One of the most expensive properties on the Cherry Hills Village market is this $15.9 million, 23,000-square-foot Santa Barbara-style ranch.
Cherry Hills Village, recently named the second-richest city in the U.S., has long attracted the well-heeled looking for their slice of Colorado’s natural splendor while still enjoying quick access to downtown Denver, 10 miles to the north.
Once an enclave of weekend cottages for city dwellers and a few large country estates, the village is now the setting for 10,000-square-foot mansions, set among a gently rolling landscape of cottonwoods, horse paddocks and hiking trails, against a dramatic backdrop of Front Range mountain peaks.
The privacy provided by spacious parcels of land have helped attract the rich as well as the famous, as have its highly regarded schools, PGA-tournament-worthy golf, and the quick commute on I-25 into Denver.
“Cherry Hills has an interesting balance because while it is 10 or 15 minutes from the theater and hundreds of restaurants, you can have a creek in your backyard and feel like you’re in the country,” said Josh Behr, of LIV Sotheby’s International Realty.
Located adjacent to Denver, in Arapahoe County, Cherry Hills Village encompasses 6.5 square miles bordered by Hampden Avenue on the north, Belleview Avenue on the south, a combination of Dahlia, Happy Canyon Road and South Monaco on the east, and Clarkson Street to the west. Incorporated in 1945, the village of around 6,000 residents has its own police and fire departments.
A 2,500-square-foot ranch home built in the 1960s or ’70s in need of updating can be had for about $1.5 million, Mr. Behr said. “There certainly are properties that are a little less than that, but very few and far between, and they are usually compromised by an issue with the location or something else,” he said.
On the upper end, homes sell in the $5 million to $7 million range, with some priced considerably higher. The most expensive on the market is a newly built $18 million, 20,000-square-foot Transitional French mansion on five acres, scheduled for completion later this spring. The four-bedroom, six-bathroom home will feature unobstructed views of Pike’s Peak and the rest of the Front Range. Also up there in price is a $15.9 million, 23,000-square-foot Santa Barbara-style ranch on nine acres. In addition to six bedrooms and six bathrooms, this home has a 10-car garage and car wash.
Those early weekend cottages gave way to a wave of housing developments beginning in the 1960s, and the current housing stock reflects the styles and trends of the last half century, with home styles ranging from simple ranch to brick colonials to English manor-style.
In Cherry Hills, it’s the setting that really counts. Entry-level homes tend to be on lots of a half-acre or less, while the grander estates sit on 2.5- to 5-acre parcels, and larger.
Homes are situated in a variety of locations, some on a golf course, or an equestrian trail, some in a gated community such as Cherry Hills Park, known for its 15,000- to 25,000-square-foot mansions.
“There are different parts of Cherry Hills,” said Jeff Hendley, of LIV Sotheby’s International Realty. “Those who really know the area, they’re going to choose location nine times out of 10 over the aesthetics of the house because the land is just so cherished.’’
This six-bedroom, custom home sitting in the gated community of Cherry Hills Park is currently asking for $6.35 million.
LIV SOTHEBY’S INTERNATIONAL REALTY
What makes it unique
The most distinguishing aspect of Cherry Hills is its pastoral aesthetic, owing partly to the fact that there is no high-density development of any sort—residential or commercial—in town.
The community relishes this country feel, and the fact that it does not come at the price of accessibility.
"This is the closest you get to town where you can have that real suburban experience,” said Luisa Staerkel of Kentwood Real Estate. Downtown Denver can be reached in 25 to 30 minutes, she said, while the region’s premier shopping district in Cherry Creek can be reached in half that time. The Denver Tech Center business hub in neighboring Greenwood Village is a 5- to 10-minute drive.
“That suburban, relaxed lifestyle, the schools and the proximity and all that, it’s just a really great place to be,” Mr. Hendley said. “You’ll see people outside walking and biking every day. That’s just the kind of lifestyle it is,”
Central to the Colorado experience is the outdoor lifestyle, which is also key to the Cherry Hills identity. The 71-mile High Line Canal waterway runs through Cherry Hills and is a popular draw. “It’s great for biking and walking and for seeing wildlife,” Ms. Staerkel said. “It’s a cool area.”
Recreational facilities include golf at the Cherry Hills Country Club, which has hosted three U.S. Open tournaments, and Glenmoor Country Club, as well as tennis, equestrian and swimming facilities.
Ms. Staerkel, noting Cherry Hills’ founding premise to remain as purely residential as can be, said everyday conveniences nonetheless “surround the village…everybody’s got their favorite haunts.”
Former Denver Broncos coach and Cherry Hills resident Mike Shanahan’s eponymous steakhouse is nearby at the Denver Tech Center, as is the high-end Venice Ristorante and Wine Bar.
There is “great” treasure hunting to be had at Dwell Antiques and Home and at Patina Antiques and Home in Greenwood Village, Mr. Hendley said. For movies, casual dining and everyday shopping, Mr. Behr singled out The Streets at SouthGlenn for its convenience to Cherry Hills.
But for some, Ms. Staerkel said, the greatest allure of Cherry Hills is its schools. The public schools are in the Cherry Creek School District, considered among the best in the state. The two private schools within Cherry Hills can each claim a former secretary of state as an alumna—Madeleine Albright attended the K-12 Kent Denver School, and Condoleezza Rice graduated from the all-girls high school St. Mary’s Academy.
This four-bedroom modern estate sits on 2.5 private and pastoral acres in Cherry Hills Village is asking for $7.95 million.
LIV SOTHEBY’S INTERNATIONAL REALTY
Who lives there
A study published by Bloomberg in March named Cherry Hills Village the second richest city in the country, with an average household income of $390,224, based on 2010 census data, so it’s not surprising that the town is home to what Mr. Hendley calls a “who’s who” of Denver celebrities and business leaders, including former NFL quarterback Peyton Manning and Broncos CEO John Elway.
“You have Broncos players and Colorado Avalanche players who choose to call Cherry Hills their home,” he said. “You have the C-level executives of publicly traded companies living here. You’ve got tech people moving in, and people in oil and gas.
"Running a company is obviously a high-stress job, so to be able to come home and kind of immerse yourself in this suburban village is highly desirable,” he said.
If people want to spend $3 million to $7 million on a home, Cherry Hills is an obligatory spot, Mr. Behr said. It “has been and remains one of Denver’s top neighborhoods.”
An influx of new residents from out of state, attracted by Denver’s strong economy and quality of life, is helping fuel a red-hot Denver housing market, including the luxury end, experts say.
“With the very low inventory that we have right now and the amount of people coming into the state and the number wanting to upgrade in terms of size and expense of homes, we’re seeing that the trend is going to continue throughout 2018,” said Mr. Hendley, who predicted growth of 8% to 10%. In “that $3- to $5-million price range, we’re seeing quite a few buyers right now.”
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