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COLORADO SPRINGS, CO-The 1,274-acre Lorson Ranch that borders Colorado Springs and the tiny city of Fountain, is for sale for $6.9 million.

Dale Wheeler, a broker with Palmer McAllister of the Springs and Dave Banzhaf of the Denver office of Cushman & Wakefield of Colorado Inc., are selling the spread. The land is south of the 21,400-acre Banning-Lewis Ranch, which Wheeler sold last month for $55 million, in what may be the largest land sale in the country this year. The Banning-Lewis Ranch forms the eastern border of Colorado Springs and was the single largest property sold by the Resolution Trust Corp., which liquidated the assets of failed savings and loans in the early 1990s.

The Larson Ranch is the largest piece of property for sale in the Colorado Springs area at this time. “To the best of my knowledge, this is the largest contiguous piece of property for sale in the Colorado Springs area,” Wheeler tells GlobeSt.com. The acreage is, he says, “very strategically located.” It is near the Colorado Springs Airport, Fort Carson, Peterson Air Force Base, Schriever Air Force Base and in close proximity to NORAD.

The Fountain Valley School of Colorado is the owner. Billed as “a selective Colorado Springs independent school, it has owned the land for 40 or 50 years. It raises hay on the ranch for its horses, but has decided to sell it now it’s in the growth path, Wheeler says.If fully developed, the project could be turned into a residential and commercial project with a completed value approaching $1 billion. Banzhaf says he and Wheeler have put together an eclectic range of potential buyers, ranging from big developers and homebuilders to environmental groups.

Banzhaf will soon make a presentation to the Springs-based Trails Open Space and Park group, better known as TOPS, and he will be contacting other groups such as the Nature Conservancy. Even some wealthy individuals have shown interest in buying the land, Banzhaf says. “It’s possible that if someone bought it for his personal use, he would operate it as a ranch and preserve it through a conservation easement,” Banzhaf tells GlobeSt.com.

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