Steamboat Springs While the gentrification of Old Town Steamboat Springs has been under way for eight years, the trend has accelerated with a number of impressive new homes replacing modest two-bedroom boxes.
They are appearing where small streets and alleys accommodate Butcherknife Creek in the area of Missouri and Grand streets.
Just up the hill, Steamboat's biggest urban renewal project is beginning to take place at the intersection of Park and Broad streets. On the site of the old Routt Memorial Hospital, the roof has already been built on a two-and-a-half story building of four townhomes offering views of the ski jumps at Howelsen Hill. Across the road, the foundation has been poured for the first of 14 single-family lots. Framing carpenters from JSM Builders are getting down to work on the new home. Both projects are part of the Park Place residential development.
Developer Herald Stout demolished the old hospital and gained city approval for the mixed housing development. By next summer, Stout may begin construction on an 11,000-square-foot condominium building.
While Stout is building the townhomes and condominiums, he has sold all but one of the single-family lots to independent parties who are free to build their own homes. A design review committee will ensure that all of the single-family homes feature architecture that is faithful to various genres that prevailed from 1880 to 1930.
"We're finding a trend where people want to slow down," Stout said. "They want to build something where they take more time to build at high quality rather than building as cheaply as possible."
Stout said architectural guidelines for Park Place call for "farm houses," Victorians and bungalows. People buying lots at Park Place seem to be excited about the possibilities for building a home that has historical context but with all of the qualities and systems offered by modern technology, Stout said.
Stout said he sold the first 13 building lots quickly at prices from $225,000 to $250,000. The 14th lot was held back from the market, Stout said, because it is behind the townhomes and he wants to be certain the buyer is fully aware of how that will affect its views.
Of the 13 sales, Stout said he's aware of at least three that were made by people to speculate on the potential for the lots to increase in value. He said because they sold so rapidly, he would not be surprised if lot resales are 15 to 20 percent higher than the original price.
The townhomes currently under construction actually comprise three stories with a garden level that limits the at-grade height of the building.
They range in size from 2,200 to 2,800 square feet. The townhomes will be released to the market as soon as his attorney finalizes the association documents, Stout said. Prices will begin at $595,000.
The foundation of the condominium building will tentatively be poured this fall with construction likely to resume in earnest in the spring. Stout was approved for eight units but trimmed that number to six because he felt that allowed significant improvements to the floor plans. They will average 1,800 square feet.
The condos will offer underground parking and an elevator. The fact that the condos will offer one-story living is a rarity in Old Town, Stout said. He has not yet determined prices.
Stout anticipates that two single-family homes will be built this summer followed by more at a pace of three to four a year.
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