The energy efficient Park Place Townhomes have attracted residents who want an environmentally friendly lifestyle.
The four townhomes are the first of the 16 single-family homes and six condominiums to be built at the subdivision. The units harness Earth's energy for heat.
For Buddhist photographer and mother Jessica Maynard, having this energy was a big factor in her decision to move there, she said. Her neighbor, painter Susan Schiesser, felt the same way.
Maynard and Schiesser moved in last week. The townhomes are essentially complete -- all that remains is installing and painting a few handrails around decks and steps and landscaping.
Park Place is the vision of developer and Realtor Herald Stout.
"Herald is such a visionary to come up with a plan for this place," said Hudson Maynard, Jessica's husband and a general contractor who worked on the project. "This is perfect for this location, for people to raise their families."
Stout used geothermal heating in his own home, and it gave him the idea to do it at Park Place. The development will be heated by 48 geothermal wells about 250 feet deep, Hudson Maynard said. While the Earth remains a constant 52 degrees about 7 feet below the surface, a closed-loop pump system pumps gas below, heats it and brings it back to the surface for use.
The townhomes feature the latest in construction technology -- structural insulated panels, thermal mass and heat recovery ventilators, Hudson Maynard said.
"We were trying to be environmentally conscious," he said.
The townhomes, at first glance, have a uniform Steamboat style. But each is very different, outside and inside.
Outside, each one has a different entrance, whether under an angled or curved roofline or a deck.
Window shapes also are deceivingly different on each faÃ§ade.
The interior of each home is unique. The Maynards' is large, to accommodate their three children. Schiesser's is smaller, as it is just for her and her husband.
Common to each are high-end features such as hardwood floors, granite countertops and stainless-steel appliances. Some of the wood is reclaimed from old pickle barrels, Jessica Maynard said, pointing out notches above her door.
The townhomes also have a feature unique to Steamboat with their rear breezeway that leads to garages on both sides.
"It brings the urban feel I used to have while living in San Francisco," Schiesser said.
Also, like most townhome or condo buyers, having the freedom from having to do yard and exterior maintenance is a draw.
"We don't have to cut the grass or paint the house or anything," Jessica Maynard said. "We saw these plans and sold our house because we wanted to move here."
She admits having her husband working on the project was also a big influence, though.
"This place totally lends itself to a more laid-back experience -- granted we've only been here a week."
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