Frisco’s Peak One Neighborhood keeps it local
November 22, 2013
Back in 2007, when the Peak One parcel — at the south end of Frisco, between the town and the national forest — was nothing more than undeveloped open space, the town of Frisco had a plan for it.
With around 65% of homes in the town functioning as secondary homes, the Frisco officials wanted to make sure that, first of all, there was housing available for the people who live and work in the town and, secondly, that they could afford those homes.
The Peak One Land Use Plan arose out of a mixture of town council sessions and community meetings. All aspects of the new development were taken into consideration, from incorporating nearby trail sections to the architecture of the buildings to come.
"The council's goal was to create a year-round neighborhood for people to live and work in our community, really supporting the town's socio-economic diversity and trying to make it a place that enhanced Frisco and its sense of community," said Jocelyn Mills, community development director for the town of Frisco.
“The council’s goal was to create a year-round neighborhood for people to live and work in our community, really supporting the town’s socio-economic diversity and trying to make it a place that enhanced Frisco and its sense of community,” said Jocelyn Mills, community development director for the town of Frisco.
Once the plan was established, the town solicited bids from private firms to be a partner in the development. They selected Brynn Grey Partners Ltd., entering into a private/public agreement in August of 2009.
Before anything could be built, however, there was more research to be done. Not only did Brynn Grey and the town want the development to be populated with locals, but they wanted it to look local also.
"We went around and did an extensive study on all the different styles in Frisco and we really tried to copy the Frisco look," said Brynn Grey sales manager Kate Clement. "We put in a lot of attention to detail when we designed these homes."
The Peak One neighborhood will, once they are all constructed, consist of 70 homes in total. Of those, the majority have deed restrictions limiting the property value growth every year. The homeowners must also fall between 80% and 160% of the Summit County average median income, as well as working at least 30 hours a week in the county.
Unlike other affordable housing neighborhoods, there are a few market-value houses as well. These houses do not have any of the appreciation or income restrictions of the other houses, although they still require the occupants to be employed in Summit County.
So far, nearly all the homes have been sold, leaving just a handful unspoken for and a growing waiting list at the Brynn Grey office.
"The demand on these is just incredibly high," Clement said.
So far, Phases One through Three of the development have already been built, with Phase Four nearing completion. The last one, Phase Five, is tentatively scheduled to be finished in summer 2015.
The Peak One houses are far from cookie-cutter, with up to 12 different floor plans for new homeowners to choose from. They are also given options for interior design — cabinet, countertop and carpet styles — as well as the exterior — attached or detached garage, deck, roof style, etc.
"Everyone wants selection," Clements said. "People want to be able to customize things … (so) we get them involved from day one."
Tom and Emily Oberheide are one of the families waiting for their Phase Four house to be built. Previously they lived in Golden and Tom commuted to Summit for his job. When they decided to move into the county, they initially came up against houses that were too old, requiring too much maintenance or renovation, or too pricey for their budget. The Peak One neighborhood, however, fit perfectly.
"I grew up spending my summers here and I always loved the town, and if we're moving to county, this is my first choice, moving to Frisco," Tom said. "We wanted a garage and space to grow."
Now, Emily added, they come every day from their rental place across town to watch the progress of the construction.
Aside from the houses, the developers put a lot of thought into the layout of the whole neighborhood. Much of it is centered around a park area, to be called Meridian Park, where dogs can run, kids can play and neighbors can chat. Tall wooden beams create 'portals' over the bike and footpath that runs between the town of Frisco and the national forest. It continues through the neighborhood uninterrupted. A nearby wetlands area will remain as open space and the entire place affords dramatic views of Peak One and the nearby Mount Royal.
"Just the look of the neighborhood is very charming, with the narrow streets and alleys," Clement said, adding that the park adds to its character as well.
What's most important, however, is the community that will and already has started to spring up with the development.
"Here it's 100% locals all the time," Clement said, "so it really gives a sense of place and a sense of character."