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DENVER–Houston-based Lionstone Urban Investments One LP, a recently formed group of mostly former executives at Gerald Hines, has agreed to sell 3.25 acres of R-2 zoned property on the former Gates Co. site in the city to Louisville, CO-based McStain Neighborhoods.

McStain plans 43 units on the land, most of them duplexes that will each be about 2,000 sf. They will sell for about $450,000 each, the equivalent of about $250 per sf. The units are expected to appeal to young, professional buyers who are priced out of the nearby West Washington Park neighborhood. The former industrial site is in the Platt Park neighborhood.

This is the first announced sale on the land since Lionstone bought the property in May. Eventually, the land, considered a prime transit-oriented site, could contain as much as 2.7 million sf of offices, retail, hotel, and residential. The completed retail value is estimated at $540 million in today’s dollars.

About 90% of the units on the land McStain plans to buy would be duplexes, with a few single-family homes that will probably be slightly larger. The land is served by two light rail stops. “The transit oriented development aspect of this site was very important to us,” Eric Wittenberg, president of McStain tells GlobeSt.com. “We don’t just build at every place offered to us.”

The 39-year-old McStain’s mission is to “build a better world,” and it takes it seriously, he says. The homes will be about 30% more energy efficient than a typical production home, which is becoming more and important with oil hovering around $60 a barrel, he says.

Lionstone’s development partner in Denver is Doug McKinnon of McKinnon & Associates. McKinnon had headed Denver’s office for Hines before forming his own company.

“We chose McStain Neighborhoods to partner with us because of their quality construction, energy-efficient building practices and creating livable neighborhoods,” McKinnon says. “Their focus on these issues is important to us as the master developer.

Tom Bacon, principal of Lionstone, calls the land that McStain is buying a “pivotal location,” for the entire development. McStain also expects to buy about another 5.2 acres immediately north of the duplex site, which has a zoning for a higher density development. It likely will build about 140 condominium units on that land.

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