The Mystery Buyer

by Osman Parvez
Backdrop: The 400+ acre Sun Microsystems site in Louisville has been sold to a mystery buyer for $55.6 million. The buyer likely acquired the property to tap our region's highly desirable quality of life and deep pool of creative talent. Because precautions were taken to avoid disclosure of the buyer's identity, rumors are now swirling it's a large technology company like Apple, Microsoft, or Google.

For our local economy and housing market, it doesn't really matter who the buyer is, frankly. Here's what matters. The property has been sold and assuming the buyer will use it for commercial purposes, it means one thing. Jobs. Hundreds of jobs.

The labor market is the core driver of residential real estate. Although we've held steady since the housing market turned in 2005, as expected we're starting to see a cool down in Boulder and surrounding areas. The market is not falling off a cliff, as has occurred in former bubble markets. However, there is no denying that 4Q07 was substantially slower and 2008 will likely present challenging real estate conditions for sellers.

An employer hiring or bringing in hundreds of well paying, desirable jobs bodes well. Look at the location of the campus (map below). It's nicely situated between Louisville, Broomfield, Superior, and Lafayette with easy access to the 36 and 470. If the mystery buyer moves its employees from a high cost market on either coast, it will bolster demand for mid to high end homes. The new jobs should even help Longmont, the softest market in Boulder County. It's about 30 minutes away and ripe with lower priced homes. The new urbanism developments of Prospect New Town and Solar Village are even better positioned for commuters. The FasTracks line coming by 2014 will also provide an easy (and lower carbon footprint) commuting option for workers.

image: Miss Baker

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The ideas and strategies described in this blog are the opinion of the writer and subject to business, economic, and competitive uncertainties.   We strongly recommend conducting rigorous due diligence and obtaining professional advice before buying or selling real estate. 

Please Note

This document contains forward-looking statements. You are strongly cautioned that investment results are subject to business, economic and other uncertainties. There are no guarantees associated with any forecast and the opinions stated here are subject to change at any time. Always consult your financial advisor before making an investment decision.