Eagle Ridge ready for next phase

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The 35 units in the Eagle Ridge Lodge sold out a year ago. Now the groundwork is about to begin to complete the second part of the Eagle Ridge Lodge and Townhomes.

The builder, Summit Habitats, plans to put in 750 feet of new road this spring, which would provide access to 40 available townhome units and 11 building sites. Three townhomes near the northeast end of the lodge have already been built and sold.

Building sites were restricted to the top three, but Michael Buckley, who is sales manager for Summit Habitats, said as soon as the road is completed, the entire development opens up.

"We'll put the 750-foot road in, and then people can buy whatever unit they want," Buckley said. "They can cherry pick the better units."

Perched atop Mont Werner Circle, the four- and five-bedroom townhomes range between $625,000 and $810,000 and have a monthly $500 homeowner's association fee. The 11 buildings will be duplexes, triplexes or fourplexes.

Buckley said the townhomes are set up as a luxury resort with access to Eagle Ridge Club with an outdoor pool and spa, putting green, health facility and concierge service.

So far, Buckley said buyers have come from out of state and a few have upgraded from the Waterstone development, which Summit Habitats and developer Treat Development had built. Summit Habitats also worked on the Cabins at Lake Catamount.

As soon as the road is finished, Buckley said he hopes to start building on the four buildings closest to the three already completed. He already has four presales for the two fourplexes and hopes that four more sales will be made by this spring. Another fourplex and one duplex are planed as spec homes.

Buckley's sales plan is to have the townhomes roughly half sold before building starts. He said for a fourplex, he would like to have two sold or for a duplex, one would have to be sold.

It's a plan that means not having too many spec units or the risk of putting 40 units on the market at once. Buckley said the first townhome closed about a year ago and since then another 11 have been sold.

"We have been in excellent shape as far as units, not having any specs sitting out in front," Buckley said. "We haven't had any real exposure. We are able to maintain the prices and not have to get into any trouble trying to sell them."

Buckley admits the slump in the economy has put the project about a year behind from where they hoped to be. They began building the Lodge in 1999 and closed the last of the 35 units about a year ago.

"Obviously, we would have liked to be out of here," he said. "With the economy, we're about a year behind at this point."

Today he is hoping for a two-year sellout of the condos, which would mean the last townhome would be finish in the summer of 2006.

The third phase of the building, which would be an 11,000-square-foot commercial center and possibly covered parking, is on hold. With unsold commercial space at the Grand Summit Resort Hotel and downtown Steamboat, Buckley said the company is not ready to spec any commercial buildings.

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