So the Independent
was originally left off the distribution list for this one. But just in case you missed it: Nor'wood Development Group
, the biggest developer in the county and owner of downtown land for which City for Champions venues are planned, issued this release Tuesday:
Banning Lewis Ranch Press Release
June 10, 2014
Nor’wood Development Group is pleased to announce that the Banning Lewis Ranch has been placed under contract.
… Land is a precious and non-renewable resource, and as such demands thoughtful, careful and long-term stewardship.
… Planning for our community’s suburban growth must be thoughtful and deliberate. Our region must optimize existing utility, transportation and communication infrastructure and encourage infill development and re-development of existing areas as well as integrating new suburban areas into the broader community.
… The acquisition of Banning Lewis Ranch, under a fiscally viable and responsible land-use strategy blending residential, commercial, and industrial development interests together with preservation and conservation interests in beneficial ways, will significantly enhance our region’s opportunities for long-term prosperity and improve our region’s quality of life for all citizens.
• Promote responsible stewardship of the property’s environmental resources
• Support efficient public services and facilities infrastructure that ensures high quality, cost effective city services
• Support the long-term viability of the Peterson and Schriever Air Force installations
• Support the protection of the property’s world-renown paleontological and archeological sites and a signature conservation effort that is locally and nationally significant
• Support greater and more meaningful outdoor educational and recreational opportunities for our region’s citizens
• Continue to engage and expand the group consisting of the Palmer Land Trust, El Pomar fellow, Trust for Public Lands, Pikes Peak Community Foundation and other elected, military, civic, business, science and conservation organizations and individuals
As the due diligence period is lengthy, there are many complicated issues as well as numerous unknown conditions that need to be evaluated. Should the property be purchased, Nor’wood will engage the best local and national experts and organizations to partner with the community to develop a land use plan and ownership structures that incorporates the above guiding principles.
Our next public update will be issued when the property is acquired.
The property currently is owned by Ultra Petroleum
of Houston, which had hoped to drill for oil and gas on the property but abandoned that idea after test wells weren't promising.