Business briefs: Sales off to fast start at Summit Sky Ranch |

Business briefs: Sales off to fast start at Summit Sky Ranch

Summit Sky Ranch will be on the north end of Silverthorne between the Blue River and the Eagles Nest Wilderness. Facing the Williams Fork Range, the subdivision will have views of Keystone Resort and Breckenridge's Bald Mountain to the southeast and views of the Gore Range to the west.
Courtesy Summit Sky Ranch |

Sales off to fast start at Summit Sky Ranch

Initial sales of cabins and single-family homes at the Summit Sky Ranch development, on the north end of Silverthorne, are off to a brisk start. According to a news release, 33 homes were sold for $23.5 million on Sept. 19. That’s an average purchase price of just over $700,000.

The demand for homes at the new development has been astounding, said Dimitri Cassini, director of sales for Summit Sky Ranch. He said the allure is based on a balance of raw natural beauty and inspired design for families with a love of the Rockies.

Formerly called Maryland Creek Ranch, the 416-acre parcel is being developed by local businessman Tom Everist, whose family has owned the Blue River Valley property for about two decades. The property is located in the Blue River Valley, just two miles north of Silverthorne, set amongst the Blue River and the Arapahoe National Forest.

On the Summit Sky Ranch developments website, he said the goal was to build a community that fits into the landscape as opposed to dominating the surroundings. To that end, over 60 percent of the initial plan will be preserved as open space.

“Our goal is to shape the landscape as little as possible while preserving the premier sight lines from each homesite,” he wrote.

Fifteen years ago when his family began envisioning the land as a future community, he said they wanted to cater to those with the mountains in their hearts and provide an environment to instill that passion in younger generations. To that end, they focused on conserving the land and catering to an active mountain lifestyle.

“I believe this land needs to be lived to be enjoyed,” he wrote.

Added touches for the outdoor enthusiast include community trails connecting to national forests, a private 10-acre lake with beach, a boat house with kayaks and paddle boards, a public dog park and disc golf area. Cold weather fun includes Nordic skiing, ice skating and sledding. There will also a 7,000 square foot community center, the Aspen House, featuring a theater, along with an outdoor pool, hot tubs and fire pits.

The 400-plus acre site will eventually host 240 semi-custom homes and cabins. Craine Architecture is the design firm, and Summit County builder Brett Barrett and Barrett Master Builders are leading construction on what the developer is describing as mountain modern luxury. The first 47 units will be built through this winter, and initial occupancy should begin by fall 2016.

Apartment complexes sold in Dillon and Gypsum

Straight Creek Apartments in Dillon and Tower Plaza Suites in Gypsum were both sold this September by ARA Newmark.

Straight Creek Apartments was sold for $10 million to Haven, a Broomfield-based management and investment group. Tower Plaza Suites was sold for $6 million to Eagle River Apartments, LLC.

ARA Newmark executive managing director Justin Hunt and Director Andy Hellman represented the sellers in both transactions.

“Straight Creek and Tower Plaza are unique assets due to their optimal location and the fact that both properties are among the few 100-percent market-rate apartment communities in their respective counties,” Hellman said in a press release.

Located at 630 Straight Creek Drive in Dillon, the apartment complex was constructed in 1971 and houses 79 units. Hellman noted that the previous owners, Cooper Properties, a Los Angeles-based investment group that purchased the development about five years ago, did invest in modern interior improvements but mainly focused on properly managing the community to take full advantage of an improving market with expanding demand.

He noted that Haven management group recognized the dire need for housing, especially in denser communities like Summit County.

“They saw significant value in Straight Creek, and their long-term plan is to implement a value-add program by renovating unit interiors and modernizing the exterior,” Hellman wrote.

Tower Plaza Suites has 44 units and is located at 625 Red Table Drive in Gypsum. Built in 2008, Tower Plaza is the newest apartment community in Eagle County.

“The buyer recognized a growing opportunity in the Eagle County multihousing market,” he wrote. “Tower Plaza Suites is a great investment, given the rarity of 100-percent market-rate communities.”

Elevate Cospace celebrates 1st anniversary

The Elevate Cospace is marking on Oct. 1 one year of operating in Summit County and will officially celebrate the occasion on Oct. 14 with an open house and private party.

Amy Kemp, who handles public relations for Elevate, said after one year the concept is thriving.

“We’re beyond thrilled to be here a year later,” she said. “We really thought that Summit County could benefit from co-working space.”

The space is open for creators, entrepreneurs, risk takers, problem solvers, freelancers and visionaries to launch their dreams.

“This helps gives locals a chance to work where they play,” she said.

The typical clients are serious about their careers or business plans, she explained, and often need a place to meet, work and form a team.

During their initial year of operation, Elevate has created new events like the Startup Ski Summit, Startup Bike Summit, weekly Elevate your Biz workshops, coffee meet-ups and even helped organize other events like Startup Weekend and Camp 9600.

This week, Elevate Cospace organizers are speaking about entrepreneurship in the mountains at the Denver Startup Week and Kemp will present at the Women’s Business Conference on Oct. 9 in Vail.

Although the first year has been successful, Kemp said that Elevate will not rest on its laurels.

It is also part of the Mountain Coworking Alliance, which offers a season pass that allows participants to spend two days at other co-working spaces located in mountain regions in the U.S., France and Canada.

The common thread, Kemp noted, is that their clientele charges hard at work, play and life. She also said the outpouring of support from the community has been rewarding.

“A lot of people have been very generous with their expertise,” she said.

Whole Foods announces layoffs

Whole Foods Market announced on Monday plans to cut 1,500 jobs, or about 1.6 percent of its workforce, over the next two months.

In a statement, the company said it expects that a significant portion of employees will find alternate positions from nearly 2,000 company openings or new jobs to be created from the more than 100 stores in development. The grocer reports adding over 9,000 new jobs in the last year and has created over 35,000 during the past five years.

“This is a very difficult decision, and we are committed to treating affected Team Members in a caring and respectful manner,” Whole Foods Co-CEO Walter Robb said in a statement. “We have offered them several options including transition pay, a generous severance or the opportunity to apply for other jobs. In addition, we will pay these Team Members in full over the next eight weeks as they decide which option to choose.”

During an interview with Fortune Magazine (“Whole Foods responds after a day of layoffs,” Sept. 28, 2015) he said the changing tide of competition is causing some realignment.

“They’re looking more like us, and we’re not really looking like them,” he said. “It’s a tectonic shift in the food marketplace right now.”

Founded in 1980, Whole Foods is based out of Austin, Texas. As of 2015, they have reported revenues of $14.9 billion and employ more than 87,000 people.

The news was not all gloom-and-doom, as the company plans to adjust their marketing and open a lower-cost version of their organic supermarket.

“We’re still growing 38-40 stores per year, and we’ll continue to grow our 365 brand which will open up in April,” he shared.

The 365 Stores are slated to open in Los Angeles; Bellevue, Washington; Houston and Portland, Oregon in an attempt to appeal to a broader audience and distance itself from a reputation for exorbitant prices.

Robb said he is excited to witness the world move towards becoming a more sustainable place.

“You’re talking about food, water, energy and all those things,” he said. “All the growth in the food industry is on this side of the ledger, and that’s double-digit growth in organics and continues to be a double-digit growth in sustainable farming.”

Whole Foods reported sales increased 3.6 percent in stores open at least a year, which was below the 5.3 percent gains predicted by analysts. Also, total sales increased 10 percent, or $3.65 billion, but the grocery chain was expected to earn $3.71 billion.

Despite lower than expected revenue figures, Robb sees a bright future for the food retailer.

“What I see is a marketplace somewhere south of a trillion dollars in the supermarket industry in the U.S., which continues to grow at very high rates,” he said.

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