Colorado Springs planning firm N.E.S. being sold as owner joins Nor’wood Development Group
A top Colorado Springs land planning firm is being sold and its owner is moving to one of the city’s biggest real estate development companies.
Tim Seibert, who’s owned N.E.S. Inc. for three years, will become a vice president at Nor’wood Development Group. He’s selling N.E.S. to Andrea Barlow and Chris Lieber, project managers at the company who will become 50-50 owners.
The deal is scheduled to close Nov. 30, and Seibert will begin Dec. 1 at Nor’wood. Terms of the N.E.S. sale weren’t disclosed.
Seibert wasn’t looking to sell N.E.S., but said he was attracted by opportunities at Nor’wood. The company’s portfolio of high-profile developments runs the gamut from the sprawling Banning Lewis Ranch and Wolf Ranch projects, to the InterQuest Marketplace retail center to an ambitious proposed makeover of downtown’s southwest side.
Nor’wood, he said, “is helping to shape the future of the city of Colorado Springs” and he wanted to be part of it.
“The opportunity to work for a company that has such a diverse approach to the city of Colorado Springs, from all the redevelopment projects they’re doing downtown to all the development opportunities at Wolf Ranch and at Banning Lewis Ranch, I believe it was a very appealing opportunity,” Seibert said.
At Nor’wood, Seibert said he primarily will focus on Wolf Ranch and Banning Lewis Ranch, where thousands of homes either are being built or are envisioned. He won’t be a planner, but will work with Nor’wood and its consultants to help guide the projects’ development, Seibert said.
Wolf Ranch, 1,600 acres on the Springs’ northeast side and where about 1,600 homes have been built, still has several years worth of development left. Nor’wood owns 18,000 acres of the Banning Lewis Ranch, which makes up the city’s eastern one-third; thousands of homes have been planned for the property, although Nor’wood has been re-examining land uses since buying its portion of the ranch in 2014.
His move to Nor’wood came after several casual conservations over the last few months with company President Chris Jenkins, Seibert said. Jenkins didn’t return a telephone call seeking comment.
Ralph Braden, a longtime housing industry member who’s been Nor’wood’s manager for Wolf Ranch, will hand over the project’s reins to Seibert. Braden, 71, said he’s moving into semi-retirement at year’s end; he’ll continue to work with Nor’wood as a consultant and on special projects.
Selling N.E.S. and moving to Nor’wood will be bittersweet, Seibert said.
The company was founded in 1978 by Nolan E. Schriner, whose initials form the company’s name. It’s done land planning, urban design and landscape architecture for the most recognizable businesses and institutions in town – from Colorado College, to The Broadmoor hotel to Memorial Hospital to FedEx and T. Rowe Price.
Seibert, 48, holds degrees in landscape architecture and urban and regional planning. He joined N.E.S. in 1992, left for a few years and rejoined in 1999. He and longtime N.E.S. colleague John Maynard took over as N.E.S. owners in 2006; Seibert later purchased Maynard’s stake in 2014.
“That’s the hardest part – leaving the clients that you know,” Seibert said. “and leaving the staff and the company that you’ve worked so hard to build.”
In addition to N.E.S., Seibert has served in several community roles, including board president of the Housing & Building Association of Colorado Springs, a director of the Thomas MacLaren Charter School board and a member the city of Colorado Springs’ Infill and Redevelopment Committee.
Had he not been able to sell the company to Barlow and Lieber, Seibert said he would have thought twice about leaving.
Barlow, 51, a former Colorado Springs city planner, has 16 years experience as a planner. She moved from the United Kingdom to the United States in 2004 and worked for the city from 2005-07. She later worked for the city of Alexandria, Va., spent four years in Italy with her military husband and then returned to the U.S.
She joined N.E.S. in March 2014 and has worked on projects such as the Meridian Ranch and Sterling Ranch developments in El Paso County. Barlow has degrees in land planning and development and a master’s in business administration.
Lieber, 49, a landscape architect, worked for N.E.S. in the 1990s before he joined the city of Colorado Springs to work with the Trails and Open Space program. He left the city, worked with the KezziahWatkins consulting firm and rejoined the city’s TOPs program before coming back to N.E.S. in January.
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