Developer: Vail’s Timber Ridge getting closer
Vail, CO Colorado
VAIL, Colorado – Timber Ridge developer Darren Woody is finding out quickly that the town of Vail’s processes can drag on for longer than anticipated.
Woody, of Texas-based C.F. Jordan Construction Services and the managing partner of Vail Timber Ridge LLC, the developer, said the town of Vail’s staff has been really helpful in leading the development team through the process. He feels like the project is getting closer to becoming a reality.
“It has taken longer than I’m used to,” Woody said. “It’s part of a process, though, and at the end of the day I think we’re going to have a good product that will satisfy all the stakeholders’ needs.”
The town of Vail bought Timber Ridge for $20 million in 2003 to preserve the property’s deed-restricted employee housing designation, and also with the intention of getting the property redeveloped. The town established the TImber Ridge Affordable Housing Corporation to operate and manage the property. Town Manager Stan Zemler serves as the president of that corporation.
The project passed through the Planning and Environmental Commission and is now in the Design Review Board process. The Design Review Board plays a critical role in the approval process, as the board evaluates the application for compliance with the town’s architectural standards, said Community Development Director George Ruther.
The Design Review Board looks for whether the building fits into the surrounding landscape and topography. The board determines if building materials and colors are acceptable – an authority that has caused much of the delays in the Timber Ridge approval process.
“It really had to do with choices of building materials,” Woody said. “We wanted to use certain types of materials than they would like us to use. I think the end result is slightly more expensive, but a very good looking building.”
The $60 million redevelopment means the eastern portion of the 10-acre Timber Ridge property will be demolished and rebuilt into 360 employee housing units, a five-story parking garage, clubhouse and fitness center.
Ruther said he believes the Design Review Board is now generally comfortable with the architectural design of the proposed building, including the types of materials being proposed now.
“Both (the Design Review Board and the applicant) are taking the time to understand the project before they respond to one another,” Ruther said. “We’ve gotten to a point where the applicant now has a very clear understanding and direction from the Design Review Board.”
Ruther said it should take the next six weeks or so to put together a revised packet to then resubmit to the Design Review Board.
Woody said the exterior of the building has been “substantially redesigned,” mainly due to changes in the building materials. He said it’s been a challenge to create an attractive building that is still affordable to build and lease.
Woody had hoped to begin construction this past April, but said now it’s looking more like the spring of 2011.
“We could probably start in late summer or early fall (of this year), but we really wouldn’t get much done before the snow comes,” Woody said.
The project essentially has a green light once the Design Review Board approves it, unless someone appeals to the Vail Town Council or the Council decided to call up the project if it feels one of the other reviewing boards “may have eroded in the process or the application,” Ruther said.
The project should take about two years to build from start to finish.
Community Editor Lauren Glendenning can be reached at 970-748-2983 or email@example.com.