Ranch buyers move from Eagle to Pitkin | VailDaily.com

Ranch buyers move from Eagle to Pitkin

Scott Condon

ASPEN – The easy pickings are gone in the Eagle Valley, so some developers have turned their attention to the Roaring Fork area for ranches and large pieces of land, according to a Vail-based real estate investor.Greg Amsden of AMS Development Inc. heads a group that started scouring the Roaring Fork Valley earlier this summer. They made offers on two large properties in this valley only to see them both fall through before reaching a deal on the Hunt Ranch.They placed an option on the 565-acre property in Missouri Heights and intend to close soon on the purchase.Amsden said property as large as the Hunt Ranch or one with as much development potential can’t be found any more in Eagle County. A Vail-based Realtor unaffiliated with Amsden confirmed that large acreages are rare there because the valley is more narrow and the ranches that existed have already been snatched up and developed.”The Roaring Fork Valley has a little more openess,” Amsden said. “It’s really gotten developed in the Eagle Valley.”In contrast, the Hunt Ranch features an irrigated meadow surrounded by low hills. It has easy access three miles off Highway 82 and Garfield County land-use regulations would allow development of up to 94 homes.Amsden said it is too soon to say exactly what his group will propose to build. They have hired Otak of Carbondale to prepare a land use plan.The Hunt Ranch is currently leased to operators that raise hay during summers and run cattle on the spread in winters. Amsden said his group is interested in exploring ongoing agriculture uses.He suspects most buyers, around 80 percent, will be full-time Roaring Fork Valley residents. “You know there’s a migration down out of Aspen,” he said. Missouri Heights has been popular with the migrators because people can buy a few acres with their homes.Amsden envisioned that the majority of homes built on Hunt Ranch will be between 3,000 and 4,000 square feet. “We’re not after the trophy home style,” he said.He stressed that his group isn’t interested in developing a golf project. “We want to limit disturbance on that ranch,” he said.Vail, Colorado