Frisco’s Peak One neighborhood highlights demand for affordable housing
May 19, 2013
Lindsey Spevig grabbed her shades, a catalog and a lounge chair and headed outside her new home Tuesday to soak in the warm spring sunshine. Her neighbor was outside doing yard work with two dogs at his side. Just a block down the road, construction crews were busy working on a new house.
Spevig is a first-time homeowner who lives in Frisco's Peak One neighborhood. The medical esthetician moved to the neighborhood in December.
"It's a nice central location," Spevig said. "And the price point was more bang for your buck. That was the primary reason we wanted to live here – and the bike path is right here."
The Peak One neighborhood is more than half finished. Developer Brynn Grey Partners has worked with contractors to construct 37 of 70 homes. They are now operating on a waiting list – with 45 homes already sold or under contract.
"There is an incredible need for middle-income housing here," said Peak One sales manager Kate Clement.
During the Phase 4 kick off party just weeks ago, there were 70 people lining out the door who were eager to check out the homes, Clement said.
"We wrote 11 contracts in 48 hours," she said.
Construction crews are set to break ground on Phase 4 of 5 in June. There are still a few hillside homes that remain to be sold, Clement said. The final neighborhood construction phase will begin in the summer of 2014.
The project stems back to 2007, said Frisco's community development director Jocelyn Mills.
"The Frisco community and town leaders really felt that we were reaching a crossroads," said Mills. "We wanted to be sustainable over the long term, and we knew housing local workers was a critical issue."
The town of Frisco, which owned the property, decided to team up with Brynn Grey Partners to develop the land. They were looking to create a neighborhood with a 'local' feel — a place where people who worked in Summit County could afford to live and feel at home.
"It's been a real challenge, not just in Summit County but in Colorado in general, to find ways to house locals," Clement said. "But it is the locals that keep the towns and cities humming."
Brynn Grey and the Frisco officials think Peak One is helping to meet this need.
"So far the council has seen all of the goals we've set out for the project," Mills said.
The neighborhood is consistent with the community values and character of Frisco, Clement said. It's blocks away from the town center, borders national forestland and is in close proximity to the county recpath system.
Peak One offers 12 floor plans to choose from, in homes ranging from about the mid $200s to low $400 thousands, Clement said.
"Overall price is probably 30 percent below other market homes in the area," she said.
To live in Peak One, buyers must be employed in Summit County at least 30 hours per week. Almost all of the homes have deed restrictions that limit the property value growth each year.
Peak One developers are building eight homes that don't have the income or appreciation restrictions that are placed on the rest of the neighborhood — other than working in Summit County — and are market-value homes. Three of these have been sold and five are still available for purchase.
The biggest challenge in the development so far, the sales manager said, has been keeping up with demand.
"We are a smaller builder and a smaller team and really strive to keep a high quality of the neighborhood and integrity of homes," Clements said. "We don't want to build them any faster and lose that. At the same time we are looking to find ways to get everyone in and settled sooner than later."
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