Sunray back on track with new builder

Fourth phase expected to be released for presale within six months

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After a few bumps in the road, the Sunray Meadows condominium project on Village Drive is back on track.

Construction on the first of 16 buildings in the 128-unit project began last summer. But it wasn't long before the development company, Wintergreen Homes of Avon, began having problems with a manufactured-home company contracted to provide portions of the buildings.

Wintergreen wanted to combine the manufactured construction with on-site construction to help extend the building season into winter, but the manufactured-home company was unable to deliver its product on time, Realtor Ken Gold said.

As a result, early buyers had to wait about a year longer than scheduled for their units.

Wintergreen, which also developed Quail Run and the Villas at Walton Creek, severed the contract with the manufactured-home company before the completion of the first phase, leaving a foundation without a building.

Deciding to stick-build the project, Wintergreen last fall hired CFC Construction, Inc., which also built the Villas. Revising building permits and construction plans, combined with and a wet spring, delayed onsite construction until recently. Crews now are working to complete the final building in the first phase and start the second phase.

"They (Wintergreen) appreciate everybody's patience," Gold said, noting developers lost money in the delays. "I think everybody needs to understand it's been as frustrating for the developer as the buyers."

The problems, however, have had little effect on interest and presales in the project. Phases one, two and three -- consisting of 12 buildings with eight to nine units -- are sold out, and the first building in phase four recently sold out in a week, Gold said.

"The appetite for the product, I think, is because of the location and excellent track record they (Wintergreen) have had on previous projects," he said.

Increased equity perhaps will make up for delivery delays to early buyers. One-bedroom units in the project started at about $169,000 in spring 2003. The same size units now start at about $222,000, said Lisa Bickford, Gold's assistant.

A three-bedroom unit started at almost $246,000 in spring 2003, compared with about $307,000 now, though more expensive stick-build construction accounts for some of that increase.

The final project will have a courtyard, pool and playground area, and each unit has a one-car garage.

Even with increased prices, however, Sunray Meadows still is less costly than similar projects at locations not as close to the ski area base, Gold said.

"Because of land costs at the base of the mountain and scarcity, this is likely to be the last project that really is an entry-level condominium project," he said. "Wintergreen really has been a leader in doing that."

Gold expects Wintergreen to release the remaining three buildings in Phase 4 for presale within the next six months.

For more information about Sunray Meadows, call Gold or Bickford at RE/MAX Steamboat, 879-5100.

-- To reach Tamera Manzanares call 871-4204 or e-mail tmanzanares@steamboatpilot.com

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