Some business owners looking to set up shop in Falcon have expressed concern that leasing commercial space in the area is too costly, compared to Colorado Springs. The NFH researched leasing costs in Falcon and Colorado Springs in areas closest to Falcon, with additional information for downtown Colorado Springs and Manitou Springs. Results proved the old adage is true: It’s location, location, location.
And Falcon seems to have “the location element” as a fairly new and growing marketplace and a desirable place to live and work.
Below is a breakdown of costs for currently available spaces. The prices shown do not include the triple net (NNN) costs unless otherwise indicated. According to the website, investopedia.com, the NNN costs are the net real estate taxes, the net building insurance and the net common area maintenance on the leased space.
- 7376 McLaughlin Road –- Shops at Woodmen Hills
- Available spaces — 2,400 square feet; 1,500 square feet; 1,500 square feet; 4,500 square feet
- Price — $14 per square foot per year
- Other space available at this address — 4,108 square feet
- Price — $17.50 per square foot per year
- 11550 Meridian Market View
- Available spaces –- 1,400 square feet; 1,400 square feet; 1,995 square feet
- Price — Broker Tricia Freeman said the prices of the locations at this address are $27 per square foot per year for the smaller spaces and $25 per square foot per year for the larger space.
- Shops at Meridian (new shops going in at Meridian Road and Stapleton Road)
- Available space –- 9,125 square feet
- Price — $14 per square foot per year
- Falcon Town Center – Safeway complex
- Available spaces –- 1,200 square feet; 4,400 square feet
- Price — $18 to $22 per square foot per year
Colorado Springs locations
- 7360 McLaughlin Road
- Available space –- 1,200 square feet
- Price — $13 per square foot per year
- 5988 and 5998 Stetson Hills Boulevard – Ridgeview Marketplace
- Available spaces –- 1,500 square feet; 1,085 square feet
- Price — Broker Rick Helmonds said the price of the locations in this marketplace is $36 per square foot per year, including the NNN costs.
- 1075 Ford Street
- Available space –- 2,760 square feet
- Price — $7 per square foot per year
- Tutt Commercial Center
- Available spaces –- 1,540 square feet; 1,630 square feet
- Price — $20 per square foot per year
- 5527 Powers Center Point
- Available spaces –- several spaces ranging from 1,200 square feet to 2,400 square feet
- Price –- the average price is $15.50 per square foot per year. The listing states the rate is $10 per square foot for the first year, then $12 per square foot for the second year, then $1 per square foot increase for every year after that.
- 5050 Edison
- Available spaces –- 1,314 square feet; 706 square feet; 382 square feet; 414 square feet
- Price –- prices range from $10.03 per square foot per year to $11.59 per square foot per year.
- 6140 Tutt Boulevard
- Available spaces –- 3,784 square feet; 2,645 square feet; 1,200 square feet
- Price - $15 to $16 per square foot per year (depending on location of the space within the building).
- 6160 Tutt Boulevard
- Available space –- 1,796 square feet
- Price — $14 to $17 per square foot per year (depending on location of the space within the building).
Downtown and central Colorado Springs
- 4108 Austin Bluffs Parkway (anchored to Walmart)
- Available space –- 1,200 square feet
- Price –- Broker Greg Kaufman said the price for this space is $19 per square foot per year, including the NNN costs.
Manitou Springs locations
- 2 North Cascade Avenue
- Rate — $14.50 per square foot per year (there are no NNN costs for this property)
- Operating expenses — $8.54 per rentable square foot per year. Broker Greg Phaneuf said the total cost per square foot per year is $23.04 (the rate plus the operating expenses).
2723 North Nevada Avenue
- Rate — $5.95 to $10.00 per square foot per year, plus NNN costs
- Operating expenses — $2.50 per rentable square foot plus utilities and janitorial servicesTotal cost per square foot per year — $8.45 to $12.50 per square foot per year, plus NNN costs, utilities and janitorial services
- 13 South Tejon Street
- Rate — $6.00 per square foot per year, plus NNN costs
- Operating expenses — $71.5 per rentable square foot per year
- Total cost per square foot per year — $13.15 per square foot per year, plus NNN costs
- 90 South Cascade Avenue
- Rate — $19 per square foot per year (there are no NNN costs for this property)
- Operating expenses — $7.78 per rentable square foot per year
- Total cost per square foot per year — $26.78 per square foot per year
- 29 Manitou Avenue
- Rate — $10 per square foot per year (from http://cityfeet.com)
- 819 Manitou Avenue (the main street through town)
- Rate — $19.20 per square foot per year, plus NNN costs
- 67 Beckers Lane
- Rate — $11.96 per square foot per year, plus NNN costs
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Barking dogs and unkempt lawns have long been the source of strife between neighbors in residential communities. With the passing of Amendment 64, arguments over the sights and smells of marijuana growing next door and the consumption of the plant have joined the list of Falcon neighborhood complaints. Constantly changing and inconsistent rules about how and where marijuana can be grown in Colorado has added to the controversy.
A few Falcon residents contacted The New Falcon Herald asking for clarification on whether residents in unincorporated El Paso County are permitted to grow marijuana in backyards for personal use, and what recourse neighbors have against a perceived nuisance. Pueblo County's planning and zoning commission held a contentious public hearing about banning personal-use growth in residential properties. The commission postponed a decision to Nov. 12, after listening to about 20 speakers on the issue.
Marijuana advocates say the issue is settled based on the wording of Amendment 64. “Limiting the number of plants per person regardless of the number of people in the home is obviously unconstitutional,” said Rachel Gillette, attorney and executive director of Colorado NORML, the state chapter of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws. Referring to the Colorado Constitution as amended by 64, Gillette said. “I don't think it was ever intended for government to reach into peoples' homes and say where people couldn't grow their six plants, and that's where Pueblo and other local governments are over-reaching.”
Amendment 64 gave counties and cities the ability to opt out of allowing retail stores, marijuana cultivation facilities and other establishments from that particular government's jurisdiction. El Paso County quickly banned marijuana-related shops and businesses in unincorporated El Paso County, including Falcon, in January 2013.
However, as defined by Colorado law, “marijuana cultivation facilities” does not include someone using the provision to grow plants for their personal use, according to the amendment. “Marijuana cultivation facility means an entity licensed to cultivate, prepare and package marijuana and sell marijuana to retail marijuana stores, to marijuana product manufacturing facilities, and to other marijuana cultivation facilities but not to consumers,” according to section 2(h) of the amendment.
The amendment also requires that people who grow marijuana for personal-use do so in an enclosed, locked space. Growing the plants must not be conducted openly and publicly and never made available for sale. “The governor's task force on this issue recommended that there be a clarification of this definition,” Gillette said. “They recommend that it be a permanent space enclosed on all sides, including overhead.” Sheds, locked greenhouses and artificially lit interior rooms would meet this definition.
Cannabis plants in an unenclosed garden box in a backyard would not meet that definition, and would not be legal if growing out in the open, Gillette said. “There is an argument to be made about open outdoor grows,” she said. “But we believe that it's not open and public if it's on private property, period.”
There are few or no official documents to guide residents who want to legally and safely grow cannabis at home. “When the law is so unclear and changing, it's difficult for Colorado NORML to provide guidance,” Gillette said. The state Legislature passed laws to incorporate many of the task force's recommendations on retail and commercial operations, but not for the definition of enclosed, locked space.
Insuring, financing and eventually selling a residential property that had cannabis plants growing on it is also problematic. Cherri Fischer, chair of the Pikes Peak Association of Realtors, said the issue is so new for real estate professionals that there is little case law and legal guidance about whether agents could be liable for participating in a sale of a property where marijuana has grown. “Our position that we take as Realtors is to always disclose to buyers, no matter what it is,” Fischer said. “We recommend to sellers they disclose and explain, rather than having it come up with the neighbors after the sale.”
Insuring a home where marijuana grows is also challenging. “It's not part of our underwriting questions,” said Janet McMonigal of Farmers Insurance. “However, if the client freely gave up that information we would have to decline because of federal law.” Any damage to marijuana plants, supplies or paraphernalia will not be covered by insurance. Special equipment such as lighting, fans and heat source could cause fires that damage other parts of the home, and any damage caused by that fire may not be covered. A case involving USAA in Hawaii resulted in the court siding with the insurance company that denied a homeowner's claim involving 12 plants allegedly worth $45,000 that were destroyed.
Until the state Legislature formally adopts the task force recommendations for personal use growing, Falcon residents who want to keep peace in the neighborhood and grow their six plants using natural sunlight should ensure they are using the best available and current guidelines: The plants should be screened from view, enclosed and locked on all sides and overhead to prevent access to the area.