Despite the constant patter of rain outside, workers continued to piece together the structure overlooking the Blue River Basin below. The 3,400 square-foot home is currently the largest floor plan for one of Silverthorne’s newest developments, Summit Sky Ranch.
As approvals for each phase of development roll in, construction is already underway for the homes, which are rapidly selling. Developer Tom Everist, also known as the owner of local construction company Everist Materials, said they had already sold 54 homes since pre-sales opened last fall.
“It’s going much faster than anything we could have hoped for,” Everist said. “We are very excited with where we’re at.”
Phase two of the development was already partially sold when Silverthorne town councilmembers stuck their shovels into the mud for the groundbreaking on Friday. The town’s most recent approval, the development’s clubhouse known as the “Aspen House,” brought forth a preliminary picture of how Summit Sky Ranch will function.
The 416-acre development will host 240 units, divided into smaller cabins and single-family homes ranging from 1600 to 3,400 square feet. The plan also includes a handful of “estate lots,” where consumers may purchase a large parcel of land in the area and build the home of their choice.
More than half of the development is reserved as open space, preserving streams running through the area from the Eagles’ Nest Wilderness and allowing some privacy between each site, project development director Joanna Hopkins said.
“We have open space woven throughout,” she said. “The land really dictated where the houses should go.”
Senior vice president of sales Tricia Hyon said about a quarter of the buyers included individuals who already own a home in Summit County.
“A lot of property owners in Breckenridge want to move down,” she said. “It’s to be in a place where they have a little more breathing room — a little more space”
Another one of they buyers includes the lead architect for the development. Just a handful of properties remain unsold for phase two.
“We’re well ahead of what we expected or planned for,” Hyon said. “Everyone’s been working hard to make sure we can get them all built.”
Local architects Tim Crane with Compass Homes Development and Mark Hogan with Bhh Partners will spearhead the development. The mountain-modern style homes feature rustic materials, with lots of windows and glass.
“It’s fun for me to be involved and watch this community develop,” Everist said, noting the recent developments and plans for the Lake Dillon Theatre Company to move downtown had created “a lot of buzz” around Silverthorne.
“We’re promoting the town as much as were promoting our own development,” he added.
FROM PITS TO PEAKS
It all started with a pit. To be specific: The Everist family was introduced to the town of Silverthorne before it was officially incorporated in 1967 through the gravel mining business, which was booming with the construction of the Eisenhower/Johnson Memorial Tunnel.
Everist said his family moved out in 1965, working a portable plant on a contract basis to help provide aggregates for the construction of the tunnel. Many of the existing ponds in the Lower Blue River Basin are former gravel pits.
“It didn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out the tunnel would bring in more development,” Everist said.
Everist came upon the site of South Maryland Creek Ranch, now known as Summit Sky Ranch, when he purchased 1,000 acres of land in 1995. The purchase was made with plans for gravel mining, but Everist noticed the south end of the property was a good location for development.
“The original plan was 82 mega-houses on mega lots,” he said. “We stopped in 2007, rethought it and analyzed what the market really wanted.”
He determined both millennials and baby boomers preferred smaller, more sustainable homes.
“The era of McMansions, our owners have very little interest,” Hyon said. “We don’t really hear people asking for that anymore.”
“I first saw it at the planning commission,” Silverthorne Councilwoman JoAnne Nadalin said. “I think Maryland Creek has been a great group of people for us to work with as a town. They’ve done everything we’ve asked for in terms of infrastructure.”
With the most recent approval, features for the Aspen House will include an observatory open to astronomy graduate students around the country, a screen for the public to view sights displayed through the telescope, a pool, community garden and kitchen.
The development will go before Silverthorne Town Council again Wednesday evening, with a proposal for the town to consider annexing 35.8 acres of the land, owned by the developer, to build 18 cabin-style homes. Council will also consider a replat of the Cabins at Angler Mountain Ranch for four cabins which are currently under construction.
“Maryland Creek, from the sales numbers, is showing they’ve got a product people are interested in,” Nadalin said. “Certainly, it’s exciting for Silverthorne to see so much interest in property in the town.”