DENVER-A local real estate partnership is shelling out $11.4 million for a prime 329.4 acres, which could bring as much as $1 billion in developments to the Denver International Airport submarket.

The Parkfield property, which represents the largest land sale near DIA in several years, is bordered by Pena Blvd., E. 48th and 56th Aves. and Chambers Rd. The entire parcel is zoned for more than 2,000 houses and 6.3 million sf of commercial space.

The buyer has formed the Parkfield Property LLC to act as owner. Demand is such that the group immediately recouped $784,000 by selling 50 acres to Engle homes, which plans to spend $1.1 million on infrastructure improvements. In addition, Del West, a local home builder will close in December on 65 acres, paying $5 million for the tract.

Stew Mosko, one of the city’s top land brokers with Fuller and Co., and Mike Kboudi have handled the transactions with Parkfield Property LLC, Engle and Del West. They also are the listing agents for the balance of the land.

“This is really the last prime commercial parcel in Denver near the airport,” Mosko tells “It would be perfect for a large commercial/industrial developer such as Catellus, or a Panattoni or ProLogis to buy. It would make a very nice business park. After all of theseyears, Parkfield is just going to explode with activity.”

Its history–which involved the savings and loan crisis of the 1980s, a former religious teacher, and most recently, a real estate advisor accused with ties to organized crime–is one of the most interesting in the metro area, says Mosko. In the mid-1980s, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. acquired the property from the failed San Marino Savings and Loan of CA, which lent $18 million, or $28,777 an acre, in 1983 to Nu-West Development Corp., the US subsidiary of a once-large Canadian home builder. “This is the property where all of the hotels near DIA should have gone,” Mosko believes. “It provides a lot better access right off Pena Boulevard. than the hotels on Tower Road. But it got caught up in that FDIC debacle, and was never developed in a timely fashion, like it should have been.”

The land, totaling 443 acres in 1995, was purchased by Shaul Baruch, a Texan who held a doctorate in rabbinical studies. Baruch’s company, Dallas-based Masterex Texas Investments and Development, paid $3.95 million for the land or roughly $9,000 per acre. In 1996, he sold Parkfield to American Realty Trust, a Dallas-based REIT, for about $8.5 million, according to public records. American Realty, in turn, sold off parcels to Pulte Homes and Legacy Partners, which built an apartment complex on the land.

Then, the sledgehammer fell again in June when Gene Phillips, a director and investment advisor to American Realty, was charged as part of a mammoth securities racketeering fraud case. The investigation has netted 120 prominent people who are allegedly linked to a scheme involving five organized crime families accused of infiltrating Wall Street. The nationwide stock fraud has caused more than $50 million in stock losses, according to the government.

American Realty wasn’t charged, but its stock has been hurt because of the Phillips’ ties. “We got a call (from American Realty) saying they were getting margin calls and they had to sell the land quickly to come up with cash,” says Mosko. “They said they need to sell in a time frame of 30 days.” Within a month, Mosko and Kboudi found a buyer and simultaneously began lining up deals with Del West and Engle Homes. “It was a Herculean task,” assesses Mosko. “It was really something to watch. It was like a Rube Goldberg puzzle. If one piece didn’t fit, the whole thing would have come apart.

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