Half-built buildings plague Snowmass | VailDaily.com

Half-built buildings plague Snowmass

Katie Redding
Snowmass, CO Colorado

SNOWMASS VILLAGE, Colorado ” With the economic downturn, a new question has emerged in Base Village: What will Related WestPac do about a potential sea of unbuilt or half-built buildings?

Last fall, the developer suspended work on three buildings, citing an inability to secure financing.

Last week, the developer halted construction on the partially built Little Nell Residences Snowmass for the same reason.

On Monday, Related WestPac President Dwayne Romero also acknowledged that the company had not yet received the first check for the second Viceroy Resorts and Residences building, where it has also begun work. Related WestPac submitted the request roughly four weeks ago, Romero said.

He declined to detail Related WestPac’s conversations with the lender, but said the company is “definitely hopeful to receive it shortly.”

The Viceroy is scheduled to open by Christmas, so if funding for part of the hotel falls through, the developer will have to figure out how to hide the half-built section from guests.

“How do you make that work?” asked Romero.

But even if the entire Viceroy is built, a swath of construction sites will stand between it and the commercial core in the first phase of Base Village, Town Council members noted this week.

“I’m very concerned we’re going to have an orphan hotel and there is going to be no access to Base Village except by vehicle,” Councilman John Wilkinson said.

Funding for the hotel comes from a group of banks led by Hypo, a Germany-based financial firm that has made headlines for accepting bailouts from the German government.

Romero said falling real estate prices ” by 30 percent or more, in some cases ” is changing the way business is done. He noted, for example, that Related WestPac, at one time, had scheduled seven buildings for construction this season.

“I think we were all ” collectively ” we were all drinking from the same Kool-Aid. We were all just tipping it back,” he said.

Romero suggested Related WestPac and the town should work together to set a date for a decision on how to proceed. If the developer can’t move forward at that time, he said, the two entities can then work together to figure out what, if anything, needs to be done at the site.

“These are truly extraordinary times,” said Romero.


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