Developer Tony Connell talks about plans for 360 Village, a planned development just west of Steamboat II. Developers are hoping to have the area annexed by the city of Steamboat Springs and envision a self-contained community that would include 600 to 650 housing units, commercial units and several amenities including an amphitheater, walking trails and a small recreation center.

Photo by John F. Russell

Developer Tony Connell talks about plans for 360 Village, a planned development just west of Steamboat II. Developers are hoping to have the area annexed by the city of Steamboat Springs and envision a self-contained community that would include 600 to 650 housing units, commercial units and several amenities including an amphitheater, walking trails and a small recreation center.

Erosion control

Developers say 360 Village will meet community needs

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360 Village by the numbers

Size 350 acres

Units (residential and commercial) 600 to 650

Parks and recreation space 45 to 65 acres

Open space 100 to 120 acres

Roads and parking 30 to 50 acres

— The developers of 360 Village are worried about erosion - not on their west of Steamboat Springs property, which they say poses little physical constraints, but of community character.

"We started out asking, what does the town need?" local partner Tony Connell said.

One answer to that question is entertainment, Connell said. On the property Tuesday, he noted the loss of Steamboat entertainment venues to redevelopment and spoke with enthusiasm about a planned amphitheater to be built on an interior ridge of the 350-acre parcel on U.S. Highway 40 just west of the Steamboat II and Silver Spur subdivisions.

"I think there's a huge need for entertainment, whether it's dance or theater or music venues," Connell said.

Another answer, Connell and fellow partner Randall Hannaway said, is housing, particularly the affordable type.

"Quite frankly, our goal is to be focused on the local person," said Hannaway, a Realtor with Colorado Group Realty. "They're leaving in huge groups, and that's dispiriting to me."

The developers also envision higher-end parcels of 1 acre or larger, but Tom Ernst of Catamount Financial said the project will be 60 percent affordable. What "affordable" means, however, is yet to be determined. Ernst, who described himself as the project's "CFO type," said the development's housing program will be determined by the results of an in-depth microanalysis of housing needs being conducted by the city of Steamboat Springs and Yampa Valley Housing Authority.

In their initial submittal to the city, the developers contemplate a number of amenities in addition to the amphitheater, including a chairlift that would transport people from the piazza at its commercial core to the top of a tabletop ridge that offers a panoramic view - hence the name 360 Village - that includes an unobstructed view of Sleeping Giant. As proposed, the chairlift would let off near the project's recreation center and the top of a flume trail.

Hannaway said building these amenities would not hinder the project's ability to contain mostly affordable homes - if the developers get what they want from the city.

"With the density we're hoping to get, it should work," Hannaway said.

High urban densities hinge on whether the city agrees to annex the project into city limits. Planning Services Manager John Eastman has said the project will be a tougher sell than the Steamboat 700 development currently under review. Unlike Steamboat 700, 360 Village is not adjacent to current city limits. State statute requires contiguity for annexation, so the project would require what Eastman called a "flagpole annexation," where the city would first annex rights-of-way along U.S. Highway 40 until it reached the project.

Although legal, Eastman has said that such an annexation may not be appealing because of the implications it has on the extension of city services.

"It's sheer physical proximity," Eastman said Tuesday. "You don't have to analyze much to see that."

Eastman would not comment further on the 360 Village submittal while the city's planning staff is analyzing it and preparing a staff report.

The developers have downplayed proximity concerns. Noting a church, a golf course and subdivisions, they say an urban-type community already exists in the west of Steamboat area.

The project is 1.3 miles from city limits as the crow flies and just more than 2 miles via U.S. 40. Connell said the distance is too petty a concern to prevent the construction of a community need.

"What we're really hoping is that people in this town recognize the need for housing," Connell said. "It's time to put the rubber to the road and get something done."

Ernst acknowledged that the nationwide downturn in the housing market does have an impact on 360 Village. The S&P/Case-Shiller home-price indexes showed a 14 percent decrease in home prices across the country in the first quarter of 2008 from a year earlier. In Steamboat, April's dollar volume of $67.24 million was well off $154 million in April 2007.

"We think there's the demand for all of our units," said Ernst, noting the community's thirst for affordable housing. "The question is, what sort of financing is out there for these people? : The credit side of it is probably the most difficult."

Lenders have tightened their practices since the subprime mortgage fallout that has triggered a decline of the overall national economy. Ernst said lending vehicles such as "stated-income loans" and "full financing" are no longer available. Such loans were given mostly to the type of homebuyers the developers of 360 Village say they are targeting.

"I'm not sure it's there today," Ernst said. "We're going to have programs available for all of those people, we just don't know what it looks like today."

Ernst said 360 Village is lucky to be in its conceptual phases.

"The market will come back sometime," Ernst said.

Kristi Mohrbacher contributed to this story

Comments

Jean 5 years, 10 months ago

600 650 more houses,more people,an ampitheater,give me a break. it's not what Steamboat needs. You need less houses,less people!!!!!! It's what Tony needs....more money...

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id04sp 5 years, 10 months ago

"High urban densities hinge on whether the city agrees to annex the project into city limits."

Translation: "We need the city to hook us into the water and sewer systems so we can jam a bunch of houses in there close together."

And of course, those who live near the amphitheater will be thrilled with the sounds of reggae, rap and rock until all hours of the night during the summer.

This type of develpment belongs on the outskirts of a place like Washington, DC or Baltimore, or maybe even Atlanta, so that when people finally get home from work, they don't have to go far to be able to get outside and get some fresh air. We happen to have 5 million acres of the Routt National Forest available for that purpose.

Sheesh.

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Scott Glynn 5 years, 10 months ago

"Civilization is the progress toward a society of privacy. The savage's whole existence is public, ruled by the laws of his tribe. Civilization is the process of setting man free from men. "- Ayn Rand

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dogd 5 years, 10 months ago

Id: Actually I think you did get your A%%$$ kicked around here because we have been reading about it daily for years. Along with your keen insight about how to be sucessful .

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id04sp 5 years, 10 months ago

It is, apparently, impossible for some of you to understand that if the mysterious "somebody" could make a reasonable profit by putting up apartments, we'd already have them.

"Young men and women working the mountain from New Zeland for a year or two aren't in the market for government subsidized homes. They want a nice place to live, close to town, that they can afford while they work here."

I once talked to some Aussies who made it clear they could fly to Colorado and ski cheaper than they could ski in New Zealand. Could it be that New Zealand is the place with the problem, and not Steamboat?

Market rate apartments are going to require just as much water, sewer system capacity, and all the rest as any other type of development. You can't build them cheap enough to make it worth an investor's risk. If Ski Corp needs apartments for employee housing, then Ski Corp should be the one to build them and cure the crisis. Of course, all our season tickets will go up $200, but what the heck? We can all afford that, right?

Doggy,

Sorry I twist your knickers so tight. The fact is that I was #####d over for the profit of a private party who hired the right lawer; a lawyer with a history of getting unlawful favors from judges (as borne out by the records of the appellate courts in cases involving people other than myself). Come out from under your rock of unreality and let those boxers breathe; you'll feel better.

If I had $3,000,000, I could invest it in tax free municipal bonds and make about $120,000 a year, never touching the principal, and live quite nicely.

If I spend $3,000,000 to build "market rate" apartments ($600 per month for 800 sq. ft) I could build about 20 units, take in $144,000 a year in rent, pay tax on it, pay a manager and pay for maintenance on the units. Also, I wouldn't have $3,000,000 anymore. If I borrowed $3,000,000 to build the units, I'd be paying at least 6% (probably more, like 8% to 11%) which would cost me $180,000 a year in interest, with the net result that I'd be losing $36,000 a year just on my interest expense. That's about what I lost every year I was in business in the 'Boat, so I guess that's only fair, right.

Sure, some rich guy could spend $3,000,000 and use the loss as a tax write-off, but why do that? If you're going to pi$$ away $3,000,000 or even $36,000 a year, why not spend it on cocaine, a hummer, an airplane, a condo for your girlfriend (the one your wife doesn't know about), etc. Maybe the problem is that people with money to do such a thing for the good of the community are sick of being treated disrespectfully by retail clerks, counter help, and other people working around town who would, supposedly, live in the apartments. Why worry about what some snotty skater kid or stoned boarder needs to make their life complete when you can't even get a "Thank you, and please come again," from the guy who takes your money.

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katrinkakelly 5 years, 10 months ago

I will second that motion elk2!

Oh, Tony and Wilton Developement get out the oars! You are swimming in it!

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steamboatsprings 5 years, 10 months ago

Amazing. likely the same people that complain about the lack of attainable housing. This site is right next to Silver Spur and Steamboat II which are already served by city water and sewer in addition to the supplementary water system. What is surprising is that John Eastman doesn't understand this, more likely it doesn't fit his agenda so he chooses not to mention it. Flagpole annexations were specifically put in place to make sure cities were not landlocked but a single landowner like the Browns and now Steamboat 700 and since there is already city water and sewer there this gives the city a great option to find the best option for Steamboat.

Unfortunately John Eastman doesn't understand how things interrelate and just doesn't get the connection between a reasonable supply of housing and prices that are attainable for our community.

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trump_suit 5 years, 10 months ago

Sorry Jean, but I must respectfully disagree. The only way to have affordable housing for our youth is to build more of it. If we continue to build condos and multi-million dollar 2nd homes, Steamboat will become as exclusive/expensive as Aspen/Veil.

The one thing we have going in our favor is available land to expand into. If we don't build for the future, then it has already been written.

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id04sp 5 years, 10 months ago

City water and sewer are NOT "already there." You've got to run the pipes under the streets, provide for lift stations, etc., most of all . . .

YOU'VE GOT TO HAVE WATER SYSTEM CAPACITY and SEWER SYSTEM CAPACITY to handle the load. We don't just scoop water out of the Yampa river and pipe it to the homes, and we don't just pump the raw poopage back into the river.

The Steamboat Lakes Water and Sanitation District (Willow Creek Pass Village neighborhood) doubled its rates last year from $50 per month to $100 per month to pay for the new waste treatment plant up there. You don't just wave a magic wand, connect to the existing system and live happily ever after.

With annexation, the burden of providing the water and sewer capacity (treatment plants for both potable water and raw sewage) falls back on the City. This way EVERYBODY gets to pay higher costs for water and sewer so that the new houses can be served.

And then there are the roads and the plowing and all that.

No, my friends, the developers are going to make the same amount of money either way. The question is who gets to pay for the infrastructure improvements required to support the extra homes, and it comes down to the City.

This is a ploy to keep the developer's cost down by charging less for infrastructure, which seems to make housing more affordable for the buyers, but actually puts the cost back on the City, so it's a subsidy for the new homeowners paid by the city.

What are the benefits if the City lets them hook up? Well, how about water rationing and raw sewage flowing into the Yampa river when it rains a lot?

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424now 5 years, 10 months ago

And anyone with a blue collar can never hope to attain any form of housing if the local vocal disenters have their way with any of the development proposed for the Boat.

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elk2 5 years, 10 months ago

I have no problem with more "affordable housing" I have a problem with developers out to make a buck and selling it as an altruistic venture. How about someone other than Habitat build some housing for our teachers,police/sheriff's,EMT's...... It would be so refreshing to hear these folks come before city and county government and just say "Yeah, we are just doing this to make more money. Cut the bull about helping the community.

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elk2 5 years, 10 months ago

p.s.,we are putting our money where our mouth is and looking into putting a secondary unit on our property to hopefully house a teacher or two for little or no rent.

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vanguy 5 years, 10 months ago

If there were no financial risk and some form of tax advantage, only then might developers consider working for no profit.

I challenge elk2 to find a bank that would finance a project on the utopian terms as suggested.

I'm sure all the sub-contractors would also agree to work for free. Alpine Lumber will provide the developers wtih free materials. City market will give these builders free groceries, and the ski area will even give them a free ski pass. Comcast will throw in some free cable service, and Waste Management will even pick up their trash and recycling for no charge.

And Silver Spur, Steamboat II, and Heritage Park are NOT on city water / sewer. They have their own metro district that handles water and sewer, and they have mill levies on their property taxes to pay for these services.

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Zac Brennan 5 years, 10 months ago

Its been my understanding that Steamboat II Water District buys water from the city. We also have been told that the city would 'backfeed' from Steamboat II water if a west end water line broke and there was a fire to put out.

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dave reynolds 5 years, 10 months ago

what i find interesting is..what affordable means is yet to be detemined..like everyone esle they pretend to care..bottom line eastman and Connel are looking to make their wallets fat..they really dont give a rip about blue collar steamboat springs like the rest of the developers.ca ching ca ching

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weststmbtres 5 years, 10 months ago

Steamboat II Metro gets water from the city in the summertime when usage spikes. They have wells where they get water most of the year but the wells cannot handle the summertime need. For those of you who don't know or remember there is a water line across the 700 property that brings Steamboat city water to Steamboat II, Sivler Spur and Heritage Park. In the early 90's all the owners in Steamboat II signed pre annexation agreements with the city in order to get the water line in place.

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snowysteamboat 5 years, 10 months ago

paddle-

Explain how Eastman gets a fat waller from this?

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SilverSpoon 5 years, 10 months ago

Thank god the economy is flat in the front range. We can import many willing and able and jobless carpenters, plumbers, electricians to come up to the boat and do work for cheap. Maybe we could find someone who could lay water and sewer main for cheap. New treatment plants are a governmental problem, if they want growth, they just have to adjust taxes to pay for the facilities to accomodate its people. Do you think the existing treatment plants magically appeared? Nope, they needed to be built to accomodate steamboats first growth spirts. Steamboat will never go back to the un-discovered special place it used to be. It will be more like highlands park. Hold onto your seats, and get ready for affordable townhomes/condos/high density housing and a daily traffic jam downtown.

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weststmbtres 5 years, 10 months ago

Paddle, I'd like to know the same. Eastman is a planner with the city. You are making some pretty strong accusations there if you are saying what I think you are saying.

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dave reynolds 5 years, 10 months ago

i guess i should read slow and not scan..you guys are right...im dead wrong about eastman..lets see how it plays out.just blue collar venting frustration..must be more careful

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inmyopinion 5 years, 10 months ago

hey everyone, let's just point the finger at everyone that has access to money and may have a vision for Steamboat. Developers wouldn't develop, builders wouldn't build, and heck bartenders wouldn't serve drinks if nobody was buying it. Maybe you should ridicule all the people out there who love Steamboat and decide to buy real estate here because of that. Hmmm I think that might apply to almost all of us non-natives here. Give me a break. If there is so much money to be made, why don't you go out and develop yourself? Heck, if I were able to qualify for multimillion dollar loans, you better believe I'd be doing the same.

I have said it once and I'll say it again, we live in a ski town everyone. Accept it and complain about how expensive it is, leave it, or accept it and do something to better your situation.

I am 30 yrs old and own a condo. But what I really want is to own a single family home. I will be able to have what I want if 360 comes to fruition. Oh, and I consider myself 'blue collar'.

But you know, maybe I'll just sit around and criticize and complain until somebody gives me one.

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cmducks 5 years, 10 months ago

I was raised in a ranching town, that had a minor skiing problem. Now a bunch of wealthy do-gooders, move in buy their piece, and try to prevent anyone else from moving here:..huh go figure

Lets try buying a beautiful "Green" Ranch, chop it up, trash the grass and trees, to put lots of "eco friendly" houses on them, that are 10,000 square feet and inhabited two weeks a year, and break our arm patting our selves on the back about them being leaders in the green movement::cough, cough marabou.

Better yet lets hoodwink this cowtown into running our water sewer, and plowing our streets only to jam 2000 vehicles there and then gripe because the bikes are crowded off the road. It ought to be easy to hitchhike to 7-11 because the cars will be backed up clear to steamboat 2, but you'd be better off walking.

Man-o-man once I buy one of those houses I am going to run for council to shut every other A-hole out of the valley, rather than just growing in moderation, lets propose a sim city style1000 houses, in two back to back subdivisions. That's twice the size of Milner and yet the massive infrastructure requirements aren't even in this argument yet::..huh go figure.

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elk2 5 years, 10 months ago

Vanguy, I didn't say free. Just saying why act like you are doing all this development as a service to the community,when it's just self serving.

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colowoodsman 5 years, 10 months ago

e-2, because that's the way the tourism people do it and they are winning!

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stillinsteamboat 5 years, 10 months ago

A wise person once said "the difference between a rich man and a poor man is, the poor man recognizes when he has ENOUGH"

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colowoodsman 5 years, 10 months ago

So that's why millions of people crowd into big cities-privacy! Duh!

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id04sp 5 years, 10 months ago

Three of the places I have lived in my life have been torn down and replaced by something "better." Another place went from being a peaceful subdivision to resting on the edge of a major commercial development and shopping mall area.

The only thing we can be sure of is that things are going to change. Even the house I started building in 1994, with only two neighbors on the same street, now has six neighbors on the same street and lots more nearby in the same development.

If you think that a young kid should be able to graduate from high school or college and move to a ski town to live on blue-collar wages, you're flirting with fantasy. How many kids around here have degrees in Art, Political Science, Philosophy, English, History, etc., which mainly served to stretch out the period during which they received parental support? More than you'd like to believe. And now they want housing they can afford based on a personal desire when they don't have job qualifications or job opportunities that will produce enough income to afford it in Steamboat Springs.

I don't think anyone would begrudge a working man or woman a decent place to live and raise their kids, but what says we have to provide that in the shadow of Mt. Werner? It's unrealistic. And, for those who have simply chosen to move to a ski town when they grew up without bringing the money, or a business, or having a job that will provide single family housing, we don't owe them a thing. If you were born here, that's one thing, but if you just decided to move in without thinking ahead, nobody owes you anything.

As I have often posted here, I chose to move more than 1000 miles away, work somewhere else for seven years, and do without the benefits (whatever they were supposed to be) of living in Routt County because of the very issues facing other working people; not enough income to provide for basic needs, including housing, from the jobs available here.

Maybe the difference is that I didn't leave town in defeat, but left with the plan that would allow me to come back. It's something that other people should consider, because hanging around waiting for things to get better just isn't going to work.

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ColoradoNative 5 years, 10 months ago

sigh

When is someone going to bring some MARKET RATE APARTMENTS to the table.

Is it that hard to understand that Affordable housing can mean affordable rentals close to town?

Young men and women working the mountain from New Zeland for a year or two aren't in the market for government subsidized homes. They want a nice place to live, close to town, that they can afford while they work here.

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housepoor 5 years, 10 months ago

Why not buy development rights from apt buildingmulti-family owners like we do with conservation easements?? Put rent control on them and give me 85% of my value and I can't tear it down and put up 2 McMansions for 20years.......

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colowoodsman 5 years, 10 months ago

So now we are supposed to cater to workers from New Zealand? We can't even house LOCAL workers. The problem is that EVERYONE wants a "nice place to live, close to town, that they can afford while they work here". Duh!!! What are foriegn workers even doing here "for a year or two'? I thought there were caps on their length of stay too just a few months?

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colowoodsman 5 years, 10 months ago

Really id-we can't find enough violins to keep up with all the heartbreak you are laying on us. What a terrible dilemma you are facing! You own two houses, one of which has increaesed four times in value and you can't decide which one to stay at? Are you putting us on or are you just gloatting? There is a new phenomenon in the US called the 'working homeless'. What do you suppose has led to the recent home mortgage crisis? Most workers just want a "level playing field', a fair wage and decent housing. What the H@!! is wrong with that?

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housepoor 5 years, 10 months ago

$600 per month? double that for a modest 800sqft 2dbrm

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colowoodsman 5 years, 10 months ago

id- it's impossible for YOU to understand that not everyone is motivated only by money or greed!

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id04sp 5 years, 10 months ago

Woody,

I understand that you don't want to leave town.

I don't have anything at all against working people. The fact is, however, that the playing field is not level, and I worked damn hard for what I have, gave up stuff along the way, and sacrificed a lot of the so-called benefits of living near Mt. Werner in order to have it.

How about 19-1/2 years in school, 12 years in the Navy, and 30 years of experience doing something that anybody could do if they put in the time to learn how instead of smoking dope and sliding down a snow-covered hill from age 12 to 30?

I have the things I have because I earned the money needed to have them. I bought what I could afford, not what I could buy. There's a difference.

This town does a very poor job of preparing kids to understand what real life means. We let them think everything will be okay, when that's the furthest thing from the truth. What's my proof? Exactly the problems you mentioned. Every one of them was foreseeable and avoidable on an individual basis by every person who got into those problems as a result of exercising their own free will. Some are hurt because of illness, crime, natural disasters and things beyond their control, but they are an extreme minority compared to most people who are impacted by the problems.

If you must know (as if you want to know), I was one of those "working homeless" people for a while over ten years ago, crashing on the couch at a relative's house and making $12.75/hr for three months working as a temp to save enough to get my own place and start life over while I was looking for a permanent job ANYWHERE. Mine just happened to pop up in California, and that's where I spent the next seven years. I know just exactly how it feels to lose everything, plus $20 grand, and make the long crawl back. As a matter of fact, I couldn't have afforded to live in DI even if there was a place to rent at that time. There was no job for me in town that would let me make enough money to stay, so I left.

I don't want or need anyone's sympathy, and as you point out, I've done okay for myself. It's just that people who think they are going to get some miraculous good deal on a place to live in a world-class ski resort town need to face reality and make some plans before they get run over.

Denver, Grand Junction, Glenwood Springs, SLC, and many other places within a couple of hundred miles have better housing and job opportunities for working people. Move there, work, save, and come stay in the KOA about once a month to keep up with what's happening in town. The current economic downturn is going to do the same thing that happened back in the 80s, and people will be unable to keep their second homes (particularly condos). Prices will come down as homes go into foreclosure because the owners can't pay. People will sell second homes to stay in the main home elsewhere.

It's a cycle, so work, save and get ready.

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id04sp 5 years, 10 months ago

housepoor,

Okay, so I make $108,000 from rent at $1200 per month for 20 units, but I still pay tax, a manager, maintenance, insurance, etc. Even at $1200 a month I'm still losing money over what I can get by investing the same money in a tax-free municipal bond, AND, I'm taking no risk with the bonds if I do it right.

I'm not trying to tell people not to invest in apartments in Steamboat. I'm just trying to help people understand why someone is not rushing to rescue them.

Woody,

If my world was all about greed, I would never have had to leave Steamboat. I'd have done all the illegal and unethical things everyone else did, and I'd be rich by now.

I understand that you are not greedy; you just want to be able to own a house in a high-priced resort town. Here's a tip; I can't afford a house in Steamboat either. If I sold my place for $500k, I couldn't replace it in the local market. It's all just funny money until escrow closes, and them I'm homeless unless I reinvest 100% AND get a mortgage to go with it. Such a deal.

The realtors, bankers and developers are not coming on the forums to tell the real truth. The City Council probably isn't capable of figuring it out for themselves, and none of them are going to come out and tell the truth because people won't like what they say.

I'm just a guy who's been through some of it, understands what it takes to build around here, and has nothing to lose by trying to help people understand the situation. You might notice that none of the so-called developers are rushing to claim that the new areas will replace Dream Island with comparably priced homes, will provide reasonable rental prices, and all that. They are all banking on selling to people who can bear the high prices. The rest of it is just putting a spin on their projects which are being undertaken for a PROFIT, and no other reason. They can't make a profit AND provide housing that most working people in Steamboat can afford living paycheck to paycheck.

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424now 5 years, 10 months ago

Dang id,

That last paragraph is the best reasoning I have heard from you in a long while.

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thecondoguy1 5 years, 10 months ago

I agree, id has posted moral as well as economic lessons, thanks for the good thinking....................

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dave reynolds 5 years, 10 months ago

right on id..i have my piece but feel for those who want to try to get thiers..things will be interesting the coming years

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