Marabou breaks $6 million | SteamboatToday.com

Marabou breaks $6 million

Luxury ranch preservation development has 28 'homestead lots' remaining

Construction crews have worked through the winter on the main lodge at Marabou, a luxury ranch preservation community overlooking the Elk River west of Steamboat Springs. The most expensive of the 6-acre home sites at Marabou is now listed at $6.25 million.

Building sites at one of the Yampa Valley’s estate ranch developments have gone back on the market, and the choicest of those “homesteads” now are priced at $6 million.

Developers of Marabou, an 1,880-acre ranchland preservation luxury subdivision west of Steamboat Springs, took 28 remaining 6.2-acre home sites off the market late in December 2006.

Partner Jeff Temple said the pace of demand for the lots coupled with the announcement of the sale of the Steamboat Ski Area to Intrawest/Fortress Investments, led him to call a timeout. He planned to take the holidays to reevaluate where the home sites fit into the local real estate market.

Temple said at the time that market factors would “trigger some price adjustments, it’s just a question of how much.”

John Hillenbrand, director of sales at Marabou Realty, said this week the developers did not impose an across-the board price increase on the remaining 28, six-acre-plus home sites. Instead, he said, the desirability of the parcels was taken into account, and price increases ranging from 5 to 20 percent were put in place.

The original range of prices began at $1.8 million and went up to $5 million. But that does not mean that lots that once sold for $1.8 million now cost $2.8 million. And there were one or two lots for which the price did not increase.

“The increases were based on proximity to the amenity buildings and (qualities such as) water views,” Hillenbrand said.

The developers have always said that as more and more lots sell, and amenity buildings come on line, prices would be adjusted, he added.

Marabou has already closed on the sale of one $5 million home site and the remaining sites in that range now cost $5.95 million and $6.25 million. Hillenbrand said those homesteads are in a meadow where a side channel of the Elk River will feed a series of ponds.

However, Marabou’s policy of returning an “incentive” to buyers means the net cost typically is less than the listed sale price. The partnership utilizes the incentive to adjust the price to the buyer as sales go forward, he said. There could be as many as five to seven more adjustments in the future.

Currently, Marabou has closed the sale of 17 home sites with an aggregate value of $40.4 million. Another seven lots are committed to the partners. Seven more have been put under contract with one closing scheduled in March. Two more of Marabou’s estates are on hold, and one contract has been sent out of the office for signature, Hillenbrand said.

Temple and partners Mark Hall and Jeff Jepson did not need to rely on early sales to help fund the construction phase, Hillenbrand said – financing already was in place.

“Really, those first buyers were buying a concept rather than a finished project,” Hillenbrand said.

The partners decided in early January to spend the extra money to push ahead through the winter with road construction and amenity buildings. The amenity buildings include cabins for the use of owners who won’t build permanent homes until sometime in the future. There also are a main lodge, fitness center, movie theater and outdoor swimming pool, among other facilities.

Construction crews for TCD have completed the first of the cabins, with more under construction. The main lodge, resembling a large barn, is on pace to be finished as early as June, Hillenbrand said. The weatherproof membrane on the roof is already in place.

– To reach Tom Ross, call 871-4205

or e-mail tross@steamboatpilot.com