Construction workers for GE Johnson installed rebar at the new Edgemont condominium project during a frigid Christmas Eve morning Wednesday. The Sheraton Steamboat Resort and Steamboat Grand Resort Hotel are visible in the background.

Photo by Tom Ross

Construction workers for GE Johnson installed rebar at the new Edgemont condominium project during a frigid Christmas Eve morning Wednesday. The Sheraton Steamboat Resort and Steamboat Grand Resort Hotel are visible in the background.

Edgemont project on schedule

Construction workers weather temperature extremes

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— Construction workers toiling outdoors in the snow and cold at Edgemont were expected this week to avoid the well-heated second floor of the condominium project at the edge of the Steamboat ski slopes.

If that sounds counterintuitive, it can be explained.

"We are hoping to pour concrete for the third floor this week," Garret Simon said Dec. 22. "In order to do that, they'll tent the floor below and heat it to between 110 and 115 degrees so that the concrete sets up properly. You know it's hot when the construction workers stay away."

Simon is vice president of development for The Atira Group, which is building Edgemont. The building is coming out of the ground on a hillside adjacent to the original Bear Claw condominiums. The site is between the Stampede ski trail and the path of the Steamboat Ski Area gondola.

Simon observed that with the arrival of the first day of winter this week, 50 to 75 workers for general contractor GE Johnson already have endured a fair amount of adverse weather. They were installing rebar in temperatures that hovered around zero degrees on the morning of Christmas Eve.

"It's amazing what they do in this weather, and we're just getting started," he said.

GE Johnson, a Colorado Springs firm, broke ground on the project in August, and Simon said the project remains on schedule for completion in February 2010. The eight-story building, Edgemont Ridge, represents the first of several phases of the overall Edgemont project.

"We hope to be topped out by the end of ski season," Simon said.

Atira executed $45 million in contracts during a single day in June, even as the real estate slowdown was taking hold in Colorado ski country.

Atira signed up buyers for 22 of 42 of the condominiums at an average sales price of $2 million.

"There were people who wrote $300,000 and $400,000 checks," Simon said at the time.

Since then, the number of units under contract has changed slightly.

"We had a couple fall out, but sold some additional units," Simon said.

The current tally is 20 of 41 units sold, he added. The apparent discrepancy is explained by the fact that one of the new buyers purchased a three-bedroom-plus-den home that was created by merging two smaller units from the original offering.

"The larger units on the north side (looking directly onto the ski slopes) had all sold, so we created a new one," Simon explained.

As the 20 buyers and their families come for a visit this winter, Simon said, they are being entertained individually and offered anything that appeals to them, from a restaurant dinner to snowcat skiing, as well as hard-hat tours.

"We had a buyer visit just this week, and they were able to stand in their unit" and admire the views, Simon said.

Atira intends to initiate its application early in the new year for a permit from the city of Steamboat Springs that would enable redevelopment of the recently demolished Thunderhead Lodge. It represents the first phase of the redevelopment of Ski Time Square.

The project would be built on the north side of the ski slopes, opposite Edgemont.

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