Thursday, February 28, 2019

Town of Breckenridge aims to buy U.S. Bank building to complement new parking garage


As they close in on a lease with Vail Resorts that would allow Breckenridge to build its long-awaited parking garage on the South Gondola Lot, town officials have sights set on another property: the Breckenridge Professional Building.
 The building sits sandwiched between town hall to the east and another town-owned parcel to the west. The back of the property butts up against the South Gondola Lot.
The town and Vail Resorts, which owns Breckenridge Ski Resort, have agreed to a term sheet and are in the final stages of formalizing a ground lease for the South Gondola Lot. Town officials see securing the nearby Breckenridge Professional Building as a necessary, strategic purchase for the parking garage. 
A resolution passed unanimously Tuesday night by Breckenridge Town Council instructs town staff to do everything in their power to negotiate a mutually beneficial deal to buy the property. Should the town and landowner be unable to reach such an agreement, the resolution authorizes the town to begin the proceedings to seize the property.
“We’ve been negotiating with the owners of the Breckenridge Professional Building next door and we are making progress,” the town’s attorney, Tim Berry, told council members during Tuesday’s meeting. “This ordinance is sort of the next step in the process. It declares that if we’re unable to get to an agreement, council is prepared to condemn the property and acquire it by eminent domain.” 
Town manager Rick Holman said the town isn’t planning to demo the building or kick anyone out, nor does Breckenridge really want to get into the business of leasing office space. Currently, the town is planning to honor all existing leases.
Rather, the building comes with parking easements tied to town-owned land, and sitting right next door to where Breckenridge intends to build the parking garage, the property will almost certainly play a critical role in pedestrian access to the new parking structure and downtown walkability. 
“If we own that (property), we can get in there, really improve it and create a nice pathway that invites people into the core of town,” Holman said, adding that with the parking easements assigned to the building, the town can’t control those easements unless it owns the building.
Councilwoman Wendy Wolfe was recused from any matters involving the potential property acquisition, as her husband, Jack Wolfe, works as a real estate agent at LIV Sotheby’s International Reality and is negotiating a potential deal on behalf of the town.
Reached over the phone Wednesday, the owner said he wasn’t too keen on the idea of selling the commercial building when the town first reached out to him, but he understands the town’s position, nonetheless. 
Ed Bello owns a Hawaii-based real estate company, Bello Realty, along with a handful of Breckenridge properties, including the building at 130 Ski Hill Road that houses the U.S. Bank beside town hall. 
Records show he purchased the Breckenridge Professional Building, occupied entirely by commercial assets and office space, in April 2016 for $3.1 million. Bello said the building was in bad shape when he got it and he has spent a significant amount of money bringing it up to standard. With the improvements, Bello added, the building is now fully leased.
“I wasn’t particularly interested in selling it,” he said. “I didn’t buy it that long ago and I had in mind keeping it awhile.”
Bello said he knows the town is looking to build a parking garage and, because of his longstanding involvement in town, he’s looking at the scenario as both the owner of the building and as a town resident.
“Whatever happens with this thing, I pay a lot of taxes there (in Breckenridge), so I guess I’ll be helping buy it from myself,” Bello said. “I don’t really want to sell it, but I understand in the long term (town officials) have their reasons to do this.”
Courtesy Summit Daily

Wednesday, February 27, 2019

Listing a Home in Early May Will Bring in the Big Bucks


Homes listed in the first two weeks of May earn $1,600 more on average, and sell nearly a week faster. 

Buyers emerge from winter hibernation mode in the spring to shop for homes, but builders may be leaving money on the table if they list the home in the wrong week of spring selling season.
According to new data from Zillow, the first two weeks of May is the best time to list, with homes selling for a $1,600 premium, and six days faster. In 19 of the 35 largest metros, the best month to sell for the biggest sales premium is May.

Of course, the best time to list a home varies by market, and in some cases the difference is dramatic—in Pittsburgh, the listing sweet spot is the second half of March, while a handful of markets in Texas, Florida, and Las Vegas don't hit the prime listing time until the first two weeks of July.

The biggest premium for timing a listing is in Minneapolis, where homes listed in the first half of May sold for a 1.8% premium—an extra $4,900 on the sale. Sellers in Austin and Miami, on the other hand, saw the smallest sales premiums of only 0.5%, or about $1,400.

The listing window also impacted how quickly a home sold, getting snatched off the market an average of six days faster than homes listed outside of the window. In Cleveland, homes listed in the first half of May sold a whole two weeks faster than the typical home, but other markets saw no impact. In Las Vegas, homes listed in early July only sold half a day faster.

The day a home is listed can also affect how many potential buyers see it, as 79% of home shoppers use online resources during their search. Homes listed on Saturdays get the most page views in the first week, and 20% more views than homes listed on Tuesdays, the day that gets the fewest page views.

Here are the best times to list a home in some markets, according to Zillow data:
Region Ideal Listing Window Median Sale Premium ($) Median Sale Premium (%) Days Sold Faster than Median Home Ideal Listing Day of the Week
United States May 1-15 $1,600 0.7% 6 Saturday
New York, NY May 16-31 $3,100 0.7% 11 Friday
Los Angeles, CA May 16-31 $6,000 0.9% 3 Thursday
Chicago, IL May 1-15 $3,300 1.5% 10.5 Friday
Dallas-Fort Worth, TX July 1-15 $1,400 0.6% 2.5 Saturday
Philadelphia, PA April 16-30 $2,400 1.1% 9.5 Friday
Houston, TX July 1-15 $1,400 0.7% 1.5 Saturday
Washington, DC April 1-15 $3,800 0.9% 6 Thursday
Miami-Fort Lauderdale, FL July 1-15 $1,400 0.5% 1 Saturday
Atlanta, GA June 1-15 $1,300 0.6% 5.5 Friday
Boston, MA May 16-31 $5,500 1.2% 5 Wednesday
San Francisco, CA April 16-30 $10,000 1.0% 2.5 Friday
Detroit, MI May 1-15 $2,100 1.3% 7 Sunday
Riverside, CA June 1-15 $3,200 0.9% 4 Friday
Phoenix, AZ May 1-15 $1,900 0.7% 4 Saturday

Tuesday, February 26, 2019

Summit County’s adoptable pets for the week of Feb. 25

#Summit County #Colorado
Michael Yearout Photography

Contact the Summit County Animal Shelter at 970-668-3230 or visit them in person at 58 Nancy’s Place in Frisco.
MISSY, 7 years, domestic medium-hair, tortoiseshell, spayed female
NALA, 9 years, domestic short-hair, calico, spayed female
MEME, 3 years, domestic short-hair, brown tabby, spayed female
BUGSBY, 6 years, domestic short-hair, black, spayed female
LARRY, 3 years, domestic long-hair, orange and white, neutered male
FRANKLIN, 4 years, domestic short-hair, black and white, neutered male
MINAK, 1 year 3 months, domestic short-hair, black, neutered male
ECLIPSE, 2 years, domestic short-hair, black, neutered male
ZARA, 7 years, domestic medium-hair, white and gray, spayed female
DARTH, 5 years, domestic long-hair, black, neutered male
GRAYDEN, 4 years, Russian blue, gray, neutered male
TOFFEE, 10 months, domestic medium-hair, apricot and black, spayed female
CINDY LOU, 3 years, domestic long-hair, calico, spayed female
FIONA, 9 months, domestic short-hair, gray tabby and white, spayed female
TINA, 13 weeks, pit bull terrier mix, red and black, spayed female
EVA, 6 years, boxer, black, spayed female
ANNIE OAKLEY, 3 years, Australian cattle dog, white and red merle, spayed female
WYATT EARP, 10 weeks, St. Bernard – rough coated and Australian cattle dog mix, black and blue merle, neutered male
DOC HOLIDAY, 10 weeks, St. Bernard – rough coated and Australian cattle dog mix, white and blue merle, neutered male
BONNIE, 10 weeks, St. Bernard – rough coated and Australian cattle dog mix, red merle, spayed female
KLAUS, 2 years, Doberman pinscher mix, black and tricolor, neutered male
ROXIE, 3 years, pit bull terrier mix, blue and white, spayed female
SUNSHINE, 7 months, Labrador retriever mix, black and white, spayed female
HANS, 7 years, Akita, tricolor, neutered male
SPICE, 2 years, Labrador retriever mix, black and white, neutered male
CHARLIE, 5 years, Labrador retriever and boxer mix, red, neutered male
PIPER, 1 year 2 months, Australian kelpie and German shepherd mix, brown, spayed female
NIKKI, 9 months, Labrador retriever mix, chocolate and white, spayed female

Monday, February 25, 2019

Breckenridge hostel tops January’s real estate sales in Summit County

#Summit County #Colorado
Summit Daily

Selling for $4.38 million, The Bivvi Hostel in Breckenridge rang up as January’s most expensive real estate transaction in Summit County, according to property records at the county assessor’s office.
A woman at the hostel confirmed the sale over the phone on Sunday, but she said guests shouldn’t notice any difference, as the same business model and management team remain in place at the hostel.
In property records, the assessor’s office listed The Bivvi as a single-family home with a bed-and-breakfast. 
In terms of the sale price, the $4-million-plus deal was flanked by a newly built ski-in, ski-out home at Copper Mountain that went for $3.38 million and a little over a half acre of land fronting Highway 6 in Dillon — northeast of the intersection with Dillon Dam Road — that sold for $3.3 million.
Slightly less expensive at just a shade under $3 million each, two luxury homes in Breckenridge’s Riverwood and Trapper’s Glen subdivisions rounded out the county’s top five transactions for the month. 
A typically low-volume month for Summit County’s real estate, January featured 29 transactions worth over $1 million based on property records, which include all transactions.
However, the month also brought fewer residential sales and a declining residential sales volume compared to January 2018, according to local professionals who base their assessments on multiple-listing data.
82 residential transactions in Summit County for January compared to 107 during the same month last year. The dip marked a 23 percent decline, and the overall residential sales volume for January was down about 10 percent at the same time.
The average sales price rose from $649,229 in January 2018 to $788,373 last month at the same time the average number of days a home spent on the market fell from 60 to 47 days by comparison.
Over the previous 12 months total countywide sales volume fall 0.9 percent. The actual number of properties sold in the county dropped a more dramatic 11.9 percent.
That’s been a consistent trend going back to 2018, as a limited supply of available housing has left the inventory struggling to keep up with demand and been blamed for steeply rising housing prices.
While the actual number of residential sales has slowed from recent years, the rising prices have helped keep the overall sales volume largely flat from 2017 to 2018 after years of consistent growth.
Still, January remains one of the slowest months for real estate sales in Summit County with most sales happening over the summer months.
Sales typically continue to show up on the books well into the fall before they hit their lowest points of the year during the winter months and then start to ramp back up again in the springtime.
Courtesy Summit Daily.

Sunday, February 24, 2019

Frisco hopes to balance growth and character in developing community plan

Town of Frisco

Frisco is looking to the future.
As the town works its way through the development of the new and improved Frisco Community Plan, a guiding document that will provide the town with a framework for developing policy decisions and priorities over the next several years, one of the main discussions will revolve around housing and land use.
Frisco — effectively boxed in between Dillon Reservoir on the east, highways to the north and west, and U.S. Forest Service property to the south — is running out of land. But for officials and residents alike, the issue isn’t as much about scarcity as it is figuring out how to maximize what space is left without sacrificing the characteristics that make Frisco desirable. 
“We have limited capacity for expansion,” said Susan Lee, planner with Frisco. “So we have to look at making the best use of the land that we have. … but I think people appreciate the compact nature of our town. And I don’t think the issue is scarcity, the issue is maintaining character with what we have left.”
Darcie White, a planner and landscape architect with Clarion Associates who is assisting Frisco with the community plan, provided town staff with an overview of the town’s land use capacity at a recent joint meeting between the town council and planning commission earlier this month. 
During an assessment of Frisco’s land use, White identified about 20 acres of vacant residential and mixed-use land, enough for another 200 new dwelling units above current capacity. Additionally, White looked into the current use of residential land, flagging more than 320 residential lots built at densities lower than currently allowed by the town’s zoning restrictions, noting the potential for an additional 1,000 new units if all town lots were built to maximum density.
“You have some scattered opportunities with some underdeveloped lots in existing neighborhoods,” said White. “Thinking about residential from an infill and redevelopment standpoint, we did a little deeper dive in terms of thinking about the possibilities you have in areas where the potential is much higher than what’s actually built. You’re starting to see some of those redevelopment opportunities come in, and you may be seeing some single-family homes torn down and replaced with larger projects.”
While the prospect of 1,000 new units may be somewhat intimidating for residents already concerned with traffic volumes and changing character, it’s worth noting that infill and redevelopment projects could take decades to approach maximum build out. Over the last six years, Frisco has averaged just 25 new residential units per year, peaking in 2014 with 37 new units, according to data provided by the town.
Lee also noted that the process of redeveloping some underutilized lots has already begun. While the eventual threat of running out of land has loomed over the town for years, the introduction of land use into the town’s greater conversations is a more recent development. Following slow residential development after the 2008 recession, landowners in Frisco began recognizing potential in the town’s zoning codes to redevelop their land for greater profit and density, somewhat of a catalyst for things to come.
One such catalyst was at 2 Miners Creek Road, the redevelopment of a single-family home into four separate townhomes. Though a legal use, it spurred widespread conversation among nearby residents, and highlighted community member’s concerns regarding Frisco’s character.
“If you drive by today, it’s built out at a much higher density,” said Lee. “I think little parcels like that on both sides of Main Street have been coming into play. If you go down Second Avenue you’ll notice that where 10 years ago there were some vacant lots and single-family homes, now you have much higher density two- and three-story townhome developments. There was a sense of, ‘oh my gosh, I thought we had this really low-density residential pattern that was always going to be these cute little cabins on this lot.’ Now that’s changing.”
So as the process of infill and redevelopment has already begun, the town will be looking at how best to manage that process over the coming years to minimize the impacts on Frisco residents’ way of life. Nothing has been decided, but the community plan opens the door for the town to potentially tweak regulations to produce more desirable outcomes, such as strengthening incentives for affordable housing, giving bonuses for higher quality architecture, altering design guidelines to make sure new developments fit the town’s character and more.
“I think there’s a concern that, if not done well, this infill development could make our town feel different,” said Lee. “We could lose that sort of quaint, friendly mountain community because we’re building higher and more dense, not leaving space for landscaping and public access, or choking off what we love best. We have to be sensitive to that and make sure we have regulations in place to make sure that the buildings coming in are in line with the character we love in Frisco.”
The town of Frisco will be holding a public workshop on the community plan on March 6 from 5:30-7:30 p.m. at the Frisco Adventure Park Day Lodge. The event is meant to provide residents with information drawn from previous public outreach efforts, and to gain feedback on proposed goals and policies outlined in early drafts of the plan.
Courtesy Summit Daily.

Saturday, February 23, 2019

Breckenridge, artist reach agreement on troll sculpture

Summit Daily

After taking down a wooden troll in November, a reimagined version of the sculpture will be coming to Breckenridge this spring, though exactly where it might go has not been announced.
In a Friday news release, Breckenridge town staff said they have reached a contract with the sculpture’s creator, artist Thomas Dambo, in partnership with Breckenridge Creative Arts, effective Jan. 17.
Additionally, the release adds there will be an open house from 6-7 p.m., March 4, at the Breckenridge Recreation Center, 880 Airport Road, where residents will learn more about the process, location and logistics for the rebuild.

“Staff will be on hand to answer questions regarding trail work, transit, management solutions and public outreach and education,” the release adds.
The open house follows the mid-November de-installation of the troll named “Isak Heartstone,” created as part of a summer arts festival organized by Breckenridge Creative Arts.

The idea was to leave the troll, a reward for venturing out into the woods, in place for as long as the sculpture wasn’t vandalized and withstood the element, which the artist has said would be about three years.
Facing an onslaught of troll traffic on a trail that ran directly behind homes in the Wellington neighborhood, though, residents voiced concerns about the troll before the town’s elected leaders ultimately decided to remove it citing safety concerns following a couple heavy snows this fall.
After removing the troll, a troll task force was formed, including town staff, representatives of Breckenridge Creative Arts and the Breckenridge Tourism Office, and community members.
The group has met regularly since November to work on a potential relocation with possible new locations and potential management strategies in mind. Criteria included walkability, access to transit and community impact, according to the release.
The timeline for the rebuild will be seven to eight workdays in mid-May, but specific dates have not yet been determined.
Taking apart the sculpture, a number of pieces were saved, and the town is describing the new sculpture as “a reimagined version of Dambo’s first Breckenridge sculpture.”
“We are extremely excited to have reached an agreement in this process,” Councilwoman Wendy Wolfe said in the release. “Our committee has been working very hard, and we are confident in the outcome. We are looking forward to giving Isak a new home in Breckenridge.”
Courtesy Summit Daily.

Friday, February 22, 2019

CDOT searches for solutions at Frisco’s congested Exit 203

#Frisco #Colorado
Summit Daily

Residents and frequent visitors through the Interstate-70 corridor will likely be familiar with Exit 203.
The interchange serves as something of a gateway to the West, a main ingress and egress for mountain visitors seeking further passage to Breckenridge or a centralized hub for shopping, dining and recreating in Frisco.
But during certain times of the year, when the weather is right and visitors are abundant, the growing issues surrounding the interchange and segments of I-70 become highly visible. Motorists will see a line of cars heading west queued up in front of the roundabout, and the frustrated faces of even more drivers slowly plodding toward the on-ramp to Silverthorne.

As problems with safety and capacity continue to grow on the roadways in the area, the Colorado Department of Transportation is pushing forward with efforts to address the issues, though solutions may be years away.
“CDOT really is interested in making a difference in this corridor,” said Stephen Pouliot, Colorado civil team leader with WSP, a consulting firm working with CDOT. “We understand there are lots of issues with safety problems happening on the eastbound downhill portion of I-70, and a real safety problem at the interchange. They don’t want to have that big accident happen before they do something, so they’re trying to be as proactive as possible. … Safety and operations are very tied together, and as the population and congestion grows those things tend to get worse. It’s not just going to get better.”

CDOT, along with a number of project partners, has launched a new feasibility study focused on improvements for three main projects in the area: the I-70 and Highway 9 interchange at Exit 203, the intersection of CO 9 and Dillon Dam Road, and eastbound lanes on I-70 from Frisco to Silverthorne. At an open house in Frisco on Wednesday, representatives with CDOT met with members of the public to discuss the issues and potential improvements.
The areas of focus were identified by CDOT as far back as 2011 in the department’s I-70 Mountain Corridor Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement, which called for modifications to the “structurally deficient” interchange, and an auxiliary lane along eastbound I-70 from Frisco to Silverthorne.
Among CDOT’s biggest concerns is congestion in the area. The group, using data from last year, identified some of the most troublesome areas. Some of the worst offenders included both the eastbound on-ramp (988 cars per hour during peak traffic volume) and off-ramp (836) at the interchange, along with both the westbound on-ramp (854) and off-ramp (854), which see considerably higher traffic volumes than other sites. The intersection at CO 9 and Dillon Dam Road also presents difficulties, especially for through traffic heading toward the interchange (931) and onto CO 9 from I-70 (808).
“We’ve got a bunch of ideas in the back of our heads, but how do you get 20 gallons of water through a 10 gallon pipe?” said David Sprague, lead traffic consultant with Atkins. “There’s a lot of traffic in a very small, compact area. We’ll be limited in our options, but we’re looking at everything we can.”
Safety issues are the other major concern as CDOT seeks improvements to the area. A recent safety assessment outlined some trouble areas where crashes are most common, primarily between mileposts 204 and 205 just before Silverthorne. The group also noted that the difference in speeds between westbound I-70 and the off-ramp onto Exit 203 creates unsafe conditions.
“We see safety problems almost weekly now westbound at the 203 off-ramp,” said Grant Anderson of CDOT. “Our safety report that we did to kick this study off looks at all of the accident data in this segment. It showed that the Silverthorne hill eastbound is actually above state average in terms of accident frequency.”
With the problems well defined, the next steps for CDOT will be coming up with potential alternatives to improve safety and congestion on the roadways. While the study is still in its relative infancy, CDOT has already floated a few potential fixes including conceptual designs for a new eastbound auxiliary lane from Frisco to Silverthorne, a two-lane roundabout at the interchange, and the installation of traffic signals in lieu of a roundabout at the interchange.
Ultimately, the decision on what solutions make the most sense will come down to a combination of public input, working with Frisco and the county to forecast future travel demands, conducting field studies of potential environmental concerns and looking at major projects in the future like the Lake Hill housing development to determine the potential effects of those changes.
And while CDOT hopes to have alternatives designed by this summer, a lack of funding could potentially push back any meaningful construction work for years.
“We do have funding that we’ve attracted to take some of these concepts further, and then we’re going to have to stop,” said Anderson. “We don’t have the construction funding identified. That’s critical to understand right now. But the more we can set the table by having something ready, the more it’ll attract funding in the future.”
 Individuals hoping to voice their opinions on potential alternatives should reach out to the project team via Tracy Trulove at
Courtesy Summit Daily.

Thursday, February 21, 2019

Silverthorne looks to annex The Vistas at Angler Mountain development

Summit Daily

Silverthorne is considering the addition of just over 35 acres from The Vistas at Angler Mountain into the town. If approved, the potential annexation could be one of the last additions of raw, undeveloped land for Silverthorne, as high-ranking officials see little land left to expand town limits after this.
Discussions are early and details regarding a potential annexation have yet to be ironed out, explained Mark Leidal, Silverthorne’s assistant town manager and director of community development.
How long the land stays undeveloped also remains to be seen, as the developer, Compass Homes, has already submitted preliminary plans to construct 16-18 homes — a low-density, purely residential project — on the site that’s now being considered for inclusion into Silverthorne.

“Typically, we want to make sure an annexation doesn’t negatively impact the town,” Leidal said. “We also want to make sure there is a benefit to the town, and make sure the residential that’s coming in is paying its way at the very least.”
While discussions are early, there’s support for such an annexation. The town’s attorney drafted a pre-annexation agreement to layout the terms and timeframes for processing a subsequent annexation request.

As elected officials weighed that pre-agreement last week, Leidal told council members they shouldn’t approve it unless they’re serious about pursuing an eventual annexation.
Council responded by unanimously backing the pre-annexation agreement. However, the document is only an initial step to an annexation and one that’s largely born out of process, not a concrete decision.
According to Leidal, state statutes set a strict timeline of 30 to 60 days to render a decision once the town receives an annexation petition and finds the petition in compliance.
Under such a tight timeline, the pre-annexation agreement simply gives the developer and town more time to work out details of an annexation, like how the land would be rezoned — a process that requires public hearings and can take months — before having the developer submit the actual annexation petition.
“This is just the beginning,” Leidal said, adding that discussions still have a ways to go before anything is finalized.
Developers often request annexations to tap into town services, such as water and sewer. On the other side, the town can seek concessions of its own in annexation agreements, including impact fees, open-space dedications or even cash in lieu of some of these requirements.
The last major land addition to Silverthorne came with Maryland Creek Ranch, a process that began in 2005. During those negotiations and later agreements, developers secured additional density for the large-scale housing project while the town got a handful of workforce-housing units, money for its trail system and improvements to the Silverthorne Pavilion, and a new park, among other perks.
The Vistas at Angler Mountain, however, are much smaller, and Leidal said that project is viewed as a natural extension of Angler Mountain Ranch, which was another housing project that was included in a Silverthorne annexation dating back to the 1980s.
The piece of land now being considered for annexation was part of a roughly 70-acre chunk that avoided annexation with Angler Mountain Ranch, however, as half of the land went to Xcel Energy for a substation.
The remaining acreage was always expected to become The Vistas, according to Tim Crane of Compass Homes, who added that the proposed site for the new homes is currently served by the road leading up to the substation.
From a site-disturbance and infrastructure standpoint, he said, many of the pieces are already in place.
Crane said he didn’t want to make any predictions about how the potential annexation might proceed, but he remains “cautiously optimistic” it will go through, as it was always his intent to have The Vistas annexed into Silverthorne.
Courtesy Summit Daily.