STEAMBOAT SPRINGS — Buyers who invested in the planned Trailside Village condo project got disappointing news last week when developers announced they are suspending plans to build the 46-unit complex on the west side of U.S. Highway 40 south of Walgreens.
“We pressed pause on it,” project manager Jody Corey said. “We alerted the buyers last week that we are not going to move forward with the project in its original plan. We had to call them up and release them of their contracts and return their earnest money.”
Corey said rising construction prices forced developers to put the project on hold. Trailside Village had accepted pre-construction contracts for one-, two- and three-bedroom units ranging in price from $269,000 to $559,000. Most of the units were planned to have a carport and a garage.
“When we originally had it priced, the construction costs went up over 20% from early last winter until we got the final numbers revised about two weeks ago,” Corey said. “With that 20% increase, unfortunately, it’s just not viable for us to take that kind of risk. We had 16 units under contract out of 46, and I didn’t think we could raise the prices on the remaining units to cover the additional increases in the construction costs.”
Corey said rising construction costs in Steamboat Springs have become an issue for everything from large projects like Trailside Village to those looking to buy a piece of property and build their own single-family home.
“There is a problem throughout Steamboat. The construction costs in town are really high, and that is attributed to a few different reasons,” Corey said. “Our pool of contractors and laborers is really small, and that is definitely compounded by the issue of the lack of affordable housing. There is going to be a snowball effect if we can’t figure out the lower to midrange housing here.”
She said trade issues also contributed to the problem.
“Building materials are really high right now whether that is wood from Canada or items from China,” Corey said.
In this case, those factors combined and forced the developers to take a new look at the project. She said the developers will analyze the issues and form a new plan going forward.
“I’m going to work with the consultants on seeing if we can rework the site and the phasing of the construction a little differently,” Corey said. “I imagine we would keep the idea of the project and the style of the project along the same line but see if we can sort of rejig it a little bit, reposition some of the buildings or adjust the phasing on it to achieve some savings in the construction.”
Unfortunately, that most likely will mean heading back to the starting point and going through the city planning process and back to Steamboat Springs City Council.
“We were ready to submit a building permit on May 1,” Corey said. “We were definitely moving forward, and we felt good about the interest level, so this is a little disappointing. We had two first-time homebuyers that were under contract to buy here. We had over 50 percent of local people. It’s unfortunate because we kind of think this project was filling the need for either entry-level housing or people who were moving up.”
Corey said Trailside Village offered something different.
“This was a really nice option for people who wanted new finishes, modern floor plans and really low HOA dues,” Corey said. “Anybody that is shopping now is looking at something that is 15 years old at best, and most are about 30 or 40 years old.”