New housing project to double Fairplay’s size |

New housing project to double Fairplay’s size

FAIRPLAY – The developers of an affordable housing project in Fairplay hope to lure Summit County workers as well as prospective second-home buyers to a new development with attractive financing offers and the possibility of owning a home without deed restrictions.

The 300-unit development, called Elk Meadows, could change the face of Fairplay in Park County, bringing an urban feel to a remote mountain town better known for its ranches, mines and historic homes than townhomes and condos.

“I think you’re going to see Fairplay explode,” said developer Gene Gregory, who, with financier Larry Keene of Avalanche Mortgage, owns the project. “It’s going to double the size of Fairplay. It’s probably the best thing to be bringing on in this kind of market. It’s going to benefit the entire town.”

According to Tom Day, the Breckenridge real estate agent marketing the project, the land is zoned for 700 units. Instead, he said, Gregory and Keene want to provide more room for residents. Plans indicate the two- to six-unit complexes are 60 to 70 feet apart from one another.

The three-bedroom, two-bath townhomes are priced at $199,000, or $107 a square foot. Many homes in Summit County easily sell for twice that, and newer, high-end homes can sell for upwards of $400 a square foot.

A $40 monthly homeowners association fee includes snowplowing and general maintenance on the townhomes.

Day said they are able to offer the units for less because land in Park County is less expensive than in Summit County.

That fact has long made Park County attractive to Summit County workers who want a piece of the American dream – home ownership.

“I’ve been looking for something like this for 20 years,” Gregory said. “You don’t really find stuff like this very often.”

Each will include living and dining rooms and a kitchen with pantry on the main floor with a two-car garage, entryway, mud and laundry rooms. The second levels will feature three bedrooms and two baths. A second floor plan featuring a fourth bedroom downstairs is available for an additional $4,750.

The developer also plans to build a baseball diamond, playground, basketball court and a community center. The bike path, which currently runs to the river, will be extended to the subdivision.

Creative financing

Financing options include an “80/15/5” program whereby a buyer makes a 5 percent downpayment and takes out two mortgages for 80 percent and 15 percent of the value of the home. Interest rates are a half-percent apart, whereas traditional second mortgages are usually 2 percent to 3 percent higher than the rate of the first mortgage.

Such an arrangement means lower monthly mortgage payments and additional tax benefits and allows the new homeowner to forego private mortgage insurance, estimated to be $123 under a traditional financing plan.

“It’s more of an entry-level situation,” Day said. “We’re trying to make this a family-oriented place.”

The development is located just on the other side of the South Platte River west of downtown Fairplay. Town officials approved the project with the condition that developers only build units as they sell. Keene and Gregory expect build-out within 10 years, at which point they expect townhomes to resell for as much as $350,000.

Jane Stebbins can be reached at (970) 668-3998 ext. 228 or

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