Episode #2 – Quint Redmond & Jon Fenton from Agriburbia provide insight on the vision of Baseline, a new Agrihood about to make presence in the beautiful state of Colorado.
On this episode of Agrihood Radio we get the latest updates on the new Agrihood Baseline that’s being planned for development in Broomfield, Colorado.
Quint Redmond and Jon Fenton, developers from their company Agriburbia share the vision of one of Colorado’s newest Agri-Communities that’s to include a first of it’s kind; pollinator friendly landscapes. Baseline will also be home to the new butterfly pavilion.
Being only 30 miles to Denver International Airport makes Baseline the New Central, and the region’s premier go-to destination. Plans include having it’s own dining district, beer garden and business hub. This community is set to raise the bar by being the economic center for the region and creating a whole new living experience in the Denver metropolitan area.
Baseline will be a state of the art Agri-Community situated at the intersection of urban life and outdoor adventure, making it the perfect completion of the Denver-Boulder triangle.
Developers McWhinney is also known for their innovative developments such as Centerra, Denver’s iconic Union Station and their creative conception of Dairy Block.
Baseline will be home to business and community alike. This is a community for people who are social by nature, who value experiences over things, and who regularly gaze west towards the Rockies to remind themselves why they live in beautiful Colorado.
So have a listen to learn more about how Denver’s newest Agri-Community Baseline is taking shape in one of the healthiest cities in America.
Enjoy today’s interview!
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Brett: Alright hey guys how’s it going?
Quint: Good how are you?
Jon: Doing well.
Brett: Are you both in Colorado?
Quint: We are, are you back in Arizona?
Brett: We finally got back to Arizona after that five months wreck so we’re here for a couple weeks and then we’re headed we’re headed back out again so you guys are both out back there in Colorado we’re in Arizona. Where’s Beckner where’s JB hanging out with Dave Matthews playing guitars?
Quint: Actually he just bought a new farm and so he’s moving in and then we literally got our CO the other day, last Friday. So we literally are moving into our new place. Next time you guys are in Colorado we’ll have you out here.
Brett: Okay we’ll look forward to that.
Quint: Yeah just for fun and good food and you can see what we’re doing here and they will have some of the patent trials up and things like that.
Brett: Awesome. So you know Jon we met with you out there at the Baseline project and we got a got a pretty good grasp of the layout of the land and we wanted to kind of revisit and follow up with you. Because obviously there’s some things happening out there that we haven’t seen before along our travels and I want you to kind of fill us in and give us give us over give us an overview what’s gonna be happening out there and as we can kind of get a better idea what’s happening what’s going on?
Jon: Sure so like you guys saw we’re still in the kind of the dirt work phase or not really even there yet in the planning phase but we’re set to start moving dirt and making things happen probably in the next three or four months I would imagine. The property in its entirety is about 900 acres total but on that acreage is going to be a pretty wide variety of things happening. Our responsibility as part of the team, the development team is to help integrate all sorts of different agricultural elements and that’s post production space, that’s processing space kind of tying together some of the restauranteurs and other entrepreneurs in the food space that are going to be calling the site home. And we’ve been doing that process for about 18 months now and we’re pushing hard to start making things happen.
Brett: Now that Baseline kind of completes a triangle of Denver & Boulder right?
Jon: Right yep its north of Denver and east a Boulder about 20 plus minutes from each of them.
Brett: It’s a prime location and what has us really intrigued and interested is not only the concept that you’re working on with McWhinney, by the way McWhinney is huge, I did my due diligence and they’re a big player aren’t they?
Quint: They’re big they’re also really good because they like to do like we had to convince them a little bit but not a lot like once they understood what we were doing you know that it wasn’t just an old-timey farm trying to be a history and a petting zoo that we were actually trying to address people’s health and all that you know we have these, I don’t know if Jon showed you these agriculturally augmented business opportunities you know and like the dentist with the mints the daycare on a farm and stem schools. And they are fascinated they love it and they’ll, together with them it’ll get executed. We don’t know exactly how you know how much of it and how long or whatever but unlike some other developers. They have a kind of reputation for not doing the same thing over and over that’s really good.
Brett: Yeah and they’re standing out from the pack by having that vision you know because like you just said and I really apologize again but the stuff you were talking to us about when we saw you guys not only in in Virginia, we saw you and Beckner in Virginia then we met up with Jon Fenton in in Colorado and some of the stuff you guys are saying about is being able to get right down to the calorie. The counting of the calories within a community can you say that again because, that is mind blowing and is not it’s not happening anywhere else but baseline that we know of?
Quint: Yeah, no it isn’t I mean if no one there yet everybody you know they’re like all the ones that you saw around the country all were kind of like you know version one or and we’re like on 2.O and 2 and a half and 3 already once we realized that integrating food was more than just kind of like having you know, having a patch at the front door to advertise. It’s become a health thing in fact actually I just got a text we were on our weekly call and I got a text from a doctor we’ve been working with. And she has a partner who’s a chiropractor and she might be the first chiropractor in a farm kit. So she you know it’s a health thing in calories and nutrition. It’s about growing the food because that’s what makes the food really, really healthy is when it’s ten minutes old. But the way you go about actually becoming healthy is thinking about other things in the context of food so this chiropractor name is Rebecca. She knew that all the people that were coming to her were basically coming to her to get their joints cracked because they had too much inflammation so two or three years ago she started working on how to take all of her clients grocery shopping, right. Because she has this, like I forget, it’s called Abundant Life Kitchens or something like that.
It’s basically part of her chiropractic practice that teaches people how to eat so they don’t need a kind of chiropractor. I mean it’s interesting, but she actually even had the medical code to charge to, to teach people to eat as a chiropractor. Anyway so when she saw what we were doing she’s gonna you know she might be, I don’t know she’s on the south part of town. But we’ll find the same kind of thing for Baseline. I mean we already have people lined up that I mean other than just restaurants and just you know brew pubs and things of which are great, you know they’re great on farms you know. But then there’s this whole next dimension which by the way is Amazon proof right? Like Amazon can’t deliver tomatoes that are ten minutes old they can fly tomatoes into you on a drone that came from somewhere else. But it’s not, you know what I mean it’s like the whole idea here is that it’s a service farming and food Is a service. To answer your question specifically that’s all design the calories and the diet, the planting all of the planning that goes into it. I don’t know if it’s going to happen now or not I think it is but it’s taking longer to trying to contract than I thought, but we have somebody that we’re gonna design a whole subdivision for diabetics. I mean it’s deliberately for diabetics because everything planted around you and everything ready for your consumption all goes to your health. And that’s a good real estate deal right, like they’re gonna those people will pay more for their houses and stuff because the landscape around them because the context and all the health related you know stuff so anyway yeah.
Jon: Brett, if I could part of what just continuing on what Quint is saying, I think the biggest thing that sets us apart is that is that we’re rooted in design we’re rooted in analysis and design as well as agriculture. We all have backgrounds in Ag in one way or another but we’re all designers and Quint and his wife in previous careers were scientists. And so we’re coming at it from a very analytical place and making sure that we’re developing an ecosystem of Ag opportunities. Instead of just saying okay here’s two acres or okay here’s five acres let’s hire one farmer and have him you know plant it and harvested it and turn it into a marketing opportunity where we’re working on all sorts of different fronts to try to make sure that it’s really viable.
Brett: And that’s where you guys have a niche in the market and let’s talk about this for a second those farm kits you create that are branded to Agriburbia. Those farm kits allow a resident to turn their property into a working business, you were just talking about the dentist, the farmer, the chiropractor. Didn’t that kind of all start, I mean I kind of saw something like that with Seaside down in Florida. We were visiting Florida a couple years back and that’s when we took our boy Cash trick-or-treating there and Seaside was a design by the gentleman Andres Duany. And he took those homes and above the house was the resident and below the house was the business. But what you’re doing, you’re actually taking it to a whole’nother level by putting that onto, actually a three to five acre property, home site were there could be a working farm, right?
Quint: Yeah now so when Duany did seaside they were just trying to figure out how to do what they call live-work. Where you didn’t have to commute and you could live above which is a very European idea but they were thinking more like jewelry stores and makers and crafts which is all really, really great. And we just said wow that’s what we need to do for farming and help, right like everything is better on a farm if you can do it right. And so yeah it’s like live-work for farming. I mean live-work is that planning. Duany didn’t really invent that he kind of tried to install it at Seaside but it works. I mean it works for those guys. And whatever and so you know we’re just you know we’re at the beginning of the curve but you know there’ll be thousands. Well you know our tag line is thirty million farmers right, so you know what I mean they’re not all gonna be raising tomatoes right.
Some are some are going to be you know, I mean almost anything you can think of I mean there’s even ideas where you know they have some of will be textile, small textile mills and stuff. And they’ll you know have llamas and they spin. I mean there’s just a gazillion things. I mean if you think about it you work backwards everything that we use as humans for habitat food or you know clothing or whatever that is sustainable actually comes from the ground in some way. You know it’s an either animal products or plant products or whatever. So the shorter we can make that supply chain for people the closer they can see to how it’s made you know I mean ultimately that’s the key in our mind. I agree with Jon Fenton there, you know, we didn’t look at it like just trying to get a farm. We looked at it like by saying how are things going to really work in the future?
Brett: And that’s what Baseline is all about.
Quint: Totally, Baseline. If you want to know, I don’t know you know how much of a big reader you are, you seem to have read a lot and you know a lot about things. But if you’ve ever read the book World Made from Hand or World Made by Hand.
Brett: World Made by Hand. Okay I’m going to write that down.
Quint: Yea by, yea it’s k-u-n-f-e-l-f-e-r it’s s-t-l-e-r he’s been a planning and real estate writer for years and years but it’s very funny because that book is kind of to the negative vision of what’s potentially going to happen when the planet finally snaps, right. And it’s kind of this weird thing about how people are going to eat you know they’re going to eat close to home because there’s no supply chains anymore right, the world is coming apart. And that’s why it’s called world made by hand or world made from hands or whatever. You’ll get it anyway the idea is to try and avoid that or come to that without the negative part of it right. If we get a lot of people making stuff it’ll be much better for everybody.
Brett: Yeah, no doubt and that’s what the whole community that’s what the whole community a Baseline is about and that’s what’s got our attention. Lena has family there it’s a great it’s a great state, Colorado. Which you guys are doing there it really does it’s really, really high on our radar and I wanted to ask you this is, there a limit on the number of farm kits you’re gonna put on that property.
Quint: How many are in the design now Jon?
Jon: At the moment we have 6 slated and we’re partway or probably 60% of the way through the site planning process and engineering for three of them. So that’s gonna be the first phase but we have 6 total on the plan thus far.
Quint: And I would say, I mean the whole projects a thousand acres. So you know if they’re really as successful we think they’re gonna be or whatever. You know the clients basically said you know, the client is still money motivated and they want to do things that make money and do really cool stuff. So there’s other locations that also where Jon showed you. I think you were probably standing at 160th right? That has best views. I mean that basically has some of the best views on the entire north side of Denver, right. I mean just the mountain views and everything overlooking your vineyard or whatever it is your health farm you know. I wish we could build them tomorrow but we’re like we’re working as fast as we can but I think Jon’s right we’re probably you know in the four to six month time frame to get them started. I don’t know you know what your timing is gonna be but.
Brett: Well we have two houses here in Arizona like I was telling you guys. You know right now and people are looking at us we show up, you probably have seen our site by now and what we’re doing is we’re taking our time with this and because again it’s a passion of ours. You know we bought this house, we looked into Montana, we looked in Colorado, Florida. We looked everywhere and then we found one here in Arizona but now we’re talking more than a house we’re talking a lifestyle and once we learned about the whole Agrihood concept you know we started digging more researching more and the more we did that the more our passion grew.
So I said you know what let’s just do let’s go all in let’s get in that motor coach take it on the country and learn as much as we possibly can learn about each of these communities that we’re visiting and that way when it comes time to make a decision we’ll feel educated and in the process of doing this why not share the lifestyle with the world and that’s why we created the blog Agrihood Living. So I hope it’s being appreciated by people who are new to the concept or are in the same situation we’re in as far as looking and trying to learn more about it and that’s what the whole idea is about.
Quint: I think it’s going to be killer. I think we, like Jon was here working the other day we were talking like we knew eventually somebody would kind of take it on. And it just really like at one point we were gonna try and figure out how to study all of it and you know whatever but in our situation we’re just trying to, like we’re trying to make farmers. I mean we’re trying to make it happen. So I think you’re doing a huge service by trying to figure out you know the different nuances and things like that. I mean it’ll be really good. I know because I was where you were, you know my boys are 17 and 14. And Cash is how old?
Brett: He’s four, he’s four, yeah he’s as big as a seven year old but he’s 4.
Quint: Yeah he’s big. You know you don’t have to have a huge thing. My boys basically lived most of their, you know teenager they’re growing up life on a two acre actually 1.8 acre farm in Golden and they’re superstars because they can cut pipe and drive skids steer and do that. I mean they get good grades and everything too. But when you first came to C Falls and were talking about it and Cash was running around or whatever. I mean I was basically going wow this is just like Michael and Mathew.
Quint: Yeah, yeah you don’t have to have a thousand acres to teach kids good skills and Fenton picked him up to out too out of a deliberate. I mean it’s a choice to become skilled. What made you Jon, when you were like, when did you figure out that you wanted to do other things than just use your thumbs on the text?
Jon: That’s been a long time coming. I don’t know that’s something since I was a little.
Brett: I think the three of us have, you know besides that fact there were humans and we’re males, I think that the other fact we have in common is the common thread is that were just it’s a passion. I mean if it wasn’t there would be no way we would be spending this much time and investing the time and obviously the money to get around the country to see all these different places. It really is a passion and it feels good to know there’s something out there like that for us and we’re very excited to see your next development, your next phase and we’re in Colorado at least two or three times per year so you guys are thinking six months from now there’ll be something? We want to see that farm kit. I mean you guys showed, you teased us with the drawings of that thing. But to actually see it in person.
Quint: Yeah, so one way or another, like our goal like you know, from a we’re like every other company we you know we’ve gone around and around and whatever and it’s taken you know it always takes forever. But we’re in pretty good shape to get some farm kit built starting at least probably in the first or second quarter and there’s actually we have you know I think Baseline is the best because the views and its location, it’s 15 minutes from DIA you know. I mean it’s like literally a great real estate play as well as what we’re gonna do together. But we have like 20 of those farm kits kind of ready to go all over the country. So it’s gonna spring here pretty quick and then you know once everybody sees them, we you know, I think it’s gonna be Katy bar the door right. We’ll just figure out how we’re gonna, how we can build as many if we need to. But I think you’re a great, you know you’d be a great candidate for one. And particularly early on, like we can figure out how to get you in one really inexpensively. I don’t, I don’t know exactly how that would work but just because of your food relationship and your media skill and whatever. I mean so we’ll figure it out, we’ll figure a way.
Brett: That’d be awesome you know the farm kit itself when you say farm kit I don’t know if people have a true, I mean farm kit, it doesn’t do it justice. But when they see the concept design of this thing how it looks so modern and you have the upstairs for the living area and the downstairs for the working area. Jon and both you guys Quint, I’m not saying this just because you know, to toot your horns, but there’s something about that design because it’s so unique and so functional for our lifestyle its amazing, it really is.
Quint: We spend an amazing amount of effort on that and the reason that it turned out, that’s like you just made my year. It’s only seven days into 2019 and you already made my year Brett. Here’s the here’s the funny story, I’ll tell you the background because it’s really, we have a partner who lives in Santa Barbara named Paul Newton and he’s an architectural guru. Like he’s, you know he’s a really interesting eclectic guy, really high-tech guy you know and everything. But he worked for me, our firm I don’t know 15 or 20 years or whatever and his wife wanted to move or whatever. But he’s been the partner in Agriburbia the whole time or whatever and when we started like trying to figure out how you’re really gonna farm and I really gonna make a product I really gonna live and all that.
I would call him and say it’s got to have glass on it or it has to have, you know the floor has to drain because you have to be able to have plants, people want plants inside their house you know. And I would just coach him and eventually we got to that building through all the things that we really, really firmly believe that people will use on a daily basis and it’s really functional like we didn’t worry about what it looked like. But it came out looking like that, I mean completely iconic because it’s you know, it’s just if, you just kind of follow the real intent of things. Like I believe that like if you really follow the intent of things and you make a building that’s useful it’ll be cool and it turned out really cool. And we’re like, I say we’re trying to get the first one out of the ground here so people can physically see it but it won’t be too long.
Brett: That’s awesome and we’re looking forward to that. Like I said, we roll through Colorado at least two or three times per year, once in the Spring and then for sure once in the Fall. So that Spring time trip might be where we can actually see that thing in person.
Quint: Yeah, yeah absolutely either way we’ll have you out here and you can see our farm as well. So whenever you come back to Colorado let me know and we’ll figure out a way to meet, we’ll all have dinner together or something.
Brett: For sure we got to get Beckner, I mean we have to give him a little bit of a hard time because I was really looking forward to having him on this call too. And here’s how humble this guy is, he sent me a picture the other day saying yeah I’m hanging out here, you know we met him obviously a couple times in person but he never mentioned that he’s you know, I’m bragging for him now, that he does really know and hangs out with The Dave Matthews Band out there in Virginia. And he sends me a picture from the concert. I said hey Jon what are you doing? I’m just hanging out here with the Dave Matthews guys and he sends me a picture of him playing guitar with those guys, are you serious? He goes yea. He’s a humble guy, but he’s got to be just as cool of a business partner to have as well huh?
Quint: Oh so I was back there two trips ago and he was playing, so you know whenever I’m back there I always go watch him play. Whenever you know, and we were at this tea shop kind of you know, it’s probably a room of 50, 60 people and Jason Mraz’s sister was there and they’re raising money for Jason Mraz’s stuff or whatever. And I had met her and she’s like you know oh this is cool and Jason owns the farm and you know and so Beckner like mixes all of it it’s a pretty eclectic thing, he’s good at it. Yeah we all have those kinds of things. Like even, so even our lawyer that’s a partner, she is a jazz singer in the Ella Fitzgerald mode. Seriously she is a scat singer that you cannot believe and but she’s a lawyer like she’s a, you know she’s like and she’s a total foodie. And we met her and she goes what do I need to do to be part of it? And so she does all of our legal work internally you know or whatever so anyway.
Brett: Pretty cool stuff man it’s it really is a creative outlet.
Quint: We’ll have you meet all those people, we’ll figure out some way to get down board eventually.
Brett: That’d be awesome, we’d appreciate that you guys. Appreciate you taking the time out of your extremely, extremely busy day I know you guys have a lot going on out there. Please do me a us a favor, and keep us in the loop if you want to send any new updates or pictures to us we can post on that AgrihoodLiving.com website and we’ll put on your Baseline page and seeing with Chickahominy Falls. How’s that coming by the way, the one in Virginia?
Quint: It’s okay, it’s good. Like I say they are trying to take it on themselves a little bit and I think that’s going to be a little frustrating for them already they’re already calling saying we need you back. But that’s all right, I mean we’ll help them, we’ll get them through or whatever, but I mean it’s tremendously successful. Right, like they sold a lot of homes they sold a lot of real estate, there’s people that are there because they want to help you I mean all the things we’re talking about. Even though it’s not the actual building, it’s all the things that happen with the building, happened with that, well they’ve happened with all the projects that we’ve done basically you know people get enthused. It’s a gut, it’s a you know, everybody likes the kitchen right that’s where everybody meets to talk. Yeah you know it’s the same thing kind of human humaneness when people, you know are around food they loosen up. And they start thinking about their life differently than when they’re in a corporate boardroom you know.
Brett: You know as good as you guys are I don’t know if the track record that Agriburbia has, I don’t know why anyone wouldn’t want to have you on board as part of their development team. And you know you wouldn’t go to your barber to get your teeth cleaned or you wouldn’t go to your dentists to get your hair cut. So you guys know what you’re doing they should stick with you because you guys are on track for something pretty big. So thank you again for sharing and again if you have anything you want to reach out to us with new content, pictures whatever another phone call follow-up, you have an invite anytime you want it.
Quint: Oh yeah and like you say you tell us when you’re coming this way for sure we’ll keep you in the loop and then some way or the other we’ll see you soon.
Brett: Alright guys thanks again we appreciate that, you guys have a good one.
Jon: Alright thanks for having us Brett.
Brett: Okay bye-bye.
Quint: Talk to you soon.
Disclaimer: Agrihood Radio transcripts are prepared by a transcription service. Refer to full audio for exact wording.