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Local company has taken over from Sunrise on most of Kissing Camels properties homebuilding

Garden of the Gods Homes started in October 2012, as a local company that took over home construction and sales responsibilities for most of the undeveloped residential lots inside and outside the gated Kissing Camels community.

For the general public, the company's work is readily visible along Mesa Road south of the Garden of the Gods Club, as construction moves forward on the 117-lot, gated Cathedral Ridge subdivision. According to GoG Homes owner Mike Woelke, six homes are now occupied there, with five under construction (four by his company) and three more due to start this fall.

In 2007, the multi-state Sunrise Company and Thomas Schmidt LLC purchased the Garden of the Gods club and hundreds of acres of undeveloped properties within a master-planned area that encompasses two by three miles overall atop the mesa. Sunrise initially handled the development chores, including obtaining city approval for Cathedral Ridge, Signature Point (a 17-home project inside the Kissing Camels gates that Sunrise started and Woelke's company is completing) and Sentinel Ridge (the 88-lot, yet-to-be-built, first phase of a residential project off Fillmore and Mesa).

But in October 2012, Sunrise decided to limit its involvement mainly to land sales. Its ownership worked out an agreement with Woelke, who had been its vice president of construction, to start Garden of the Gods Homes. Noting that his company's building designs are generally in keeping with Sunrise's and that collaboration on joint projects continues, “it was kind of a seamless transition,” he summed up in a recent interview.

Why did Sunrise make its decision? “Their business plan was to build 60 homes a year, but there was a whole change in the economy and the numbers were only 10 to 15,” Woelke explained. “They needed to answer to their investors.”

He estimated that more than 500 home sites could still be developed in the Kissing Camels master-planned area. The way the business usually works, a house will be presold on a Sunrise-owned lot, then the buyer will work with Garden of the Gods Homes on its design and construction.

Woelke and his staff have office space in the Garden of the Gods Club, including sales personnel. For more information, call 314-2120.

Article by Westside Pioneer

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