Plans to redevelop this lot at the corner of Skyview Lane and Whistler Road into a two-building, 36-unit rental apartment complex have entered the city planning process.

Photo by Tom Ross

Plans to redevelop this lot at the corner of Skyview Lane and Whistler Road into a two-building, 36-unit rental apartment complex have entered the city planning process.

36-unit Steamboat apartment complex planned near Whistler Road

Developer: 2 buildings to include 1- and 2-bedroom units

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— The principal in a large northern Front Range housing development company confirmed Thursday his plans to develop 36 one- and two-bedroom rental apartments at Whistler Road and Skyview Lane near the base of Steamboat Ski Area.

“The people we’ve talked to in Steamboat have told us that there haven’t been any new one-bedroom apartments built there in 10 to 15 years,” Paul Brinkman said. “Our goal is to cater to working professionals, teachers, nurses, ski resort professionals and people working in marketing and finance.”

He’s optimistic that employees at the proposed Casey’s Pond Senior Living campus would be likely tenants for his apartments.

Brinkman, who moved his family to Steamboat Springs in summer 2010, runs Brinkman Partners LLC, which recently completed a 60,000-square-foot student housing project in Fort Collins and is working on another in Boulder. He shuttles between Steamboat and Fort Collins on business every week.

The $9 million Flats at the Oval opened at Laurel and Howes streets across from the Colorado State University campus in late summer 2010 with more than 40 units, a pizza restaurant and a coffee shop.

Brinkman’s firm has entered the city planning process with plans for two three-story, 18-unit apartment buildings on a site now occupied by a small brick building that originally was intended for a convenience store but has historically been used for offices. A limited liability company created by Brinkman bought the site for $607,888 in May. The two apartment buildings would be perpendicular to each other on a triangle-shaped lot.

Brinkman said his company is involved in hundreds of rental units on the Front Range. Brinkman Partners employs 15 pros accredited in Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, and Skyview Apartments would be built to Green Globes standards (different from LEED), he said.

City Planner Jason Peasley said the technical advisory committee that looks at the site plan and infrastructure requirements of new developments would assemble early this week to put together a report for Brinkman’s team.

Brinkman said his integrated real estate company is unusual in Colorado in that it is a full-service development, construction management, construction, property management and real estate firm.

“About the only thing we don’t do in house is design,” he said.

However, he quickly added that he has made acquaintances in the construction trades in Steamboat and that most of the subcontractors on his project would be local.

Skyview would comprise 30,430 square feet of net residential space in 33,500 total square feet with a mix of one-bedroom, 693-square-foot and two-bedroom, 979-square-foot apartments as well as a limited number of two-bedroom, 1,313-square-foot units.

Brinkman said the two-bedroom units would have two full baths, including a large master bath. Interior finishes likely will be upgraded to include granite kitchen countertops and hardwood kitchen cabinets, for example.

Conditions are favorable for apartment development and management on Colorado’s Front Range with vacancy rates at 10- to 15-year lows and below 3 percent while rents are increasing dramatically, Brinkman said.

“There are three things driving our desire to develop in Steamboat,” he said. “First, the economic crisis has changed people’s ability to buy homes due to limited cash for down payments and credit issues.”

Second, Brinkman observed that condominium prices here have dropped so dramatically that a whole new group of second-home buyers is acquiring condos and taking rental inventory out of the market.

“You’ll see more units come off the rental market as people continue to buy,” he said.

The recent U.S. Census indicates that Steamboat will continue to grow, Brinkman said. At least as significant are growth projections in northern Front Range cities such as Loveland, Fort Collins and Laramie, Wyo. Many of those new arrivals will be people from farther south on the Front Range who were formerly in the habit of skiing in Summit County, he said. Given the difficulty of driving Interstate 70 on winter weekends, and their new proximity to Steamboat via Cameron Pass, he thinks more people will look for vacation homes here.

Based on assumptions about the percentage of new northern Front Range residents who will shop for real estate in a ski town, he thinks it’s possible that demographics will drive demand for 400 to 500 new housing units here.

— To reach Tom Ross, call 970-871-4205 or e-mail tross@SteamboatToday.com

Comments

greenwash 3 years, 9 months ago

NICE !!! Private enterprise building apartments....Suddenly YVHA Elk River site is looking more and more like a foreclosure is in order.Walk from it now.

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Steve Lewis 3 years, 9 months ago

Actually, this project makes the opposite case about rental housing demand, with a perceived future demand.

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Fred Duckels 3 years, 9 months ago

Steve Steve, As I have long advocated, if our wannabee visionaries would get out of AH, this will give the private sector the opportunity to fill the need. Now the key is not to burden this project with trinkets, in order to give your government touch, to the idea of others. You might review the Soviet experiment to get some perspective here. With a little faith things will work out just fine, the taxpayers no not need another prodigal son. Developers lie awake at night trying to get an edge on filling a need and their devotion exceeds that of government exponentially. See you in church!

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Scott Wedel 3 years, 9 months ago

Hmm, so this guy that knows what he is doing buys a $600K lot to put 36 apartments close to the mountain.

What does this say about YVHA that paid $2M for a lot along 129 and still doesn't know what to do with the lot?

Planning should put a special condition on this project. That it's approval is dependent upon Mr Brinkman joining the YVHA board and teaching YVHA about housing, markets and risk assessment. Oh wait, that is said in jest. Planning is so messed up on constitutional rights that they might take that seriously and try to force Mr Brinkman into indentured servitude.

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Steve Lewis 3 years, 9 months ago

It says you'll win an argument that YVHA paid too much.

All one can add is they were applying the prevailing conventional wisdom of the boom. I think their pro-forma was overly optimistic, even in the boom. But to be fair we also see One Steamboat Place, Steamboat 700 and many others also paid too much, applying the same "wisdom". Imagine today's attempts for bonding the financing for the infrastructure SB700 was promised. Its good the citizens were smart enough to say no.

I don't see overpriced housing, rental or ownership, as a pending issue for Steamboat. But its good to see someone can pencil local parcel values into a profit.

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Scott Wedel 3 years, 9 months ago

Steve, But the ESSENTIAL DIFFERENCE between YVHA and every other private developer is that private developers put capital at risk and they (and their lenders) can go broke if they get it wrong, but YVHA is ultimately backed by the taxpayer and the taxpayer is now being asked to give additional funding to YVHA to make up for the mistake.

So your point that private developers are in distress because their investments have gone bad is a clear example of why YVHA cannot act like a private developer.

Also, since the YVHA parcel is also for sale and this developer bought a parcel different in every way, it suggests to me that the guy in this business sees things greatly different than YVHA.

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Steve Lewis 3 years, 9 months ago

Scott, Your interpretation is that government should not develop. At the same time you wouldn't argue against infrastructure investment like the interstate highway. It comes down to one's perception of "infrastructure". The ski corp will own employee housing and consider it infrastructure... but a city cannot?

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Scott Wedel 3 years, 9 months ago

Steve, The City can run whatever business it wants to run. It can run a restaurant, ski hill or whatever.

The question is whether government SHOULD be a real estate developer.

It is just silly to compare developing housing to building highways. Highways are shared resources benefiting everyone that need the power of government to allow building efficient routes. There is also no free market where highways are bought and sold so highway development is not a free market with competition. So maybe the state is not going to make money by widening hwy 131, but it is not as if hwy 131 is going to go bankrupt because Duckels built a superior competing highway.

Is Ski Corp a government entity guaranteed by taxpayers? No, so if it makes bad business decisions (or it could even be well run as it's business sector declines) then their investors and lenders can lose their money.

Is YVHA a government entity backed by taxpayers? Yes, via City and County agreement. So now after they've made bad business decisions then they ask for a property tax increase. If that is turned down then City and County have to deal with it. The taxpayers cannot escape having their tax dollars being used to pay for YVHA's bad risk taking.

There is no shortage of SB real estate developers so there is absolutely no justification for government to needing to become a developer. The only advantage government has as a real estate developer is that they are supported by the taxpayer and so can borrow at lower costs because their is no risk to the lender. Government has the disadvantages of not being disciplined by the free market to be efficient and perceptive of customer preferences.

So SHOULD government be in the real estate development business? Not if you care about how your tax dollars are used and if you dislike paying higher taxes when government makes business mistakes.

So anyway, you'd support a bumper sticker like "Vote Yes so YVHA can be like real estate developers One Steamboat and SB 700"?

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1999 3 years, 9 months ago

this is the kind of affordable housing I can support.

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mtntrekker 3 years, 9 months ago

“Our goal is to cater to working professionals, teachers, nurses, ski resort professionals and people working in marketing and finance.”

What about the people who make $15/hour at city market? The gas stations? As long as some of the units are affordable (under $150K). Doesn't the city have a stipulation that if you build condos some of them have to be deed restricted to YVHA, like they did at Wildhorse? I would like to see the price tags for these units. As long as they use locals to build it.

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Steve Lewis 3 years, 9 months ago

trekker, The stipulation you refer to died in 2008 when that ordinance was revamped.

I believe First Tracks at Wildhorse Meadows approached the City after the market crash and reversed their deed restrictions to sell at free market prices. Seemed fair to me. An AH advocate during the boom, I couldn't support our effort causing serious harm to the developer. Particularly when the future seems to be a buyer's market.

When you hear "granite counter tops", you should expect this development will be midrange or higher rental. There are plenty of affordable units out there right now, though I can't speak for your access to a loan.

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sledneck 3 years, 9 months ago

Geez. Here we go again!

"As long as some of the units are affordable..." and have free cable, water, electricity and a ski lift at the front door and, and, and...

"What about the people who make $15 / hr..." ?????? Seriously??? Why does anyone making $15 / hr think they should live in a new apartment at the base of a world-class ski area????????? perhaps MMJ?! Ran out of weed and now doing bong-hits of Marx's Communist Manifesto? Except Marx would forbid skiing... too much work to do; must not have smoked that chapter yet...

Ding-dong the stipulation's dead, the wicked stipulation's dead!

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housepoor 3 years, 9 months ago

At least in the mid near term I do not see this as favorable time to be a landlord. Rents are down 25-35% across the board. The only units being removed from the long term rental pool are bank owned and as the prices keep falling for lower end condo units I would suspect it would make sense to some investors to buy for the potential income which will increase the inventory. 2bdrm lower end condos are getting pretty close to 100K. But hey I wish them luck.

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1999 3 years, 9 months ago

I agree with you sled.

perhaps people making 15$ per/hr and less should not buy/rent a house at the base of the ski area.

jeez people

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Steve Lewis 3 years, 9 months ago

Scott, My YVHA bumper sticker would read “we asked them to do it for us”.

You say: The ESSENTIAL DIFFERENCE between YVHA and every other private developer is that private developers put capital at risk and they (and their lenders) can go broke if they get it wrong, but YVHA is ultimately backed by the taxpayer and the taxpayer is now being asked to give additional funding to YVHA to make up for the mistake.

And I say: The ESSENTIAL DIFFERENCE between YVHA and any private developer is that private developers are trying to make a nice profit, while YVHA was trying to fulfill a community mission.

You may disagree with both the county and city governments' agreed mission for YVHA, which included building housing, but when you label these community infrastructure goals as "real estate development" you insist on a frame that doesn’t fit. YVHA was doing the bidding of the community to build affordable housing - infrastructure. Its easy to complain about bailing out profit seekers. Much different to complain about bailing out a community's stated mission. Your argument should acknowledge the latter.

There are good arguments against the YVHA proposed tax. But these arguments shouldn’t pretend we never sent YVHA on this mission.

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Scott Wedel 3 years, 9 months ago

Steve, Well, maybe I'd put your bumper sticker above one saying "Won't get fooled again!".

As I have said before, I am not opposed to YVHA providing community benefit, I am opposed to YVHA risk taking. Their risk taking has crippled their ability to serve the community. That should be a lesson that they should never take risks that could put the whole YVHA at risk.

Maybe you think you sent YVHA on the mission to make a speculative land purchase. I certainly did not.

I found a link to the appraisal for that lot for the YVHA. Incredibly, it is compared against 5 properties that were currently for sale and one property that sold. What sort of real estate developer primarily looks at the prices of properties that are for sale?

They should act like cautious financiers using their resources to bridge the gap between some deserving buyers and the free market. Maybe they could work a deal with Mr Brinkman for guaranteed 100% occupancy of a few units (from their long waiting list) for a modest amount of money. But this is also where government goes so wrong by becoming intoxicated by one situation (ie Iron Horse), so any such deal should be something that is also made available to other property owners in search of the best deal.

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exduffer 3 years, 9 months ago

Maybe we should ask the people of Chicago how Cabrini Green worked for them.

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Fred Duckels 3 years, 9 months ago

Steve, We asked the 700 to participate in our plan and I noticed that you did your best to axe their project. They weren't given the chance to fail. The AH buffs like to spend the money of others, or supervise the private sector when they risk their money. In the future we need to limit AH to those with more than an agenda in the game.Many seem to have learned a lesson, but you seem determined to go down with the ship.

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Steve Lewis 3 years, 9 months ago

Fred, Do you read? If you scroll above your comment, you can read my support for reversing a developer's agreed AH deed restrictions that might hurt the developer, after the bust.

My future AH agenda doesn't exist. I've posted several times, adjacent to your own comments, that I do not see a pending need for affordable housing.

I support the YVHA tax because their existing debt stems from pre-recession work we asked them to do (I'll post that part of the Inter Governmental Agreement between YVHA, the City, and the County).

I did my best to understand SB700. Read each draft of the agreements and attended a lot of Centennial Hall meetings. In my opinion its a good thing for Steamboat that annexation was reversed.

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Steve Lewis 3 years, 9 months ago

Scott, No, you didn't send YVHA on an errand of building things. I didn't either. But our County and City did. Their Inter Governmental Agreement with YVHA reads:

"It is the purpose of the Authority to effect the planning, financing, acquisition, construction, reconstruction or repair, maintenance, management, and operation of housing projects or programs pursuant to a multijurisdictional plan in order to provide dwelling accommodations at rental prices or purchase prices within the means of families of low or moderate income living within the jurisdiction of the Authority, and to provide affordable housing projects or programs for employees of employers located within the jurisdiction of the Authority."

So I will vote according to my bumper sticker: "we asked them to do it for us".

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jerry carlton 3 years, 9 months ago

No new taxes for anything! My property tax increased 93% between 2000 and 2010. My income increased 49%. Look at your own figures before you vote for any kind of a tax increase.

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housepoor 3 years, 9 months ago

Jerry it is based on you home value not your income??

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Scott Wedel 3 years, 9 months ago

Steve, Yeah, they were given a mission statement to do anything related to housing and proceeded to speculate on a land purchase and have destroyed the financial situation of their agency.

I say "speculated" because their plans on how they going to be able to build affordable units, included selling off some of the land/project to private developers.

Since YVHA have failed to demonstrate they have realized the fundamental error of taking risks that put the entire agency at risk and they have yet to come up with a viable plan for dealing with the parcel and their financial situation other than asking for a tax to postpone the hard decisions, I will vote according to "Won't get fooled again!".

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jerry carlton 3 years, 9 months ago

House-poor. I know that. I am illustrating how much the property taxes In this county exceeded my increase in income. I am trying to get someone in this county to quit voting for tax increases like the new library. Look at your numbers and see if your income kept up with your property tax increases. If it did, congratulations. I doubt that many people that work for wages got a 93% salary increase in the last 10 years. Most of our home values have dropped 40 to 50%. I bet we will be lucky to see our property taxes decrease 10% next year.

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Fred Duckels 3 years, 9 months ago

Our AH woes are definitely in the orphan category, no one saw anythig. I argued long and hard with inwilling listeners about this folly, but now it seems that I was preaching to the choir.

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