Barn Village buyers line up

Sales hit $36.14 million in building lot reservations at site



Barn Village at Steamboat developers Jim Kelley and Bob Comes were anticipating a successful reservation event at groundbreaking last month. A third member of the development team, Eric McAfee, was not present.


Courtesy Art

The site plan for Barn Village at Steamboat shows three distinct neighborhoods based on the size of building lots and types of homes. Duplex lots along Fish Creek were in high demand and sold at prices from $995,000 to $1.15 million.

Lot reservations

The 54 lots reserved at Barn Village last week represent a larger number than the total number of undeveloped building lots remaining on the market elsewhere within city limits.

There are 33 lots currently listed for sale in the city limits. The lowest price is $399,500. Of the 33 lots on the market, 16 are priced below $1.1 million.

— Buyers got in line Aug. 31 to reserve new building sites in the figurative shadow of the historic More Barn and put refundable deposits down on more than $36 million in real estate.

Within three hours, 51 of the 54 building lots in the first release of Barn Village at Steamboat were spoken for. The remaining three were reserved in a 10-minute span the next morning. The most expensive of the building sites were duplex lots that topped out at $1.15 million.

By the time the Labor Day weekend was over, 75 percent of the lots had backup reservations in place, and a dozen lots had two backups.

"The response was just overwhelming," co-listing broker Chris Wittemyer of Prudential Steamboat Realty said. "There were people who were elated and people who were disappointed they didn't get what they had hoped for."

Wittemyer listed the new subdivision accessed off Pine Grove Road with colleagues Pam Vanatta and Cam Boyd.

Barn Village at Steamboat comprises a total of 62 home sites on 40 acres to the east of the historic More Barn. The developers, Bob Comes, Jim Kelley and Eric McAfee, held back eight lots from the initial reservation process.

The iconic barn will be conserved and incorporated into a 4-acre city park fronting Pine Grove Road.

Barn Village at Steamboat does not yet have its final subdivision plat, and contracts cannot be signed until it's in place. Assistant City Planning Director John Eastman said the final plat is largely a formality. It could take six to 12 weeks to be finalized.

Comes said he hopes to see homes emerging from the ground by summer 2008. He said he wasn't fully prepared for the success of the reservation event.

"I didn't anticipate that much success. We're ecstatic," he said.

The subdivision approval allows primarily three types of housing. There are 12 duplex lots, 34 small lots for single-family homes in a neo-traditional neighborhood with back-loaded garages, and larger lots for larger single-family homes. The broader site also envisions two multi-family buildings, which were not a part of the reservation process. One will be used by the developers to meet their affordable housing requirements. Yampa Valley Medical Center has secured the right to develop a multi-family building on the south edge of the subdivision where it could provide transitional employee housing for new hires.

The neo-traditional lots, measuring between 0.14 and 0.21 acres, sold for between $451,000 and $575,000, Wittemyer said.

Wittemyer said interest in the duplex lots was particularly strong among members of the construction community. The duplex lots were also the most expensive in the subdivision, beginning with one lot priced at $995,000 and continuing in small increments up to $1.15 million.

"Those went really fast, within the first half-hour," he said. "I probably had 50 to 100 people I ushered around the site between Monday and Friday, and the overwhelming number of them were builders."

Wittemyer said the grade of the duplex lots is ideal for maximizing living space through the use of a walkout basement bordering Fish Creek. Contractors have a chance to build a three-story building that presents only two stories to the street front, he said.

A quick analysis of the availability of undeveloped building lots in Steamboat puts the success of the Barn Village reservation event in perspective.

The 54 lots reserved at Barn Village last week represent a bigger number than the total number of undeveloped building lots remaining on the market elsewhere within the city limits.

Susan Phillips of Buyers Resource Real Estate in Steamboat Springs reported Thursday that there are 33 lots currently listed for sale in the city limits. The lowest price is $399,500.

Of the 33 lots on the market, 16 are priced below $1.1 million.

The breakout holds up when you focus more closely on lots at the mountain area. There are 22 lots listed for sale at the mountain, and 11 of those are priced below $1.1 million, Phillips said.

Eastman did some tentative arithmetic on the smaller lots in the neo-traditional neighborhood based on maximum lot coverage and building heights in the applicable "resort neighborhood" zone district. He concluded that buyers could easily build homes of several thousand square feet. Building height restrictions would allow homes to be 2.5 stories tall, he said.

Comes said he and his partners held back eight larger single-family lots in the eastern end of the subdivision where it borders the neighborhood along Robert E. Lee Lane and Memphis Belle Court. He said the reason was twofold. First, they will wait to let the value of the building lots mature in Steamboat's rising real estate market.

Second, they want to take time to consider going forward with developing homes on the eight lots themselves.

The four larger lots that were reserved last week began at 0.32 acres and increased to 0.58 acres in size. The smallest was priced at $695,000, and the most expensive was priced at $735,000.

"We might do some building. We haven't finished the analysis," Comes said.


Jason Miller 9 years, 7 months ago

Dont let them fool you.The Barn is not are going to be the center piece of a park.They have plans to turn it into 6 loft apts,starting at the low low price of $775,000.


OnTheBusGus 9 years, 7 months ago

Realtors eternize the "almost sold out" theory to keep sales high


jeannie berger 9 years, 7 months ago

How many of these lots were purchased by Realtors? Hold on to them for a while then resell. Keeps those prices out of reach of average families that live here.


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