Steamboat Springs Jerry and Shelley Stanford, together with their business associates, are trying to take the brain damage out of developing a golf course lot in Steamboat Springs.
Jerry Stanford, with David Vandervelde, is a partner in VGS Enterprises, which has recently released the 17 building lots at Graystone on the Green subdivision to the market. Conveniently, Shelley Stanford, with her colleague Sharon Beaupre at Colorado Group Realty, is the listing agent for the lots. Both are broker owners.
However, the Stanfords are willing to take it a step further after retaining KSA Architects to complete construction drawings for four homes that are assured of flying through the design review process at Graystone. Jerry Stanford, through his contracting firm, Colorado Joint Ventures, would be happy to follow through and complete the homes on behalf of the buyers of building lots.
Families who buy luxury home lots in the Steamboat market often are years away from realizing their ambitions of a vacation home here. The Stanfords say they can expedite the process.
"The architectural and structural drawings are completed," Jerry said. "The sites are very flat and buildable, and we could be ready to go. We would be willing to tweak the plans to suit buyers needs."
Perhaps in recognition of a stagnant real estate market at the end of 2008, they are willing to include the completed drawings in the purchase price for the buyers of the first four lots.
Those buyers could choose to build with Colorado Joint Ventures, or not, Jerry said. The plans still come with the lots. And all 17 lots at Graystone on the Green include the $35,000 membership at Rollinstone Ranch Golf Course.
Bottom line, VGS is developing a subdivision, not a complete neighborhood of custom homes. However, Stanford's company is prepared to contract to build homes in Graystone and shorten the process for buyers.
They have taken the additional step of pre-arranging financing at Vectra Bank Colorado. The terms can be customized to adapt to customers' construction schedules.
Shelley Stanford has come up with a play on words to describe the marketing pitch that goes something like this: "You can make a hole-in-one on the golf course, we're offering a home in one."
Signs of a thaw
Stanford and Vandervelde have previously developed 18 homes in a subdivision in Steamboat, with tight design controls at Angler's Retreat. The process taught them a few things about persevering in a slumping market.
"We launched Angler's Retreat in August 2001," Stanford said. "Things turned out fine."
Angler's Retreat created homes in a European cottage style no larger than 3,000 square feet. Once the local market rebounded from 9/11, VGS enterprises enjoyed steady sales.
The two partners purchased the 11.3-acre site for Graystone from the owners of the Sheraton Steamboat Resort for $5.1 million in the summer of 2007. In the interim, the name of the golf course has been re-branded from Sheraton to Rollingstone Ranch. And the subdivision developers have built a new entrance to the golf (and Nordic skiing) clubhouse from Steamboat Boulevard.
The former Clubhouse Drive entrance now leads directly to Clubhouse Circle and the home sites in Graystone. Design guidelines for Graystone call for the same post-and-beam flair of Angler's, Stanford said, but the architecture will move the homes away from the European cottage look to a craftsman style.
Shelley Stanford is optimistic that the local real estate market is showing signs of a thaw even as winter sets in. However, she said one of the challenges of marketing building lots is that unlike the case of selling a completed home, it's difficult to know when other Realtors have shown the property and who the prospective clients are. Other Realtors don't have to obtain the keys to take clients through a subdivision.
As a condition of the subdivision approval, the city of Steamboat Springs has required that homes at Graystone on the Green be no larger than 4,000 square feet. The architectural plans prepared by the Stanfords show three-story homes - with walk-outs and walk-ups - that have four bedrooms.
The lots themselves, elevated above the golf course, offer views of Sleeping Giant, Emerald Mountain, the south valley and Steamboat Ski Area. Sizes begin at 0.25 acres and continue up to 1.05, although most are in the range of 0.3 to 0.4 acres. They are within a short walk of the golf clubhouse and Nordic skiing trails. Prices begin at $799,000 and vary into the $900s, with the most expensive priced at nearly $1.08 million.
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