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AURORA, CO-RealtiCorp, based in Greenville, SC recently bought 500 acres of prime land at the southwest corner of Interstate 70 and the E-470 toll road. The land will be developed into a mixed-use development with a completed value that local experts estimate will have a completed value in today’s dollars of about $2 billion.

The land represents one of the largest development parcels along the fast-growing northeast Aurora corridor. Although sparsely populated today, more than 500,000 people are expected to live within a 10-mile radius within the next two decades.

Taking the next 12 to 15 years to compete, the development, called Horizon City Center, will have about 2,800 residential units, three million sf of commercial, and two million sf of retail. It will include an office campus, a regional mall or lifestyle center, and a town center. About 26,000 people will eventually work there.

Located just southwest of ProLogis’ headquarters, Horizon City Center will be a key employment center for the City of Aurora. “The intersection of I-70 and E-470 is a great location and this project will be at the focal point of the region’s commercial future,” says Aurora Mayor Ed Tauer.

Adds Alan Ballew, president and CEO of the privately held RealtiCorp: “Horizon City Center will have superb highway access, proximity to new residential developments and on-site retail services, making it an ideal location for large and small employers.” Founded in 2002, RealtiCorp has executed more than $300 million in land transactions. The price it paid for the 500-acre parcel in Aurora wasn’t disclosed.

The development will have an urban flavor, with a variety of architectural styles, pedestrian friendly streets and public amenities. Local streets such as East Colfax and East Sixth avenues will be extended throughout the community, and a large “Central Park” and plaza will be built to host community events.

The centerpiece of Horizon City will be a mixed-use, transit-oriented Town Center. This area will feature higher density residential and office space along a Main Street, public plaza and future transit stop. A separate regional retail center will include a mix of national and local or regional stores and there will be a corporate office campus on the site. Two mostly single-family neighborhoods will surround two sides of the Town Center, helping to support the retail.

Design Workshop created the project design standards and framework development plan. Infrastructure development for the 12- to 15-year project is scheduled to begin in late 2006. Anne Rosen, founder of Zing! Development Strategies and the former real estate director for the redevelopment of the former Air Force base at Lowry, is the local project manager for Horizon City Center. The sellers were Denver-based HMB Partners, which owned two thirds and Denver-based Ringsby Realty Corp.

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