After foreclosing on partially developed lot in Avon, lender looking for new developer

An 81-unit development was planned for this lot on U.S. Highway 6 in Avon, but after a foundation was poured in 2019, little work has been accomplished during the summer of 2020.
Ross Leonhart |

A large hole in the ground near the entrance to Beaver Creek is not a good look for the town of Avon, councilmembers acknowledged on Tuesday.

Denver-based lenders Pinetree Financial foreclosed on the property — once envisioned as an 81-room hotel-like collection of residences from Colorado World Resorts — and received the title about five weeks ago.

On Tuesday, a representative from Pinetree told the Avon Town Council and staff that the project was just too big for them to see through themselves, and even if they work out a deal with a developer, the project will have to sit through the winter.

“Given the size and scope of this project, it would be too big for us to pursue ourselves, so that was something that we had to come to grips with quickly,” said Andy Shopneck with Pinetree Financial.

Intent to develop

Pinetree Financial is a private lender which does business solely in Colorado and is based out of Denver. Shopneck’s father started the company in 1985; he described Pinetree Financial as a small, family office.

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“We don’t ever like to take back projects from people, that’s not our primary business, but sometimes if that happens, then we look at either finishing it out, or selling it,” he said.

Shopneck said on Tuesday that Pinetree was able to enter into the first formal step of an agreement with a potential developer to see the project through, signing a letter of intent with a developer.

“They’re a group that’s large enough to get this project done,” Shopneck said. “We feel confident in that; we feel so confident that our strike price with them is at a loss, for us, to get this done.”

Shopneck said both parties are looking to close some time in 2020.

“It’s their goal to start construction in the spring, so hopefully the momentum that was lost last year, they’ll be able to make up,” he said.

Safety concerns

Shopneck said upon acquiring the property, Pinetree began trying to obtain as much information as possible about the project’s status, and identified several problems.

“Our first primary concern was safety,” Shopneck said.

Town attorney Paul Wisor said the town was also concerned with the safety of the site; Wisor said he had written an order of abatement for the property, but held off on issuing it once Pinetree acquired the property and began a dialogue with the town.

An order of abatement would require the property to be secured and cleaned up within a specified amount of time or the town will itself enter the property, secure it and seek restitution for the expense.

“We have had, and continued to have, good conversations with Andy and his group, so we have not felt compelled to actually post that order,” Wisor said.

Shopneck said he was planning a personal visit to the site on Wednesday to ensure a fence is installed. 

‘Working on all aspects’

Shopneck said he grew up visiting his family’s home at The Charter at Beaver Creek and enjoys the area.

“We’re very intimately aware of Avon and Beaver Creek and love it up there, so I get what it looks like, you can see it from the highway,” he said.

The Highway 6 property is directly east of the residences at The Ascent, about 1,000 feet from the entrance to Beaver Creek. The property is 21 acres in total, with about four developable acres where a large hole and retaining wall can now be seen. Shopneck said a new fence will block views into the lot.

In addition to safety, there are numerous other concerns with the property, which Shopneck said he will continue to address.

“Dealing with title issues, dealing with real estate agents and value, and all of these other things we’ve been working on, there’s only so much we’ve been able to get done in about four weeks,” he said. “We are working on all aspects of it and I will continue to update the town on progress.”

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