McWhinney Celebrates 20th Anniversary
May 27, 2011 Posted In
Two Decades of Community-focused Development, Job Creation and Non-profit Support
LOVELAND, CO. — May 27, 2011— McWhinney, a progressive, award-winning full service real estate company that has enriched Colorado and Southern California through community-focused development, creation of thousands of jobs and strong non-profit support, is celebrating its 20th anniversary.
The company, founded in 1991 in Loveland, Colo., by brothers Chad and Troy McWhinney, is well known for creating Centerra, the smart, sustainability focused master-planned community that provides homes, apartments, businesses and recreation to Northern Colorado. The company also is recognized for the highly successful Promenade Shops at Centerra nearby, which have infused millions of additional tax dollars into Loveland and the state.
Both are located at I-25 and Highway 34 on or near land that was homesteaded in the 1860’s by the great-great grandfather of Chad and Troy.
Just as important as the McWhinney real-estate developments, but not as highly publicized, are two results of the company’s carefully planned approach: building the local workforce through the creation of approximately 7,500 jobs, and supporting local child- and family-focused organizations with financial, in-kind and labor since 2005.
“Creating jobs for the families in our community is a goal we’re passionate about at McWhinney,” said Chad McWhinney, CEO and Co-Founder. “Just 10 years ago, a majority of the 7,500 jobs generated through our projects in Colorado and Southern California didn’t exist. Now, with those jobs comes healthier communities through tax revenues that help build the parks, roads and infrastructure we all enjoy.”
Regarding the McWhinney Foundation’s extensive gifts through the years, Troy McWhinney, Executive Vice-President and Co-Founder, said, “Donating to organizations in the communities we serve is another key value of McWhinney. We team with communities, not only in providing real-estate developments that economically strengthen towns, but also by supporting programs that build a foundation for individual success. In just six years, we’ve donated funds, land or staff time to a number of organizations, including the Boys & Girls Club of Larimer County; Hearts and Horses; Downtown Loveland Association; and the Book Trust and Imagination Library, two organizations that provide thousands of free books to elementary-school children.”
On the environmental and sustainability side, McWhinney has received awards – including top awards from the American Society of Landscape Architects Colorado chapter – for its sustainability efforts. The company has been recognized for projects that blend with surrounding natural features, its commitment to use native plants for landscaping, the strict guidelines McWhinney follows to reduce glow and glare from outdoor lights, creation of natural areas for wildlife, LEED-certified structures and extensive recycling of such construction-site waste as broken concrete crushed and used for walking trails.
“When we built Medical Center of the Rockies, McWhinney kept telling us this will be the first of many things; if you had the vision to do this then others will grow around you,” said Rulon Stacey, president and CEO of Poudre Valley Health System. PVHS’s Medical Center of the Rockies is a regional hospital and part of the Centerra community. “There has never been a time when the folks at McWhinney have not been good for their word. That’s a relationship we have, we trust them, and we use that trust in moving forward.”
In Colorado, the company’s influence extends beyond Loveland into Fort Collins, Broomfield, Westminster and Metro Denver. Another key market is Southern California – specifically the city of Garden Grove near Disneyland that has welcomed three Stonebridge/McWhinney-developed hotels and five popular restaurants since McWhinney launched in 1991. The most recent project now underway is a large hotel and water park for Great Wolf Resorts.
In recognition of the work done in Colorado, McWhinney was voted as the “Developer of the Year” in 2009 by the National Association of Industrial and Office Properties (NAIOP).
1860’S TO TODAY
Chad and Troy McWhinney’s great-great grandfather, John Hahn, settled in the Big Thompson Valley in the 1860’s, which is three miles east of what is now downtown Loveland. John homesteaded and farmed the land that remained in the McWhinney family and eventually became the beginning of Centerra.
Like their great-great grandfather, Chad and Troy’s entrepreneurial spirit and drive for success started early. Chad and another brother, Sean, grew “McWhinney Berries” into a thriving strawberry stand business in California and by 1990, they had 14 strawberry stands with the four McWhinney brothers – Chad, Sean, Troy and Trent, involved. After graduating from high school, they doubled the stands to 28.
In 1991, Chad and Troy purchased 440 acres of family-owned land that was part of the original John Hahn homestead at I-25 and Highway 34 in Loveland. That transaction was the first in a series that launched McWhinney as a leader of real estate development and investments.
In 1997, Chad and Troy steered McWhinney to new horizons by optioning the right to purchase several thousand acres of local farmland, including another 1,900 at I-25 and Highway 34. The momentum swelled after Target opened its doors in 1998, which created a retail synergy that attracted more retail, restaurants and office tenants to Centerra.
In 2000, the City of Loveland adopted the Millennium Plan, a 25-year master plan that established guidelines for high-quality, consistent development and provided vested property rights for all commercial uses. In 2006, and again in 2008, the Millennium Plan has been expanded to include all of the 3,000+ acre Centerra project area.
Since 1991, the company has planned and is currently developing more than 6,000 acres in several master-planned communities. Within these projects, over 3.6 million square feet of vertical commercial and mixed-use properties throughout the Rocky Mountain region and West Coast have been developed.
In April, the McWhinney Foundation donated $100,000 to support the Rialto Bridge in Loveland, a 20,000-square-foot building that will split its space between private and community uses, and serve as a signature structure for downtown Loveland.
Other prominent donations include:
- For the Boys & Girls Club of Larimer County, the McWhinney Foundation provided a land donation for the Club’s new Loveland site that today serves 1,600 children. In addition to the land donation, Troy McWhinney helped coordinate the Club’s innovative partnership with New Vision Charter Schools, which shares the same 22,000-square-foot facility. The partnership has become a model for Boys & Girls Clubs nationwide.
- Several years ago, Loveland families desperately needed another park. With support from the McWhinney Foundation, the city responded by opening 76-acre Loveland Sports Park – the largest in town. The McWhinney Foundation donated financially as well as important water rights to the city that helped make the park a reality. Today, the park features a massive playground, numerous full-sized soccer and football fields, a skate park and inline hockey rinks.
While Centerra and The Promenade Shops in Loveland are showcase McWhinney projects, the company also has three hotel and five restaurant developments in Garden Grove, Calif., including the Great Wolf Resort hotel and water park expected to be completed in two years.
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In Broomfield, Colo., McWhinney has conceptualized North Park, a vibrant master-planned, mixed-use community, soon to be the home of Prospect Ridge Academy, a 45,000-square-foot charter school.
In Fort Collins, the company purchased a vacated high-school building and renovated it for Liberty Common School, the largest charter school in Fort Collins.
Through foresight and research, McWhinney executives predicted before many others that the apartment market in Loveland and Westminster would be tight. As a result, the company recently built, or is now building, 855 apartment units in three separate projects in Colorado.
“Leasing and pre-leasing for these projects is performing above our expectations,” Chad McWhinney said.
Groundbreaking for Arbour Square luxury apartment homes in Westminster occurred last November. In March this year, McWhinney broke ground on The Greens at Van de Water apartment homes in Loveland. Today, the Lake Vista luxury apartments in Loveland, which broke ground in early 2010, are nearly completed and leasing ahead of schedule.
The company also recently announced it will hire a qualified general contractor to oversee the deconstruction/demolition of the Cloverleaf Kennel Club in Loveland, a 56-year-old abandoned facility. Deconstruction is scheduled to commence July 1.
For more information, please contact McWhinney at (970) 962-9990 or visit www.McWhinney.com.