Colorado Springs School District 11 board accepts third offer on vacant land

Colorado Springs School District 11 board accepts third offer on vacant land

The third time might do the trick for Colorado Springs School District 11 to sell a 10.69-acre parcel in the Newport Heights development.

The district’s board of education has approved a $450,000 bid from Rockwood Homes to buy the vacant land, which had been earmarked for a new school.

The company intends to build 28 single-family homes on the site, which has part of the Cottonwood Creek trail. The land is beside Bridle Pass Drive, near East Woodmen Road and Austin Bluffs Parkway.

Rockwood Homes has built multi-family housing, single-family and patio homes in the Pikes Peak region since 1993.

Declining enrollment in D-11, the region’s oldest and largest school district, has led to downsizing and restructuring. So the district, which encompasses central Colorado Springs, needs to sell unneeded vacant land.

D-11 bought the property from Nor’wood Development Group in 1999 for $556,000.

This is the third offer it has received on the parcel.

In December 2013, the district’s board accepted a $650,000 offer from Land Development Co.

One year later, the company terminated the agreement.

"They could not get a builder and financing to close the deal," said Kris Odom, D-11’s executive director of procurement and contracting.

The district lowered the price, based on the property’s assessed value and market factors, to improve the chance of someone "repurposing the land to develop and build homes and the market’s tolerance for that," Odom said.

In March 2017, D-11 board members accepted an offer of $500,000 from 360 Land Development LLC of Colorado Springs, which planned to build 31 homes. That buyer also terminated the contract.

"They couldn’t make the numbers work to develop the land and find a builder within the agreed to sales price," Odom said.

More than a dozen prospective buyers have looked at the land over the past five years, she said.

The district owns four other empty lots.

It accepted an offer in November for 22 acres at Wooten Road and Platte Avenue, where the buyer intends to build affordable housing.

The district plans to keep 22 acres next to Jenkins Middle School off Austin Bluffs Parkway for later use, Odom said.

But it also has two 10-acre parcels to sell: one in University Park on Collegiate Drive and another east of Peterson Air Force Base near the Colorado Springs Airport.

Under state law, proceeds from land sales go into the district’s capital reserve fund.

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