Developer aiming to please

Sagewood residential subdivision set to offer affordable alternative

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— The developer of the new Sagewood residential subdivision in Hayden said he hopes his project will find customers throughout Routt County.

Tom Hallin expects to begin construction soon on the first phase of Sagewood, which would create 30 new building lots this summer and an additional 35 when Phase II goes forward.

"We hope to attract both Hayden residents who want to build new homes and people who would commute to work in Steamboat," Hallin said from his office in Summit County, where he has completed both residential and commercial subdivisions.

His projects include the Cross Creek and Peak One condominiums in Frisco.

The Hayden Town Board recently approved the new subdivision, which will sit on a bench of land on Hayden's south side. The 29.3-acre parcel is immediately east of the existing Golden Meadows Subdivision and overlooks the Routt County Fairgrounds and downtown Hayden.

"It has beautiful, almost panoramic views," Hallin said.

Hallin sought approval for the subdivision for two years and believes it will still be feasible to bring the lots to market for between $35,000 and $45,000. Based on the rule of thumb that the cost of the lot should represent 20 to 30 percent of overall housing costs, he expects to see the value of the structures built in his subdivision to range form the $150,000 to $250,000.

The listing Realtor for Sagewood is Dutch Elting at Prudential Trimontane in Steamboat. Elting originally sold the undeveloped land for Sagewood to Hallin two years ago. He said if they succeed in bringing the lots in at the targeted range, they will be priced at less than half of any comparable lots in Steamboat or west Steamboat.

Based on that and interest he's had from builders, he predicts the first phase will sell rapidly. Elting said Hallin intends to hold 10 lots back from speculators and builders. Instead, those lots will be reserved for local families on a first-come, first-served basis. Hallin will seller-finance the lots to ease the process for buyers, Elting said.

Hallin does not plan to build the houses himself.

"We'd like to get at least five builders (involved), so we don't have sets of similar houses in a row in the subdivision," Hallin said.

Elting said he has talked to builders who believe that if they can build three to five homes at a time, they can bring stick-built houses to market for between $135,000 and $160,000, including the land.

Currently in Hayden and the surrounding area, 16 homes are on the market ranging in price from $95,000 to $350,000, Elting said. Seven of those homes are listed at prices less than $100 per square foot, he added. But he said he thinks there is significant demand for brand-new product. Project engineer Jeff Lake of Civil Design Consultants said the lots will be created on largely gentle terrain. The subdivision will include municipal streets with curb and gutter and all utilities, but no sidewalks.

The subdivision includes 9.4 acres of open space, which will be surrounded by a trail system, Lake said.

Hayden School Superintendent Scott Mader welcomed the news of the new subdivision. His district has experienced gradually declining enrollments. Because Colorado's school finance act apportions funds based on enrollment figures, he regards Sagewood as a possible budget boost. "People will come if there is affordable housing available here," Mader said.

Hayden Town Manager Rob Straebel said after two years of hard work on the subdivision, the Hayden Planning Commission and Town Board are looking forward to the potential growth Sagewood offers.

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