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JULY 15-21, 2016
Sterling Ranch becoming a reality
A view of the work being done at
Sterling Ranch, looking west from near
Santa Fe Drive and West Titan Road.
The development covers 3,400 acres.
Special to the Business Journal
[email protected]
terling Ranch developers Harold and Diane Smethills and
their collaborators envision
the project not as just a new
neighborhood, but as a sustainable,
high-tech 21st century environment
appealing to multiple generations.
“We want to create a community
where … grandkids can have adventures with their parents and grandparents,” said Harold Smethills. “We’ve
developed a trail system and … just
completed a comprehensive management plan for plants and wildlife,
which so far as we can tell has never
been done before.”
The Smethills and their Sterling
Ranch Development Co. officially
broke ground on the 3,400-acre, $4.3
billion master-planned Douglas County project in mid-2015, after more than
a decade of challenging preliminary
The first “village” — Providence Village — is expected to get its first model homes later this year. Developers
anticipate a 20-year project buildout,
with some 12,000 homes plus commercial, education and civic space.
Multiple builders, led by Denver-based Richmond American
Developer: Sterling
Ranch Development
General Contractor:
Architect: Arlo Braun
& Associates, PCS
Group Inc., Woodley
Company: Matrix
Design Group
Law Firm: Brownstein
Hyatt Farber Schreck
Financing Firm: D.A.
Davidson Companies
Other team members
Builders: Brookfield
Residential, CalAtlantic
Homes, Lennar,
Meritage Homes,
Richmond American
Homes, Parkwood
Homes, Wonderland
Others: Art +
Business ONE, Fox
Tuttle Hernandez
Transportation Group,
McGeady Becher,
Redland, Siemens
Homes, signed on to build homes at
the project.
Former Richmond executive Jack
Hoagland — who’s Diane Smethills’
brother — helped bring the builder
to the project and otherwise get the
project going as a top Sterling Ranch
Development exec before leaving in
“Sterling Ranch is this area’s first
opportunity to develop, at scale, the
new 21st century community,” said
Jim Yates, Sterling Ranch Development president and former Richmond exec. “It’s about the way we
can live and work, a combination of
technology and location.”
The project is close to a wealth
of natural amenities, from the Pike
National Forest to Chatfield State
Site work — including earthwork/
grading and installing infrastructure
such as water, sewer and storm-water lines as well as utilities — started
this year in preparation for construction. General contractor M.A. Mortenson Co. is even using technology for
that work.
“We have some drone work going
on, flying over the topography,” said
Josh Williams, Mortenson construction executive. “For the earthwork,
we’re using a GPS control for machinery, whereby we build a virtual model
and input it into a machine so it knows
exactly where it is.”
With arid Colorado’s limited water
resources, water management has
been a major challenge for the project
— but also an opportunity to innovate.
Sterling Ranch Development worked
for years to cement agreements with
water providers including Denver
Water. To conserve water, the project
teamed up with the Denver Botanic Gardens on the use of low-water
plants, and will have its own extensive water system including storage
and rainwater capture.
Since so much of 21st century life
relies on technology, Sterling Ranch
will provide top technology — from
smart homes to its own fiber-optic
network — with partners IBM Corp.
(NYSE: IBM) and Siemens AG (OTC:
“This is the first community I know
of with a municipal network running
over a home fiber network,” said Brock
Smethills, Sterling Ranch Development’s chief technology officer.
Project engineer Matrix Design
Group Inc., among others, already are
working on future phases.
“The biggest thing for a Sterling
Ranch-type project is to look far
enough down the stream to accommodate the future,” said Patrick Chelin,
Matrix development services director.

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