Emerging trend: corporations & mixed-use communities

January 16, 2013

Charles Schwab and ExxonMobil among companies attracted to walkable environments outside of downtowns

An emerging trend of large corporations embedding within mixed-use master planned communities could be on the rise. For Coventry Development Corporation-the developers behind the 3,500-acre RidgeGate community in Lone Tree, Colorado-this was all part of the plan.

On January 16, 2013 the Governor's office of Economic Development and International Trade announced plans for Charles Schwab, the financial services firm, to build a new $230 million campus in the RidgeGate community. Charles Schwab, which has had a presence in Denver since 1978, currently has some 2,000 employees in the Denver area.

"The announcement of Charles Schwab's new campus demonstrates a commitment to Colorado," said Ken Lund, Executive Director of the Colorado Office of Economic Development and International Trade. "Selecting RidgeGate for the site of their new campus reinforces the value of walkable communities with a diverse mix of housing, amenities and transportation options."

In the last month alone, Redwood Trust and VISA have announced they will be bringing 550 and 400 jobs, respectively, to Douglas County. Coventry Development Corporation believes Denver's large financial-services industry talent pool and a pro-business environment make the region attractive to companies, and a master-planned community like RidgeGate is a lynchpin when it comes to expansion or corporate relocation.

"The right mix of housing, amenities, transportation options and recreation is essential to attracting residents," said Keith Simon Executive Vice President and Director of Development for Coventry Development Corporation. "It's also critical to recruiting and retaining employees. Corporations know this and they're leveraging what we're creating to gain strategic advantages."

When completed, Coventry's RidgeGate community will have more than 12,000 homes, as much as 20-23 million square feet of office, hotel and institutional space, three dedicated light-rail stations operated by the Regional Transportation District, the $23 million Lone Tree Arts Center, the Level III Trauma Sky Ridge Medical Center, and 1,000 acres dedicated to parks and open space.

RidgeGate isn't the only market where Coventry has had success recruiting large corporations. In 2008, ExxonMobil purchased 400-acres for its new 10,000 person corporate campus located in Coventry's 2,000-acre Springwoods Village mixed-use community in Northwest Houston. When complete, the $10 billion Springwoods Village community will be home to 15,000 residents and 35,000 to 50,000 employees. ExxonMobil's campus is currently under construction with plans for phase one occupancy in 2014. Southwestern Energy has also purchased 26 acres in Springwoods Village for its new corporate headquarters campus with construction slated to begin in 2013.

"Many economically healthy cities have populations and commute times that continue to grow," said Simon, who is also Development Director for Springwoods Village.  "Current and future residents are demanding a newer, greener and smarter way of life where work, family, and nature co-exist in close proximity. We're pleased that major employers are following suit."

Coventry is also developing Hobe Grove, a 2,800-acre sustainable community along I-95 in Martin County, Florida.  When completed, it is anticipated that Hobe Grove will have up to 3.9 million square feet of office and research space and the potential to support 11,000 new high-quality jobs.

About RidgeGate

Size: 3,500 acres

Number of single-family homes planned: 10,000-12,000 homes ranging from the low $200's to over $1 million

Number of residences currently occupied: 1,000

Office, Commercial and Institutional: 20-23 million square feet

Parks & Open Space: 1,000 acres of parks, trails, natural habitat and open space. Elevation at the top of the bluffs reaches 6,280 feet.

Hotel Rooms: Over 500 rooms representing multiple product types and brands

Transportation: Three planned light rail stations (closest current stop is Lincoln station, one half mile from RidgeGate), bus and call-n-Ride service. Denver International Airport is 30 minutes away, Centennial Airport is 10 minutes away.

Other Amenities: $23 million dollar Lone Tree Arts Center, Sky Ridge Medical Center and Level III Trauma Center (slated for $107 million expansion project in 2013-2014), Cabela's (opening 2013), Lone Tree Recreation Center, Schweiger Ranch

Jobs: 30,000 to 50,000

School District: Douglas County

For more information, please visit www.RidgeGate.com

About Springwoods Village

Size: 2,000 acres

Number of single-family homes planned: 2,500 ranging from the low $200's to over $1 million

Number of residences for lease planned: 3,000

Office Space planned: 8.5 million square feet

Retail Space planned: 1.2 million square feet

Parks & Open Space planned: 33 miles of trails, recreation and natural ecosystems

Hotel Rooms planned: Over 500 rooms in multiple product types/brands

Transportation: 10 miles from Bush Intercontinental Airport

Jobs anticipated: 35,000-50,000

School District: Spring & Klein

For more information, please visit: www.SpringwoodsVillage.com

Coventry Development Corporation is a New York based manager and developer of private real estate assets-large land tracts in Colorado, Texas, and Florida, as well as mixed-use buildings in New York City. Coventry focuses on transformative real estate development with mixed-use, compact planned communities that begin with major new employment uses, ultimately adding amenities and enhanced value to the surrounding community.