A partnership comprising five longtime Steamboat Springs residents announced June 8 they expect to break ground on a new residential subdivision that would, over time, lead to the creation of 92 single-family home lots on a 54-acre parcel within city limits that very few people have set foot on.
“It truly is a secluded place,” Bert Svendsen, a member of the partnership said. “You can’t believe how secluded it is,” with unobstructed views of Emerald Mountain and Storm Peak.
The first sign of activity at the Sunlight subdivision, in gestation for almost a decade, will be heavy equipment working its way up a switchback from a road cut along U.S. Highway 40 on the city’s western side, opposite Curve Court off U.S. 40.
The property borders the Steamboat Springs Cemetery to the south and sagebrush-covered hills on the Atwood property beyond the urban growth boundary to the north.
Joining in the partnership with Svendsen, a veteran of the real estate industry and retired middle school teacher, are Todd Pedersen, who has a background in banking and finance here; Matt Tredway, a retired middle school teacher with construction experience; Ed MacArthur, principle with Native Excavating; veteran Nick Metzler, of Colorado Group Realty, who is the contact for inquiries about lots sales; and Tom Fox.
Fox emphasized his general contracting business, Fox Construction, is not connected to the subdivision partnership, though he will personally manage construction and is the public’s contact in that regard, handling any questions related to construction or city processes related to the project.
Metzler is the contact for all real estate and sales questions.
Tredway said the partners want to offer the lots to the market. Some of the smallest lots will be clustered near the center of the subdivision, which will be in a traditional neighborhood design, or TND, with rear-loading garages on alleys.
Fox said the partners hope to have the final plat approved by the city in late 2016, adding, “Selling lots in 2016 is a big goal for us.”
The subdivision will comprise several size ranges of building lots in different phases, and Fox said the partners are intent on delivering many of those lots within a price range that can support working households in Steamboat.
“Most employers would tell you that in (working) to draw talent to town, the most difficult thing is real estate — real estate drives it all,” Fox said. He added that, as a member of the board of directors of Yampa Valley Electric Association, he is aware that a lineman earning up to $80,000 per year sometimes can’t afford to live here.
Pedersen said the partners hope to deliver lots to the market in a range that will allow construction of homes to which working families could aspire.
“We’re working real hard to get under $600,000,” he said. “We’ve had some discussion of $500,000, but a lot of developers will tell you it’s extremely hard to get there, but it’s a goal.”
Metzler added there are currently three or four homes for sale at less than $600,000 in Steamboat, including in subdivisions just west of city limits, and the intent of the covenants at Sunlight will be lenient with minimum home sizes and open to smaller, but high-quality homes.
Fox said the high cost of building the 2,500-foot road and the need to purchase and annex smaller parcels to get it built are factors in the partners’ cost basis in the land, driving lot prices.
“The most difficult part of this whole process is access,” he said. “We had to acquire multiple small parcels to get access in place.”
Metzler anticipates several distinct market segments Sunlight will appeal to, including move-up buyers with children who need more room, longtime residents who are now empty-nesters, location-neutral workers, grandparents who want to move here to be closer to grandchildren and young professionals who may have purchased a condominium or townhome in 2008 and want more space.