Live-work units sparking interest

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Developers are creating a project that likely will attract tradespeople, artists and others looking for convenient live-work spaces as well as those with an eye for unique industrial architecture.

The Steamboat Springs City Council earlier this month approved final plans for Riverfront Park, slated for a triangular site near the James Brown Soul Center of the Universe Bridge and the Yampa River.

The 4.5-acre parcel -- previously occupied by Minglewood Timbers -- eventually will be the site of two large buildings with warehouse, office and showroom spaces. Those buildings will be situated near the project's entrance off Shield Drive, just north of the bridge.

There also will be 21 live-work units in three pods along the river. The middle pod is sold out, and developers recently made available seven units closest to the bridge, said broker Michael Buckley, who is handling sales for Riverfront Park.

Ryan Richey of Spokane, Wash., is developing the project.

Architect Benji Amsden of Archistructure One is the brain behind the buildings' unique design, which avoids a boxy look by varying rooflines.

The exterior of the live-work units will feature earth-tone stucco with mountain motifs on the bottom half and metal on the top half, or residential portion, of the units.

The design is meant to fit in with Riverfront Park's industrial surroundings, Buckley said.

"Hopefully, it will be the nucleus of the industrial complex down there," he said.

The live-work units will range in size from about 2,560 square feet to 4,550 square feet, including workspace appropriate for light-industrial uses.

The work areas, which occupy the lower level of the units, will have 15-foot ceilings with 12-foot garage doors and rear entrances.

Builders will sheetrock the work areas and complete plumbing and bathrooms, leaving buyers a clean slate for their needs -- though they may request tenant finishes, Buckley said.

The apartments, which are accessed from inside the work area, feature several floorplans with two or three bedrooms, two bathrooms and kitchen, dining and living areas.

The apartments also will have large windows and private balconies overlooking the river.

The live-work units are deed-restricted -- anyone may purchase the units, but if they are leased, tenants must work in Routt County.

Current prices range between about $550,000 and $900,000. Developers are taking contracts.

The developer has broken ground on the first commercial building closest to Shield Drive.

Office space -- about 6,500 square feet in each building -- will be on either side of the project's entrance. The buildings also will offer 37,000 square feet of warehouse space and 13,000 square feet of showroom space.

Commercial space is available for lease or sale. About half the space in the first building has been rented, Buckley said.

Construction on live-work units and the commercial building in Phase 1 should be complete in spring 2006. Developers expect build-out in 2007, he said.

For more information, call Buckley at 846-5761.


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

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