A pedestrian friendly complex

The Pines III condominiums will offer residents convenient access to local businesses

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— Finding a distinguishing quality in Steamboat's condominium market can be a tough thing to do. But developer Brian Olson believes he has found a key distinction to the 65 multi-family residential units he is building pedestrian friendliness.

Sandwiched between the Pine Grove and Central Park shopping centers, the development known as Pines III will be connected to sidewalks, bike paths and the bus route. Residents can walk to restaurants, grocery stores, liquor stores, sporting good shops and Wal-Mart.

"It will all be really pedestrian friendly. I think that's the biggest point," Olson said. "It is more convenient than any other project in town."

The four-acre development will sit along U.S. 40 and in front of the existing Pines development. Bordering the highway, the development's planned sidewalk will eventually connect to Wal-Mart. And, if other proposed plans go through the city, Olson said the development could one day be connected to the Strings in the Mountain site and the Village at Steamboat commercial center, located on the other side of the Central Park Plaza.

Olson and his wife, Lisa, were inspired by the layout of developments in Denver's Cherry Creek area. He wanted to give this development an urban feel in the mountainous setting of Steamboat.

It is a concept that City Council appreciated when it granted approval for the final development plan. Councilman Bud Romberg said he liked the idea of affordable housing for the median income, a transit friendly environment and the ease for pedestrians to move through the development.

Those qualities, Romberg said, outweighed the impact of the long building phases.

The project is planned in seven phases, one for each building, over the next five years. The largest buildings will hold 15 units, and the first is planned to be completed by next spring. The buildings will hold four, six or 15 units with one to three bedrooms each.

Olson said the longer phasing would allow them to build one building at a time and enter the housing market when the demand exists.

The units range in price from $160,000 to $325,000. And, based on the market analysis, one-third are expected to be owned by locals, one-third second-homeowners who use them for short-term rentals and one-third second-home owners who use them solely as second homes.

Olson said the development's proximity to so many Steamboat businesses should boost its attractiveness to locals.

Borrowing off the architecture in the existing Pines development, Pines III will be an updated version with light cedar siding and stucco accents.

Inside the units, Olson said, there will be pine doors and trim, fireplaces and spacious kitchens. He also expects the one bedroom and three bedroom lofts with wooden-beamed ceilings to be in high demand.

On the third phase of the project, the amenity building will be completed featuring a hot tub and spa.

"We feel like it is a really good price range," Olson said.

"I did a lot of work, a lot of research to find the cheapest way without sacrificing the product."

Construction will start soon and the first building will be completed by March, Olson said, with the construction of a six-unit building to follow.

He is expecting presales to take place by the middle of August.

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