Thursday, January 17, 2008
Steamboat Springs The developers of Wildhorse Meadows said 45 prospective homebuyers turned out Tuesday to register for the 47 affordable condominiums in First Tracks.
However, Resort Ventures West development manager Mariana Ishida said her company will need many more interested parties to eventually qualify buyers for the affordable housing project.
"We're very encouraged," Ishida said. "But we need that number to grow in leaps."
Resort Ventures West is developing The Range luxury single-family subdivision and a condominium hotel, Trailhead Lodge, on a Wildhorse Meadows parcel off Pine Grove Road. The site is adjacent to the Meadows skier parking lot and the Tennis Center at Steamboat Springs.
First Tracks represents the first affordable housing project mandated by the city's new linkage ordinance.
As a condition of its approval, the city of Steamboat Springs required Resort Ventures West to build deed-restricted units intended to be affordable for a variety of people working in Steamboat and possibly elsewhere in Routt County. The 47 units in the first phase of First Tracks also would satisfy the affordable housing requirements for another nearby condominium hotel, One Steamboat Place.
Ishida said that although Tuesday's turnout was strong, the experience of other developers and the Yampa Valley Housing Authority suggests her company will need significantly more candidates in order to identify households that can both qualify for a mortgage and meet the maximum income guidelines in the city's Community Housing Plan.
Resort Ventures West property specialist Abby Varner helped the 45 prospective homebuyers fill out questionnaires Tuesday. She said the two questions most frequently asked by the buyers had to with the purchase price and the type of priority list that would be used. She lacked answers to either question.
Ishida said the asking prices for the studio, one- and two-bedroom condos won't be finalized until after the project gains final city approval later this winter.
The type of priority system to be used to select buyers is under discussion with the city, she said. No reservations have been taken and the process remains wide open.
City Community Housing Co-ordinator Nancy Engelken confirmed she met with Ishida earlier this week.
"We had a great meeting," Engelken said. "It was just what I hoped it would be - developers and the city partnering to work on questions such as establishing priorities. We want to work with them to come up with answers that will not just work with their project but with other future community housing projects."
The first step for prospective buyers is to register at the Resort Ventures West office, 610 Marketplace Plaza, Suite 210 (in the second floor of the Prudential Steamboat Realty building next to Wildhorse Cinemas) or online at www.firsttracksatwildhorse.com.