the size of homes will start around 1,800 square feet. He anticipates homes prices will range from the mid-$300,000s to $800,000 to $900,000.
“Right now, a Parker entry-level home starts at about $400,000,” Craft said.
“We want to be able to provide housing for the public servants in the area, who can’t afford to buy a home. By that I mean teachers, fire fighters and sheriff’s deputies.”
Most of the new housing options being built in the area are for rentals, he said.
“We are still big believers in the for-sale model,” Craft said.
The development originally was marketed by another development group as Bandera, which was never built.
Craft described it as a “relationship sale,” as the property was introduced to them from a person with whom they had done business with in the past.
While Craft said he thinks there will be strong demand for homes at Independence, there has been some local opposition to it.
“There is going to some resistance to any project these days,” Craft said.
“We are very proud with what we are planning; we have been over two years working on it,” he said.
He noted that the plans for the previous development, which was divided into Bandera East and Bandera West, has been approved by Elbert County in 2009.
“We changed some things, like increasing the amount of open space, which was allowed under the zoning,” Craft said.
The original developers had already planned a large water recycling program on the land.
“They had a water conservation program plan and we expanded on it,” Craft said.
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