Hayden Hayden developer Mike Bell said he noticed a lack of something in Steamboat that Hayden could provide: affordable housing.
"There was a need for young professionals who make $40,000 to $60,000 who can't qualify for homes in Steamboat," Bell said.
Ron Wendler of Colorado Group Realty had conceived of a subdivision called Yampa View Estates on the mesa in the Golden Meadows area, south of the Routt County Fairgrounds on Harvest Drive.
But Wendler decided to sell the property instead of continuing with the plan. That's when Bell and his wife, Connie, stepped up to the plate, along with friends Tim and Karen Gilroy.
"Starting this real estate project was the scariest thing we ever did," Karen Gilroy said. "We've never taken on this kind of debt or responsibility. Starting a project like this is harder than you think."
The Gilroys and the Bells bought the property in March 2002 and saw the 5.5-acre subdivision through the town planning process, breaking ground on the roads and infrastructure in June 2002. The first lot sold June 27.
The subdivision holds 15 home sites, eight of which have been sold, Karen Gilroy said. The lots range from 0.18 to 0.3 of an acre and are connected to town water. Five homes have already been completed, and seven lots are still for sale, ranging from $39,500 to $48,000. The homes in the subdivision have ranged from $220,000 to $240,000.
A 1.3-acre plot has been designated as open space, which Gilroy said could be turned into a park sometime in the future. Also, a gravel walkway will be constructed connecting Yampa View to the Sagewood subdivision.
T Bar G Backhoe Service is doing all the excavation work, while Mike Bell Construction is building some of the homes.
"We think this is a good location because it is within walking distance of the schools and because of the elevation, which provides good views," Karen said.
Bell said he wants young professionals to move into the homes to "contribute socially and politically" to the community.
"I'm doing this because I want them to put their roots down," Bell said.
"And it seems like it's working out. Hayden is a great place with all the amenities and none of the hassles of the city."
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