Steamboat developer poised to launch pair of spec homes |

Steamboat developer poised to launch pair of spec homes

— Veteran California-based Steamboat Springs developer Charlie Sher has done what no one else has been able or dared to do this year.

Sher has pulled building permits for a pair of spec homes on adjacent lots in Old Town Steamboat Springs and is preparing to begin construction.

"I think I have a little niche market in the downtown where there are new condos but very few homes that are new construction," Sher said. "There are buyers in the market who do want to come to Steamboat."

He has retained Vic Pappas, of Pappas Builders, as his general contractor for a pair of 2,400-square-foot homes, one at 642 Grand St. and the other at 152 Park St., close to Soda Creek Elementary School.

Architect Ed Becker and design associate Chancie Keenan, of Mountain Architecture Design Group, designed the homes.

Becker said Sher is positioning himself to deliver product currently in short supply by summer 2012 when demand could be on the rise.

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"Charlie is pretty astute," Becker said. "We've done a lot of things with him. He's looking a year ahead."

Sher said he has owned the two lots (four original town of Steamboat lots) for several years and recently demolished an existing home on the site. Each of the new lots comprises 6,000 square feet, or 0.14 acres.

"My program is to build homes that would work for families of any age — a retired couple or a couple with kids," Sher said. "They're two stories, have two-car garages and the option of having an office or a fourth bedroom. We want the homes to feel comfortable in Old Town."

Becker said the two homes share common design elements, but are distinctly different from each other in rooflines and floor plans.

"We took a tour around the older neighborhoods in town and borrowed some of the elements," Becker said. He described the architecture loosely as western influenced Victorian.

"There are exposed timber tails, windows with mullions in them (and multiple panes of glass) and porch columns," he said.

Building the homes at the same time offers economy of scale and removes the possible deterrent some buyers might perceive if the lot next door is slated to become a construction site, Becker said.

By building the homes simultaneously, Pappas and his subcontractors can stagger the work on the two homes, essentially on one site.

The building permit valuations for each house are $426,760, which isn't the same thing as the cost of construction. He said that it's a little early to talk about price but that his target is to bring them to market in the high $900,000 to low $1 million range.

Sher said private investment funds are behind the two spec homes. He has no immediate plans to list the homes for sale.

To reach Tom Ross, call 970-871-4205 or email

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