Steamboat’s Clock Tower Square to go to auction
Online sale will include Xanadu condominiums
July 1, 2010
Steamboat Springs — A Denver company has included Clock Tower Square and the adjacent Xanadu condominiums at the base of Steamboat Ski Area among $60 million in lender-owned property and debt to be auctioned online Aug. 3 through 5.
Marcus and Millichap Real Estate Investment Services has listed the properties for the sale.
As recently as 2009, the owners of the two properties had hopes of building a large luxury condominium project at the site.
Jamie Temple, of Steamboat Springs, the primary investor in the project, confirmed that lender Mile High Banks reclaimed the properties in foreclosure this spring.
"When you're in the development business, you keep going until you can't go anymore," Temple said.
Marcus and Millichap's Jake Steele said Wednesday that the Clock Tower/Xanadu package (they will not be separated for auction purposes) is one of just 60 assets statewide that are included in the auction and are among the most attractive ski town properties in the group.
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The bank-owned Steamboat properties appraised at more than $10 million within the past six months, Steele said. He said the minimum bid is $3.8 million, and there is an undisclosed reserve price that is higher, representing the lowest price the bank would accept.
St. Cloud would have consisted of 201 condominiums and amenities such as a spa, with 49,000 square feet of commercial space. It had undergone a preliminary review by the Steamboat Springs Planning Department in 2008.
The project would have comprised 781,339 square feet.
In addition to Temple, a partner in the successful Storm Mountain Ranch development, Colgate Holmes, the founding partner and former president of Ritz-Carlton Hotel and a former president of Hyatt International, was a principal in St. Cloud.
At one time, Temple and Holmes had a letter of intent in place with Steamboat Ski and Resort Corp./Intrawest to acquire the adjacent parking structure to accommodate St. Cloud. The parking structure is not a part of the auction.
Temple and Holmes listed the land and buildings for sale at $15 million in 2009, indicating a preference for a new joint venture partner. Records at the Routt County Assessor's website confirm that Ski Time LLC paid $2.8 million for the eight older condos and land at Xanadu in March 2006, and a second entity, Westboat LLC Development, bought the Clock Tower property for $3.05 million in May 2006.
"With hindsight, there would have been several stopping points along the way" that would have suggested halting the development process, Temple said. "Everything was going full speed, and we were anticipating there would be a market and buyers. There were points — buying the land and the city process — but none of us could see it. Hindsight is 20-20."
The situation in Steamboat was further clouded by the reality that the national real estate downturn had begun in 2005, but the market here remained robust through 2006 and 2007 and was in relatively moderate decline through the first half of 2008, Temple added.
Some local developers, himself included, were intent in 2006 and 2007 on tracking Steamboat's progress against the escalating prices per square foot being paid in Vail and Aspen for resort condominiums, Temple said. It wasn't that they expected to reach parity with those markets, but instead that they expected Steamboat prices to follow behind, he said.
Temple cited the Residences at Little Nell in Aspen, where some timeshare sales were working out to almost $6,000 per square foot. He wasn't expecting a match, Temple said, but anticipating that whole-ownership condos here might go higher than $1,500 per square foot.
Prices for one-eighth shares in four-bedroom condos at Little Nell started at $1.25 million and went up to $4 million. Spread among three- and four-bedroom units, the project had 208 shares to sell. The four-bedroom units sold out, according to Luxist.com. Real estate transaction reports at The Aspen Times confirm the general price range.
"We were starting to see Steamboat coming into its own, but it was always a bubble," Temple said. "We thought it wouldn't stop, but it did stop."
Temple said the foreclosure and auction of the former St. Cloud development site should not be confused with a separate business with a similar name, the nearby St. Cloud Mountain Club in Torian Plum Plaza. The St. Cloud Club is well financed, he said.
"The St. Cloud Mountain Club is in no danger," Temple said. "It's a wonderful club, and our members enjoy it."
Steele said interested bidders could register for the auction at http://commercialbid.com and begin their diligence.
A refundable deposit of $10,000 is required to bid, and a successful bidder would be required to put down an additional deposit and be required to close on the transaction within 25 days.