Chamonix re-opens sales for five townhomes at new development in West Vail
By the numbers
32: Townhomes at the Chamonix project in West Vail.
5: Units that are now available.
$22.1 million: Total town investment in the project.
$17.7 million: Amount the town will recoup through unit sales.
For more information, go to www.chamonixvail.com.
Source: Town of Vail
VAIL — Annegret Kessler recently returned to Vail and is looking for a home. She’ll need a little luck if she’s going to purchase a newly available unit at the Chamonix townhomes.
Kessler and a number of other potential buyers took some time on Thursday, Dec. 14, to tour a handful of units at the Chamonix townhome project in West Vail. Town officials recently announced that five buyers in the 32-unit development were unable to complete the purchase of those homes. The homes include four three-bedroom units and one two-bedroom unit. All of the homes have two-car garages and as many bathrooms as bedrooms.
Reasons for buyers declining to continue the process included job loss and finding other deed-restricted housing. Other buyers hoped one of the larger units may become available.
Vail Community Development Department Director George Ruther said once the five units were again available, he contacted the remaining people on the original lottery list. Those people all declined the opportunity to purchase one of the homes. That threw open the process again.
Ruther said earlier this week he’d put out the word to some of the town’s largest employers about the availability of units at Chamonix. He said he had more than 30 emails or voice messages in less than 24 hours.
The homes aren’t yet finished — the first move-ins are about five weeks away — and the buildings are still covered with plastic sheeting. But there’s enough in place for people to get a good idea of what the homes are like.
Kessler, who works at Vail Health, was one of those people who got the early word.
Touring a three-bedroom unit Thursday evening, Kessler said she was impressed.
“They’re lovely,” Kessler said. “The location is nice,” she added, saying she’s impressed with the open feeling and abundant natural light in the units.
Karen Hannah had her name drawn in the first lottery, held in early May. She came to Thursday’s open house to see the progress of the project, and said she’s impressed.
“I’m really excited,” Hannah said. Hannah and her husband expect to close on their home April 23, 2018.
“We got delayed a little bit, but that’s OK,” she said.
Hannah said she and her husband may need to shop for some more compact bedroom furniture. But, she added, she likes to shop.
Hannah came to the open house with Shannatay Bergeron, a co-worker at Vail Health.
“This is a good opportunity for locals,” Bergeron said. “I’m sad there’s not (many units) left.” And, she added, she may just fill out an application packet.
A lot of those packets left the kitchen island of the display unit Thursday. Ruther said he’d brought around 40 packets to the open house, set for between 4 and 6 p.m. that day. Just after 5 p.m., there were seven packets left.
That quick interest in the homes — priced at $499,000 for the two-bedroom and $599,000 for the three-bedroom — has town officials considering opening up another lottery for prospective buyers. Ruther said he’s likely to announce the details as soon as Wednesday, Dec. 20.
The original Chamonix lottery drew some criticism because it gave equal chances to buy to both longtime residents and newcomers with the idea of attracting some younger families to establish permanent residence in town. In contrast, the town’s longtime lottery system has given preference points to people who had lived and worked in Vail for a number of years. That system may be changed in the near future. The Vail Town Council at its evening meeting on Tuesday, Dec. 19, will consider a request from the Vail Local Housing Authority to phase out residence and other preferences for the town’s annual lottery for other deed-restricted units.
There were a number of families with kids, or couples expecting babies, in that first group of lottery-selected buyers.
At Thursday’s open house, Ruther said most of the lottery participants, as well as those interested in the five available units, are people who already work in Vail. A number of those people live in town, too.
The interest in the five available units also seems to confirm something Ruther has believed for some time now: “We could sell another 32 units quickly,” he said.
Vail Daily Business Editor Scott Miller can be reached at 970-748-2930, email@example.com and @scottnmiller.
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