Some Steamboat developments are a few years ahead of their time.
That was the case with Anglers' Retreat, which took off last summer after several years of steady sales.
"This summer, all of a sudden, it went bam!" said Realtor Shelley Stanford of Colorado Group Realty. Her husband, Jerry, is the developer and builder of the 16 single family homes in the subdivision tucked almost out of sight along Fish Creek off Rollingstone Drive.
"We always knew it would be a success - we were comfortable that we were progressing at an OK speed," Stanford said. "About a year ago, people began coming over from Vail and Aspen. That's when it started to take off."
Most of the prospective buyers coming from other mountain towns quickly sized the homes up and pegged them at $2 million instead of the $1.5 million asking price, she said.
Anglers' Retreat was originally conceived by Stanford's colleague at Colorado Group, Jim Cook. She and Jerry purchased the project from him in 2001.
"Jerry has really brought the concept full circle," Shelley said. "He has a vision for what he wants the neighborhood to become and does everything to perfection."
From the beginning, Anglers' was conceived as a developer-built subdivision with strict architectural guidelines that would ensure all of the modestly sized homes would evoke a "cottage" style.
Jerry Stanford and architect Leslie Weisshaar of Weisshaar Designs have collaborated on minor modifications that have given each home its own distinct look.
After the local real estate market recovered from the national recession of 2001, Anglers' Retreat had seen eight homes built by 2004. Of the eight, a half-dozen had sold for an average price of $1 million.
Two years later, 14 of the homes have been sold (the last two sales are still under construction) and the final two homes available in the project will begin construction next spring.
The window of the master bedroom in one of the last two homes will look out directly at the ski trails of Mount Werner.
There has been one resale for $2 million, Stanford said.
The homes have relatively small footprints for million dollar-plus residences and were carefully sited to avoid damaging the mature trees on the property. They vary in size from 2,600 to 3,000 square feet. What stands out about Anglers' Retreat is the quality of building materials and unmatched location, Stanford said.
Residents are within easy walking distance of shopping, two grocery stores and dining at Sundance at Fish Creek. Yet, the homes are insulated from the bustle of nearby U.S. Highway 40. The rushing noise of Fish Creek and the stands of 150-year-old evergreen trees on the property give it a secluded feeling.
The mix of permanent homeowners and second-home owners at Anglers' has evolved a little in the past couple of years, Stanford said. Early in the history of the development, it was half-and-half. Now, roughly 60 percent of the owners are not here full time. Yet, those second-home owners are likely to spend eight months of the year in Steamboat, she said.
The homeowners association owns historic agricultural water rights from Fish Creek, which have been cleverly used to create water features, streams and a pond, which make an addition to the neighborhood. The civil engineering firm Landmark Consultants oversaw the redesign of old irrigation ditches into the small creeks and water features in the project.
There are about 6 acres of common open space including frontage on the pond. Residents enjoy lighted paths and walking trails along Fish Creek.
Stanford said the homes in Anglers' appeal to people who want a luxurious single-family home without having to assume responsibility for all the chores associated with keeping it up.
The monthly association fees of $675 include an unusual level of service including installation of holiday ornaments, gardening, caring for the water features, window washing, hand shoveling of driveways, lawn irrigation and cable television.
Stanford can be reached at 870-8800.
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