Sunray Meadows construction under way

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— It's unlikely something like this will be available in Steamboat Springs again, Realtor Ken Gold said about RE/MAX's new development of a large vacant lot on Village Drive -- the last large open space in the neighborhood.

"This is what I call an ideal residential development in that it is between the condos and the neighborhood," Gold said.

The development is a 16-building, 128-unit condominium complex called Sunray Meadows. It received approval from the Steamboat Springs Planning Commission last winter, and the first phase of construction is under way. The first phase will be three buildings with the closest proximity to Village Drive.

Gold called the property ideal because the neighborhood could be appealing to local buyers, and it could be appealing to renters or second-home buyers for its proximity to the ski area base and the bus route. It is an ideal property for investment buyers also, because of the small amount of space now available to build in the area, he said.

The developer of Sunray Meadows also built the popular Quail Run and the Villas at Walton Creek developments, so the projects are similar in many aspects. Quail Run and the Villas sold quickly because of their relatively low prices for new construction, and several buyers profited on resales, which also went quickly, Gold said.

Some Villas at Walton Creek homeowners earned a 40 percent appreciation on the resale of their units, Gold said.

Sunray Meadows will be similar in size to Quail Run and the Villas, Gold said. The final product will include a large courtyard complete with a pool, hot tub and playground, and every unit will have at least a one-car garage.

The difference between Sunray and the others, other than aesthetic appearance, will be that Sunray Meadows will offer buyers many options.

Buyers will be able choose or upgrade almost every element of the interior, including carpet, tile, counters, plumbing and light fixtures, and several other finishes.

"That's the main ticket here: versatility," Gold said.

Developers built the flexibility into Sunray Meadows after getting feedback from Quail Run and Villas buyers who wanted similar options, Gold said. However the biggest factor that will probably drive sales of the condos is price, which will be in the $200,000 to $210,000 range for the two-bedroom units, and about $250,000 for the three-bedroom units.

Only one unit has been purchased so far, but Gold said that is not surprising.

"Most people are a little apprehensive about buying a property they've never seen," he said.

Still, Gold said there are advantages to buying early, such as getting the first pick of units and paying less for deposit fees.

Before RE/MAX sought planning approval last winter, the company considered building town homes on the property. But after reassessing the market, Gold said, it was determined that affordable condominiums would be much better for the local market. Also, the condos and their location are better suited for those who are looking for investment properties or second homes.

"It is important for people vacationing here to be close to the mountain," Gold said. "That's what they came here for."

-- To reach Nick Foster call 871-4204

or e-mail nfoster@steamboatpilot.com

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