Gold Hill Mesa readies for role as a main site in Parade of Homes

       The price of progress: The Westside's Gold Hill Mesa development has been honored as one of two “main sites” for this year's Parade of Homes. But to handle the resulting high traffic, Gold Hill's ownership group is having to build a temporary, roughly quarter-mile road in from 21st Street - most of which will probably have to be torn out later, according to lead developer Bob Willard.

A 20-foot-tall sign for the Gold Hill Mesa development was being built this week off 21st Street at Villa de Mesa Drive. In a view east across 21st Street, Villa de Mesa, a private, previously built 23-home subdivision, can be seen at left. Everything around it, including the sign and the newer homes at right, are on Gold Hill Mesa property. As part of its Parade of Homes involvement this year, Gold Hill will also be building a temporary road from Villa de Mesa Drive to its community building (tower structure at right).
Westside Pioneer photo

       At least one part of the current construction in the area of 21st Street and Villa de Mesa Drive will definitely remain, and that's the new monument sign that's been under construction for the past week or so. Approved by the city several years ago as part of the project's overall plan, it will be a 20-foot-high, 26-foot-wide edifice with a stone veneer and metal cap, inset by a red plate that reads “Gold Hill Mesa.” (A smaller version of that design exists now near the smaller entrances off Gold Camp Road at Millstream Terrace and South Raven Mine Drive.) The 21st Street location was chosen because someday - after a widening of 21st Street that will eventually be required of Gold Hill - that will be the main access to the 210-acre residential/commercial development, Willard said.
       But for now the big story for Gold Hill Mesa is its role in the annual Parade of Homes (Aug. 6-22), sponsored by the Colorado Springs Homebuilders Association (HBA). Being a main site means providing at least three home sites - Gold Hill will have four, including its information center - and being given special status in the tour. “We think we've hit the velocity point where we're ready to tell our story,” said Willard, who expects to have nearly 90 homes constructed (about 10 of them ready for sale) by the time the event starts. “We're sticking to our vision [of traditional neighborhood design], and we need to let the community know we're here. This will create a buzz and attention.”
       “It's a unique site up there,” said Kirk Standley, events manager for the HBA. “What they're doing isn't being duplicated much in Colorado Springs or anywhere else. They really are creating a community, with a great diversity of home types and builders. Gold Hill Mesa is a definite focal point in this year's Parade, and this will be a chance to introduce them to the public.”
       Parade tickets, which allow people to tour any of the selected new homes during the Aug. 6-22 time frame, are $10 a person and are available at any of the 23 locations or at Safeway stores, Standley said.
       About 19,000 people bought tickets to last year's event, according to Willard, and he thinks the number will be higher this year.
       Adding to the festivities for Gold Hill Mesa will be the installation of eight sculptures by local artists, which will be arranged around the grassy open area behind the development's community building at 142 S. Raven Mine Drive and remain up for a year. There will also be regular children's activities throughout the Parade of Homes, geared for the current Gold Hill residents but open to visitors as well, according to Stephanie Edwards, a staffer with the development group.
       Two other Westside sites will also be represented in the Parade - one home from the Red Rock Canyon Estates development just west of Red Rock Canyon Open Space and two homes from the Broadview Terraces development off Lower Gold Camp Road between 21st and 26th streets.
       Information about the homes at all three sites appears below, as taken from a Parade of Homes information sheet (the name in bold is the builder):
  • Gold Hill Mesa - CreekStone Homes, single-family, 3,314 square feet, $400,000; JM Weston Homes, townhome, 1,404 square feet, $191,900; Challenger Homes, single-family, 2,275 square feet, $249,900.
  • Red Rock Canyon Estates - Hi-Point Home Builders, single-family, 5,260 square feet, $925,000.
  • Broadview Terraces - Silverwood Homes, single-family, 2,775 square feet, $351,000; and single-family, 2,168 square feet, $299,000.

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