Garfield County sees $35M land sale |

Garfield County sees $35M land sale

John Gardner
Glenwood Springs correspondent
Aspen, CO Colorado

RIFLE, Colo. ” Bryce’s Valley, a 547.3-acre parcel of land to the north of Rifle, recently sold for $35 million, becoming the third-highest-priced property transaction in the history of Garfield County.

The sale was finalized on Feb. 15, according to a press release from the seller, Myles Richards, owner of Rifle Investment and Development Co. LLC.

The land is north of County Road 291 and to the east of State Highway 13. Richards collected three different parcels of land, including the Purkey and Biscuit ranches in 2005 and the Gilbert property in 2006. His conceptual plan was to develop the property into a 1,494-unit subdivision comprised of single-family, multi-family and worker housing. The plans also called for 110,000 square feet of commercial retail space.

However, when this offer came his way, those plans changed.

“It was just a good offer at the right time,” Richards said of selling the property.

A press release from Richards suggested the parcel of land had already been annexed by the city of Rifle, and that approvals are in place for construction of 1,494 units.

“It’s not annexed into the city of Rifle,” said Matt Sturgeon, Rifle assistant city manager and director of planning. “There is no piece of it that’s been annexed. It’s all an unincorporated piece of Garfield County.”

Richards said that he had been under the impression that the property had been annexed because he had everything in place for approval.

“I found it shocking that it wasn’t,” he said. “I never realized that they didn’t approve the sketch approval for annexation. I just found out (Thursday) that it wasn’t met for approval.”

Further, what Richards had envisioned for the property may not come to fruition. Prior to the sale, the buyers, only known as Bryce’s Valley Holdings LLC, removed the sketch plan from the approval process that Richards submitted to the city of Rifle for annexation of the property.

“You would think if someone was buying a piece of property that large, that was ready for annexation, they would make that one of their stipulations for the sale,” Richards said.

What the new developer plans for the property is unknown.

“We have had conversations with the people doing due diligence on the buyers’ behalf,” Sturgeon said. “They are aware of the status of the property.”

Richards and several other sources said that they were not at liberty to divulge the identity of the purchaser other than Bryce’s Valley Holdings LLC. Richards said he had entered into a “confidentiality agreement” with the buyer.

According to the Garfield County Assessor’s Office, Bryce’s Valley Holdings has a Wilmington, Del., address. Richards said the buyer wired the total $35 million to an account of his company when the sale was complete.

Currently, the property isn’t annexed, and there is no conceptual or formal plan before the city of Rifle regarding future use of the property. Sturgeon said the new buyer will have to start the whole process from the beginning.


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