West End lots going quickly

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— Norbert Turek has watched the steady stream of closings on lots in West End Village in recent weeks.

"It is like a big sale when the doors come flying open," Turek said.

For almost a year, buyers have been eyeing the lots just off Downhill Drive, almost half of which are part of the city's first affordable housing project in which residents own their homes. The other half of the lots are being sold on the free market and are expected to provide single family homes for less than $250,000, a rare find in the city limits of Steamboat.

In March, the final plat was filed with the city allowing the 88 lots at West End Village to be sold. More than 15 of those lots have been sold and recorded at the county.

Of the 88 units, 24 single-family homes and seven duplexes are part of the Regional Affordable Living Foundation's housing project and are placed under deed restrictions. Connell LLC, the developer, also is providing six more deed-restricted units in three duplex lots.

All but two of the RALF lots are spoken for and Rob Dick, who spearheaded the project as executive director of RALF, said four potential homeowners are looking at those lots.

Dave Combs, who is working with RALF to provide the homes, said the company is waiting for building permits before bringing the houses onto the lots. He expects the permits to be granted in about a week, when the foundations for the first 10 houses will go in.

The RALF modular homes, which were built this winter in a factory in Nebraska, are expected to arrive in the second week of May.

Although more than 200 families had signed up to participate in the affordable housing side of the West End Village project, Dick said many of those families could not qualify for financing, moved away or no longer meet RALF's qualifications for an affordable housing subsidy.

Some also found they could afford a house on the free market side of West End Village, meaning the homeowners would not face deed restrictions.

Of the 43 units that were on the free market, just 13 single family homes and three duplex units are available, said Tony Connell, who is a partner in Connell LLC.

Connell originally put 24 single-family lots with the potential for secondary caretaker units, nine larger lots without caretaker units and five duplex lots on the market.

Before the lots were put on Steamboat's multiple listing service, Connell and Turek, who is selling the free market lots through Elk River Realty, went first to the city, county, hospital, police department and schools to see if local workers wanted to buy.

"It looks like it is getting in the hands of people it was intended for," Connell said.

The housing on the RALF portion of the project is being provided through Combs, but owners on the free-market side also will have the option to work with local architects to build their homes.

The development also has two lots that are approved for 3,200 square feet of multifamily units. Turek said he has received a great deal of interest in the lots, which are on the market for $480,000. One third of those units must be affordable.


-- To reach Christine Metz call 871-4229

or e-mail cmetz@steamboatpilot.com

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