With availability of small agricultural properties near Steamboat Springs dwindling, a new development west of Hayden is helping to fill the niche for high-end country living close to town.
In the planning for five years, the Hidden Springs Ranch subdivision now has roads and utilities and is ready for building, said Roger Johnson II, director of marketing for the project.
"It's really just now coming available in a form suitable for new construction," he said.
Located west of Hayden on Breeze Basin Road, about a mile past Hayden Valley Elementary School, the development is the first land preservation subdivision in the Hayden area, Johnson said.
Consistent with land preservation goals, the five-acre lots in the Hidden Springs subdivision are clustered together on about 140 acres, providing more than 600 acres of shared open space for residents.
Of the 28 lots, three have sold, and four are under contract, but that could change now that the developer, 4S Development Ltd., is advertising the project.
"The real marketing effort is just being launched," Johnson said.
As part of that marketing effort, the developer is offering two season passes to the Steamboat Ski Area for buyers of lots that go under contract by Oct. 31, he said.
Placed on rolling terrain with 360 degree views of the Flat Tops and Mount Zirkel Wilderness, the lots are zoned for agriculture and are ideal for horses, he said, adding that a barn and guesthouse are allowed on all but a few of the properties.
Priced between $169,000 and about $180,000, the lots offer a more affordable alternative to similar properties near Steamboat that are becoming harder and harder to find, Johnson said.
"It basically fills a market niche not available in Steamboat. ... It's a very good value for a five-acre horse property that's close in," he said.
Potential buyers include people looking to build high-end homes in an area that has a feeling of remoteness yet is close to services. Buyers commuting from Craig to Steamboat, as well as those looking for an affordable horse property may be included in that category, Johnson said.
The development's close proximity to Yampa Valley Regional Airport, about five minutes away, makes it a good option for buyers who travel regularly and are looking for a primary or secondary residence, he said.
"Common sense" covenants dictate most architecture and design in the development, encouraging interesting home exteriors with multiple lines and natural building materials such as stone.
The subdivision is gated for privacy and adjacent to an area where a golf course -- part of the proposed Villages at Hayden subdivision -- may be built, Johnson said.
"This will be kind of the premier neighborhood in Hayden," he said.
A water system is in place, as well as gas, electric and phone lines for the subdivision, and the road should be paved before this winter, Johnson said.
The developer soon will build a model home in the subdivision. The model will be about 2,700 square feet and will include the fine finishes that many buyers look for, Johnson said.
He estimated that the total value of the property and home will be about $685,000.
With Hayden expected to grow, Johnson said property in the Hidden Springs subdivision should be a good investment for buyers.
For more information or to schedule a tour, call listing broker Evlyn Berge at 879-8171.