Steamboat Springs The developers of Marabou Ranch Preservation Subdivision took a big step recently when Anthony and Lori Rivera walked out onto a sun-filled bench overlooking the Elk River to pop the cork on a bottle of champagne. The couple was commemorating the beginning of construction on the first home at the development off Routt County Road 42, a few miles west of Steamboat Springs.
"The project is going on to its next phase," Sales Manager John Hillenbrand said. "It's exciting."
Of 62 total home sites on 1,700 acres at Marabou, 37 have sold and 25 remain available. One of the most recent sales came in June. The home site sold for $3.5 million. Another lot sold for $2.75 million in April. Those prices reflect hundreds of acres of open space and amenities including a headquarters building, barn for social functions, pool, movie theater and more. The ranch offers fishing in a network of streams and ponds, as well as in the Elk River. There are horseback, cycling, Nordic skiing and hiking trails.
With the exception of a second-story gym over the garage, the 10,000-square-foot Rivera home will largely be built as a single-story home.
"The clients were very much interested in a ranch home," architect Paul G.S. Miller of Robertson Miller Terrell in Avon said. "With all of the opportunities this site has to offer, the question was, how do all the rooms become engaged to the land?"
The general contractor for the home is Beck Building Company with offices in Vail and Steamboat Springs. It is expected to take 18 to 24 months to complete. The field superintendent for the Rivera home is longtime Steamboat builder Ken Solomon, who is employed by Beck.
Frank Payne, president of Beck Building, said the home will comprise distinctly different pods, with one for the main living area, one for the master suite and others for guest suites.
With the help of computer-driven cutting machines, the home will be a true timber frame home employing the Old World tradition of mortise and tenon joinery.
The timber framing subcontractor will be Spearhead Timberworks of British Columbia, the same company that recently completed work on the new Strings Music Festival pavilion in Steamboat.
Marabou and Elk River Partners, LLC, principal Jeff Temple said it pleased him that the Riveras looked in a number of other mountain communities before selecting Marabou for their new home.
"You worked with (Hillenbrand), you've been all over the West and decided this is the right place for you," he told the Riveras during recent ceremonies at the building site. "When Lori and Anthony come to Marabou, they come to see us, but they really come to be with their horses."
Marabou offers cash incentives for its owners to incorporate green building practices into their homes. The developers will cut checks for $10,000 to residents who score enough green building points in the materials and practices employed in the construction of their new homes. Builders of the homes will score points if they use beetle-killed timber from the Routt National Forest, for example.
The ranch maintains its own herd of grass-fed cattle, and owners will receive a portion of their own beef annually.