Market forces converge to get The Gates finished
AVON The market seems to have caught up with the corner of Beaver Creek Boulevard and U.S. Highway 6 & 24.On the southeast corner of that intersection, a condo project called The Gates is under construction and for sale. For years, though, the property sat, approved for development.A couple of developers spent a lot of time and millions of dollars but were unable to get a project out of the ground. Then came Tim Barton.Barton, the president and primary partner in Dallas-based JMJ Holdings, took over the project at the request of one of the previous developers financial partners. Barton and his team re-designed the project, and construction began in August of last year. Its expected to be finished in early 2008.People who buy one of the 49 units at The Gates are being promised luxury and then some. The building itself will have a library and lounge, private wine storage, a full-time concierge and 24-hour car service to anywhere in the valley.Were really building a private club, Barton said.Before work could start, though, Barton and Jerry Jones, the listing agent, had reservations for units at The Gates. Once pre-sales hit about one-third of the units, Barton was able to get financing for the project.And, while this is Bartons first project in the valley, hes aware of the history of the property and quick to defend his own track record in the business.Weve closed over $2 billion in sales and never lost a dime, he said.So why is The Gates steaming toward its grand opening when previous developers couldnt get a building started?Barton said it was just a matter of having the right people on the job this time.Jones, who has a long history in the valley, including a stint running Beaver Creek, said the biggest reason this project is going is the market.By the time Barton took over from the previous developers, the property had millions invested in it, Jones said. Just a few years ago, no developer could have taken on the project without losing money.Then other nearby projects were approved, and the market took off. Values increased by $400 a square foot, Jones said. When the prices went up, the pro forma made sense. Now theyre getting out of the deal whole.Another difference is how The Gates is being marketed. In just the past few weeks, the sales team has made presentations in Puerto Rico and Dallas. Then theres the oldest of real estate clichs: Location, location, location.Its Beaver Creek or Bachelor Gulch quality without the association costs, and its right at the entry to Beaver Creek, Jones said. Guests are sort of in the center of everything there. And as Avon becomes a major resort destination, owners will be along a dynamic, viable main street.Business Editor Scott N. Miller can be reached at 748-2930, or firstname.lastname@example.org.