Steamboat Springs No fewer than five mixed commercial/residential projects are poised to go vertical in downtown Steamboat Springs this summer.
The developers and marketers of one of the five - The Victoria - believe their building has a chance to create its own niche.
Realtors for The Victoria believe the small number of available residences will heighten demand, and the ability to own a commercial condominium will attract businesses and professionals.
The Victoria would total 32,000 square feet in three stories at the corner of Lincoln Avenue and 10th Street where Rocky Mountain Wine and Liquor is. Developers Steve and Denise Peterson of Wescoin LLLP are on schedule to break ground on the project in March.
"Something could come up, but at this time it's looking good and we're on schedule," Denise Peterson said.
The Petersons and general contractor Travis Holmquist are hoping to complete the building within a 12-month window and could have the first floor ready for occupancy in late fall or early winter.
The new building would transform a key corner lot in the downtown commercial core by building out to the sidewalks - the small liquor store is currently surrounded by an asphalt parking lot. The new building has been designed by Matt Wagar of Moon Hill Design to emulate the red brick and native sandstone of multi-story buildings in the downtown historical district.
"It looks like the (First National) bank building," listing Realtor Pam Vanatta said. Vanatta said the fact that The Victoria offers only seven residential condominiums at the quieter west end of Lincoln Avenue means exclusivity is built into the project.
"The Victoria is set apart a little bit from the commotion of downtown and it gives buyers another option," Vanatta said. "You'll have an elevator that takes you to your floor and you'll have six neighbors instead of 60 neighbors."
Vanatta's colleague at Prudential Steamboat Realty, Hal Unruh, is handling the commercial spaces in the building. He said he's willing to work with both buyers and lessees.
"The opportunity for a business to own its own space is a critical component," Unruh said. "There's not a glut of commercial space for sale."
The demand for commercial condominiums at the completed Waterside Village, two blocks away on Yampa Street, proves the point, Unruh added.
He predicts the high level of interior finishes on the upper levels of The Victoria will attract professional offices whose owners can benefit from a prestigious location. The building is directly across Lincoln Avenue from the city offices.
It's possible in addition to office suites, there may only be two or three retail businesses on the building's main floor.
Unruh said he is targeting a restaurant to anchor The Victoria.
"The one business we'd like most to draw in is a fine restaurant," he said. "We're going to try to aggressively seek someone."
Peterson said she is leaving open the possibility of operating a liquor store in the new building.
The third floor will be devoted to seven residential condominiums. Vanatta said they begin at 1,400 square feet with two in the range of 2,200 to 2,400 square feet.
"The interior finish is going to be very high end," she said, "with rich woods and crown moldings."
Peterson said there would be extensive use of marble, granite and wood wainscoting throughout the condos. There will be a fireplace in the master bedroom as well as in the living room. Ceilings will be 9 to 10 feet high.
The developers are confident enough of the demand for their project that they are dispensing with the reservations process being utilized by current developers in the Steamboat market. Instead, they'll go straight to earnest money and contracts. Firm prices should be available by the end of this month.
Demolition of the liquor store is scheduled to begin Feb. 28, and Peterson is optimistic people will like the structure that eventually replaces it.
"Steve and I want to be able to drive by it for the rest of our lives and be proud our names are on it," she said. "I hope most people feel the same way. That means a lot to us in all of our projects."
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