Mesa Homes luxury condo market coming online in Breck |

Mesa Homes luxury condo market coming online in Breck

LORY POUNDERsummit daily news
Special to the Daily

Summit County, CO ColoradoBRECKENRIDGE – Under contract is the most expensive condominium unit sold in Breckenridge, according to the developer.It is going for $3.8 million and will be located at The Shock Hill Lodge and Spa, at the midway station of the new BreckConnect Gondola that has open views of the Ten Mile Range. This custom-made condo will be part of the project that includes about 100 units being released in six phases. When the first two phases were released, all units sold that day, and currently, the third release of pre-construction pricing for the $1 to $4 million homes is in effect. “We’re going to be kind of the gateway to the mountain and it better be done right,” said John Niemi, CEO of Mesa Homes Development Company. “This is a legacy project.”

He will be going to the Breckenridge Town Council for final approval on The Shock Hill Lodge and Spa project in January. Pending that, the plan is to go to contract at the end of February with a groundbreaking in May or June and completion expected in late spring 2010, Niemi said.The project team includes a local architect who specializes in high-end homes, Suzanne Allen-Guerra, a Dutch designer based out of Chicago who has worked on European projects, Karen Herold, a golfer who has traveled the world, Jesper Parnevik, and CEO of a company that has years of experience in service for the high-end buyer, Michael Morton. Niemi said he wife coined the phrase “rustic zen” to describe the homes that will marry European and local talent. “To a certain extent it’s become more daring,” he said about the project he has poured $270 million into. “I think the Town will be more proud of what will happen.”Working on the design for the site with the Town of Breckenridge has been a learning experience, said Niemi who credits the council and staff with making the project more Breckenridge and eco-friendly. They’ve required a more intense level of review for this project, he added. “They know what this site means.”In addition to sustainable building, part of being eco-friendly will involve offering a hybrid shuttle service for the homeowners with the idea that they will park their cars in the two-level, 170-space underground garage and not have to use them around Town, Niemi said. The shuttle will take and pick them up where they need and the gondola is right out their door, he added.For the same view and accessibility to the mountain, people would pay about $1,000 more a square foot in Vail, Niemi said. And on top of that the views are never going away because the property is surrounded by protected land, including Cucumber Gulch and open space, he said. Of the total 10-acre property where the lodge and spa will be built, about $6 million worth of land, or about 2.75 acres, was donated for open space, Niemi said.

Niemi is also the developer behind what will be The Shores at the Highlands on the banks of the Blue River across from Tiger Road.Construction on these paired residences began a few months ago. Ten units were released about two weeks ago for pre-construction purchasing. The units will run about $1 million to $1.7 million and the same design team working on Shock Hill will be working on the units. All the cabin-style duplexes and a lodge will be built throughout the next three or four years.In all, Mesa Homes is adding about 350,000 square feet of luxury homes to the market in Breckenridge.And for those concerned the growing high-end market will change the culture of the area, Niemi said, “Breckenridge has too stable of a culture and too special of a culture for it to change and for anyone to want it to change. … We believe the real estate building will assist in the health of the Town without challenging who Breckenridge is. No one wants to see it change, but at the same time I think there will be a few more offerings.”The vision for the Mesa Homes projects began 18 months ago. Niemi said when he decided to plunge into the luxury market in Breckenridge, people told him he was crazy. However, in recent years, there has been an increase in demand for it, according to Scott Mitchell, owner of Ten Peaks Sotheby’s International Realty, who is selling the units at Shock Hill and The Shores.

When looking at all the units under contract in the area, including BlueSky Condominium, Water House on Main Street, One Ski Hill Place, Shock Hill and The Shores, there has certainly not been a dip in the market, Mitchell said.”If you look at that, this market’s exploding,” he said.Lory Pounder can be reached at (970) 668-4628, or at

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