Gypsum’s Brightwater development sold to Aspen-based developer |

Gypsum’s Brightwater development sold to Aspen-based developer

Project up Gypsum Creek has been idle for years

The Brightwater property up Gypsum Creek has been sold.

According to county records, the sellers were Gypsum Creek Holdings and Gypsum Valley Investments, both of which list the same Florida address. The buyer is listed as Siena Development, a limited liability company that lists an Aspen address. Siena Development President Josiah Jennings signed the deed paperwork.

The sale price isn’t listed on the deed documents, but the buyer paid a documentation fee of $2,350. According to Eagle County Clerk and Recorder Regina O’Brien, the assessed fee is 10 cents for every $1,000 in the transaction. That works out to a sale price of $23.5 million. The sale covers unsold lots, the golf course and other property.

The Brightwater property has had a troubled past.

The Gypsum Town Council in the late 1990s annexed and approved the project. The initial approval was for 535 home lots, an 18-hole private golf course and other amenities, including a restaurant.

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Work began in the mid-2000s. The roads and other infrastructure were installed, and the golf course was completed.

In its first years, the project sold about 200 lots, but only two or three dozen homes have been built.

When the national recession hit in 2008, sales slowed to a crawl. Developers at one point offered a three-year lease on a Porsche Cayenne SUV or a similar model from Audi for every lot sold. The move didn’t have much impact.

After no lots were sold in 2008, the project went into “hibernation” in 2009. The golf course and other members-only buildings were maintained, but remained closed.

While the golf course was maintained for a few years after that hibernation, it eventually went fallow.

While the development has been sitting for years, the town of Gypsum got a good return on the annexation deal. Part of that deal was transferring the former Albertson Ranch’s most-senior Gypsum Creek water right to the town.

Mike Budd, currently a broker with Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Colorado Properties, was once the managing broker for sales at Brightwater. Budd is no longer involved with the project, but said he believes the property is still attractive, both for future buyers and the town. More activity at Brightwater could generate more economic activity in Gypsum, from dining to shopping, Budd said.

The former ranch is surrounded by national forest, Budd noted. And, he added, unless two other large ranches up Gypsum Creek sell for development, the property is unique in the valley.

Budd believes Brightwater will remain a higher-end project. That could present an opportunity for those who bought lots at bargain-basement prices over the years the project sat idle.

Budd noted that most of the property to the west of Valley Road is platted, which means those former approvals are still valid. Other approvals have expired over the years. But, Budd added, “I suspect the town of Gypsum would be open to reinvigorating those.”

Four facts

973: Acres at Brightwater, the former Albertson Ranch up Gypsum Creek.

600: Acres of open space.

535: Approved homes at the Brightwater development in Gypsum.

18: Holes of golf at the property, although the course lies fallow.

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