Another piece falls into place for ‘legacy’ housing project in Silverthorne
About Summit Sky Ranch
A housing development under construction in northern Silverthorne, Summit Sky Ranch has a lot coming online. Some of the key components are:
The Aspen House community center for socializing and recreation with an outdoor heated pool, hot tubs and fire pits
A boat house on a private lake with kayaks and paddleboards, event space and outdoor seating
A small observatory for star gazing with a live feed into the Aspen House
Miles of community trails with connections to the White River National Forest and Gore Range
A 7-acre stretch of private Blue River fishing
A 20-acre public park with open space, turf fields, a dog park, disc golf course, sledding hill, trails and more
Summit Sky Ranch runs on 30 full-time employees, but at peak construction times, as many as 400 workers might be on the over 400-acre site.
Because of the pace at which they’re building, the project’s development director, Matt Mueller, has been a regular at Silverthorne town meetings, offering up numerous site plans as he frequently seeks approval on those and other various construction items.
“I know, I know,” admitted Mueller of his regular appearances on Silverthorne’s agendas as he led a recent tour of Summit Sky Ranch, a plush housing project going up in northern Silverthorne. “We got a lot going on.”
The newest addition at Summit Sky Ranch, the 8,000-square foot, $4 million Aspen House, offers the neighborhood a private community center with a reception desk, outdoor heated pool, hot tubs and a grass lawn for tented events. There are also heated patios, a gym, a dial-it-up aerobics and yoga studio, conference rooms, a large gathering space and lounging areas.
The Aspen House might be the ranch’s hub, but the project really begins at Maryland Creek Lane, the road in, where the developers had to work with the Colorado Department of Transportation to widen Highway 9. Adding acceleration and deceleration lanes, along with new guardrails, and moving some power lines brought the price tag for redoing the small section to about $1.5 million, according to Mueller.
“A lot of people don’t know we did this,” he said.
Beside the highway, the developer also had a lift station built to pump sewage from Summit Sky Ranch back up hill to the town. At around $2 million, Mueller thinks it might be one of the most expensive buildings in Summit County per square foot.
Last week the town approved the final site plan for a 20-acre park that’s also going up alongside the highway at the base of the project. After almost two years of planning, Maryland Creek Park, which developers are paying $3.5 million to create, is starting to take shape.
“The main thing about this (park) that’s really cool is it’s going to serve as the trailhead for a public trail up to the Gore Range,” Mueller said. “We’re building the first phase of that trail now.”
It will be town-owned and open to everyone because the park was part of the deal in a 2015 negotiation to increase density.
Beyond the park, a floating boathouse will rest on a private lake with a small sandy beach and boardwalk. Crews are working on the next wave of homes overlooking the lake, a tract of 11 cabins — or 22 units total — that will introduce a new duplex-like product they’re calling “The Twin Cabins.” Down the road, in another area of the ranch, they’re working on another series of single-family homes, and that’s just some of the ongoing housing construction.
“We’re doing about 30 to 40 (homes) a year,” Mueller said. “We could sell more than that, but that’s our workflow. That’s what works for us, that’s what’s sustainable for us to balance home deliver and maintain the quality of the homes.”
They are about 80 percent done with the infrastructure and far ahead with bringing the amenities on line. Depending on market conditions, Mueller said they could be done with the project, about 240 homes total, in the next four years.
The landscaping is supposed to mirror the natural environment because developers said they want it to look “like the homes were just dropped in place.” The architecture is described as “mountain modern.”
“We wanted to be very sensitive to the site,” Mueller said. “Everyone loves this site. It’s special.”
Mueller said he was tasked with creating “a legacy project” by the landowner, Tom Everist, when Everist hired him for the job.
“Tom expects high quality in these homes,” Mueller said. “Tom’s not a developer — well he is now — but this is really about Tom’s family and his legacy.”
In fact, Everist himself will have a house at Summit Sky Ranch and so will his children. This is something that’s going to be in their family for a long time, Mueller explained, adding that if someone really wants to know what kind of care is being put into the project, all they have to do is look at who lives there. In addition to Everist and his family, Mueller, the project’s architect and many other members of the Summit Sky Ranch team also have homes in the neighborhood.
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