Gypsum’s Villas at Cotton Ranch: something special in the local market
GYPSUM — Jeanne and J.T. Landreth think they have something special in the valley’s housing market. The market seems to agree.
The Landreths are the husband-and-wife team behind the Villas at Cotton Ranch. The couple moved to the valley in 2006, with the idea of slowing down from a busy career in northern Illinois. A few years later, the Villas parcel came up, and was too appealing to overlook.
When finished, the Villas will have 72 homes — mostly duplex and triplex units, with a few fourplexes — on the north side of the Gypsum Creek Golf Course. So far, 46 units have been sold, and 37 owners have moved into the neighborhood.
Construction began in 2015, and should be finished by 2020.
Buyers include a handful of young families, as well as a number of people who have moved out of larger homes in other parts of the Vail Valley. Retirees are also moving in.
Buyers are attracted by a combination of price, location and quality, J.T. Landreth said.
Prices range from $429,000 for a two-bedroom home to just more than $600,000 for a three-bedroom unit.
Distinctive quality, great views
The building quality includes little touches including imported Italian cabinets and high-end countertops, as well as top-end appliances and even door locks. Showers are of the “no-step” variety, so they’re accessible to people in wheelchairs. Shower drains are cleverly built, with no obvious drain in the floor.
Features also include energy efficiency, with ceilings insulated to a stout R49 level, and walls to a cozy R21 rating. The sliding, barn-door-style pantry doors are made from beetle-killed timber.
Landreth, a life-long builder, points with pride to these touches — such as an office space located conveniently near the front door — and can talk at length about what makes these townhomes distinctive, not just in Gypsum, but in the valley.
“A lot of people don’t expect this (quality) in Gypsum,” Landreth said, adding that the Villas at Cotton Ranch pack a bit more “pizazz,” along with remarkable views from virtually every unit.
Once people see the units, many are also sold on Gypsum’s location. It’s about 30 minutes to Beaver Creek, and the Gypsum Creek Golf Course is almost always the first in the valley to open and the last to close.
“When I tell people they can ski in the morning and golf in the afternoon, they’ll ask me where,” Landreth said. The answer, of course, is Gypsum.
That’s attractive to people looking for a lifestyle, Landreth said.
The Villas at Cotton Ranch also require little maintenance. The homeowners association handles all the mowing and snow plowing — something that’s been needed this winter in Gypsum.
“It’s not no-maintenance, but it’s low-maintenance,” Landreth said.
That should appeal to those who travel, as well as those who are just tired of trying to start a lawn mower or snow thrower.
The Landreths are proud they’re able to bring in these units at these prices. But, Landreth acknowledged, it wouldn’t have been possible without some economic hard times.
When the Cotton Ranch subdivision was approved in the 1990s, the Villas site was zoned for multi-family housing but never developed. Landreth bought the vacant property in 2013 from a bank that had purchased the land at auction. Once in the Landreths’ hands, it didn’t take much more work to start building.
“All the big fees were already paid,” Landreth said.
The decision to move ahead was easy. And, it seems, buyers like what they see.