by Mark Samuelson
As G.J. Gardner Homes' chosen builder for all of Jefferson County, Bob Shearer custom-builds in the foothills as well as urban situations - but the place you can see his work today is a value-priced ranch enclave called Applewood Summit, off W. Colfax between Lakewood and Golden, close to First Bank Holding Company headquarters, three minutes to Light Rail and to new St. Anthony Hospital near Union Square. "Ranches are what everybody wants," Shearer said - noting that when he found this site last year, he built one 2-story among his first ranches (it quickly sold), but has built only ranches since. RE/MAX Professionals broker associate Jim Thomas, who'll show you a 1,737-square-foot ranch with big covered deck and garden-level basement priced at $454,757, says that the ranch appeal goes beyond the empty-nest crowd. He pointed to two recent homes that sold to younger families - one a couple that gave up their old bungalow a few miles east of here in trendy West Highlands for this location. "They're getting away from the maintenance of an old house, for a new one that will require practically nothing for the next 25 years," he added.
Meanwhile, buyers in Applewood Summit have been loading in the options, taking advantage of G.J. Gardner's custom flexibility and favorable pricing. They're elaborately landscaping their backyards - adding in fire pits and Jacuzzi tubs - one opting for a four-plus-car garage with an extra high bay for a 1960s GTO muscle car.
Even in the ranch-spec you'll see the personality G.J. Gardner brings to this kind of project: The elevation is varied from ones down the street - different massing and bearing. "We always do an owner-entry," Shearer said, showing off a cubby area from the garage, "a place to put your iPhone or iPad." In the kitchen, Shearer is noticing a decided preference away from the granite that big production builders are showing, so he did counters in quartz, an island in slab granite. That's in addition to Tharp dark-alder cabinets he gets from Loveland; a Rave contemporary gas fireplace; a master bath that opts for a big walk-in shower instead of a tub and that has a pass-thru to the laundry; and rich-looking beetle-kill tongue-and-groove on the ceiling of the covered deck - a community trademark his buyers like.
The ranch, two-bedrooms plus a flex-room, is near-ready; but after that there are only four sites left here. Meanwhile, if you have a lot somewhere else in Golden, Arvada or Lakewood, or have been waiting to build something in Evergreen or Conifer, Shearer is ready to talk. Take W. Colfax west from Simms four blocks to Urban Street and turn north.
WHERE: Bob Shearer, G.J. Gardner Homes in Jefferson County, with Applewood Summit, small ranch enclave near new St. Anthony Hospital and Light Rail, one ranch for quick delivery; flexibility for building on your site, open house today with light refreshments. 1620 Urban St., Applewood Summit (Lakewood); west on W. Colfax past Simms St., 4 more blks to Urban, turn north
PRICE: Quick delivery $454,757
WHEN: Today 10 a.m. - 4 p.m.; or call for appointment