Gates on the way |

Gates on the way

Nicole Frey

AVON – A couple of construction workers recently bent over a hole in the ground in Avon. Hard hats in place and shovels in hand, they dug into the earth preparing the site for a sauna. The sauna will be just one part of the Gates on Beaver Creek project by JMJ Development that will consist of 49 new condominiums along with a slew of amenities, including a library, children’s recreation room, spa and indoor heated pool. The property will also boast an on-site concierge, ski valet and shuttle service to Beaver Creek Mountain. But these things won’t come quickly: The project is still two years from completion. A stop-and-go project for years, the property has changed ownership and been a mystery to the public who waited to see if the plot would ever grow from a hole in the ground. The work had been halted in the past as the developer waited for Avon to renew building permits for the site. But the Avon Town Council, a little wiser after dealing with the Gates for so long, required monetary assurances that the project will be completed even if JMJ pulls out. Council also wanted to be sure the developer has secured all the money needed to build the Gates.”The town of Avon has been wonderful to work with,” said Tim Barton, president of JMJ Development. “The result is one of the finest projects in the valley that will spur continued economic development and revitalize the area.”With the final go-ahead from Avon in the bag, an explosion of activity started up on the Gates site at the base of Beaver Creek as JMJ got back to work starting with “the dirt work,” as the project’s supervisor Mark Rood called it. Removing the last of the winter’s snow, B & B Excavating started on infrastructure, including adding drainage and building water and sewer pipes, said Charlie Bryant of the excavating business. At the same time, construction workers started digging the swimming pool, hot tub and underground parking in addition to the sauna. Others started on the foundation and the wood frame.But materials for the next step namely steel aren’t expected for a month. And with the soaring price of the metal plaguing the building market, developers are wondering how far over budget projects will be. The Gates is estimated to cost about $72 million, but may double if the cost of materials continues to escalate. Despite this uncertainty, Suzi Apple, spokeswoman for JMJ, said sales for the condos have been good, and 30 percent of the properties starting at about $1 million are already spoken for. Staff Writer Nicole Frey can be reached at 748-2927, or Vail, Colorado

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