Centennial-based Saunders Construction and Colorado Springs’ Norwood Development Group have formed a partnership focused solely on building commercial and residential projects in the Pikes Peak region.
The new company, called Saunders Norwood Construction, will provide construction management, general contracting and design-build services for commercial, institutional, educational, health care, nonprofit, infrastructure and residential projects. It is headquartered in the Plaza of the Rockies building, 111 S. Tejon St., suite 200, in Downtown Colorado Springs.
“Saunders and Norwood are a natural fit,” said Ryan Balakas, vice president of Saunders, who will serve as the general manager of Saunders Norwood. “We have a shared vision to build communities holistically and with a long-term vision. SNC will focus on delivering exceptional construction services, while also serving as an active partner in this community.”
Chris Jenkins, president and CEO of Norwood, said that while it is not unusual for development companies to vertically integrate, “it is somewhat unique in our marketplace.”
Saunders has a more than 50-plus-year history of working in Colorado and has done numerous significant projects, he said
Saunders’ expertise will be particularly valuable as the company works on its first local project — the 163-unit first phase of the Residences at Park Union multifamily housing complex adjacent to America the Beautiful park, Jenkins said
“This partnership really offers the opportunity to collaborate on that project in a manner that is a little bit different than the traditional developer-general contractor relationship … and the opportunity to work on a little bit more condensed timeline,” Balakas said.
The Residences at Park Union will be distinct from other luxury apartment developments Downtown in that 68 of its units will be for sale, said Jeff Finn, Norwood senior vice president.
“They will vary in size and the price range, but this is a much-needed dip into owning Downtown and offering the opportunity for residents who have already committed to Downtown,” Finn said.
The residences will provide amenities on par with Norwood’s other Downtown apartment projects, 333 Eco Apartments and The Mae on Cascade, including a saltwater pool and hot tub on an elevated deck; lobby with a lounge, coffee bar and co-working offices; fitness studio; indoor dog park; indoor parking; and onsite concierge services.
The Residences at Park Union are part of a continuum of apartments at different price points that Norwood has developed, Jenkins said — from permanent supportive housing projects such as Greenway Flats on the Springs Rescue Mission campus to high-end, luxury complexes.
“We’re in the midst of expanding our range on that entire continuum of products that we want to work on in our master-planned communities in our downtown developments,” Jenkins said. “The partnership in and of itself doesn't necessarily change our desire to participate in delivering more product in those various different sectors, because we were going to be doing that before we met Saunders. What Saunders does is it really allows us to bring projects to life faster.”
Given its extensive experience in complex, urban infill development, Saunders also will be involved in the redevelopment Norwood envisions surrounding the museum and America the Beautiful Park — a variety of uses including shopping, employment, hospitality and entertainment.
“This is the extension of our Downtown,” Jenkins said. “Over the course of time, it will also define what our center city looks like.”
Saunders is involved in several other projects in Colorado Springs, including a building for Safe Passage, a nonprofit that represents abused and neglected children; an office building for a defense contractor; and a facility where buses will be repaired and stored for the city of Colorado Springs, said Teena Morath Bergstrand, Saunders’ marketing and communications director.
Saunders partnered with Safe Passage through its employee philanthropy arm called Building Confidence with Kids, she said.
“Saunders is a very community-focused organization, and … we’ll continue to see ourselves being very active in those sorts of various sponsorships, community events and philanthropy,” she said.
Saunders, which has satellite offices in downtown Denver and Fort Collins, has had “a multiyear strategic initiative to really grow our presence in this area,” Balakas said. “This partnership is an opportunity to really accelerate or foster that in a very different way than if we were just growing it organically.”
Jenkins added that the new company will have a positive impact on the community, projects and employment.
“SNC furthers our enduring commitment to the Pikes Peak Region and our core development business while leveraging the construction expertise of Saunders,” Jenkins said.