Red Cliff townhomes project a significant change in town |

Red Cliff townhomes project a significant change in town

The nine-unit project is priced between the mid-$400,00s and mid-$600,000s

This artist's depiction shows the nine-unit townhome project being built on Red Cliff's Water Street.
More information To learn more about the Water Street townhomes in Red Cliff, email Patrick Scanlan at There will also be an Oct. 23 open house from 3 to 5 p.m. at the Minturn Saloon.

Not much changes in Red Cliff, Eagle County’s oldest town. But change is coming on Water Street, the town’s main drag.

If you’ve been to Red Cliff recently, you’ve noticed there’s new construction in town for the first time in a while. That construction is the nine-unit Water Street townhomes, a project of Fortius Capital and developer Rory McCarthy.

The homes are being built quickly, with modular units brought in from a factory in Nebraska. In fact, only the garages are being built on-site. The project began in June and is expected to be finished in early 2020. Prices will range from the mid-$400,000 range to the mid-$600,000 range.

Patrick Scanlan of Fortius said those prices are “unheard of” in that part of the valley, especially for new construction.

Given the proximity to Vail, Scanlan said he’s fielding a lot of calls about the project. Scanlan said accomplished skiers can ski out of the backcountry gates from Blue Sky basin to Red Cliff in about 45 minutes, and Vail is a 15-mile drive.

“We want locals to stay in the valley, to be comfortable, safe and have their basic needs met… while still remaining in the upper valley,” Scanlan said.

McCarthy said his family has been coming to the Vail Valley since the 1980s. Several family members have moved here over the years. An uncle bought some parcels in Red Cliff in the 1990s.

McCarthy added he’s been impressed with the reception the project has received from town officials and a number of residents.

“The whole town has been an ally,” McCarthy said.

While the project is mostly boxes at the moment, McCarthy said the buildings’ exteriors will reflect the history of the rest of the town when completed.

The goal is to create something like “Red Cliff used to look like and not have it sticking out like a sore thumb,” McCarthy said.

Barb Smith, Red Cliff town administrator, said the townhome project will have a significant effect.

“Even a nine-townhome project, when we only have 150 houses, is a pretty big impact,” Smith said.

Smith noted that residents are mostly pleased with the project.

“We’re happy to have some nice buildings we can invite folks to live in,” she said.

On the other hand, change comes slowly to Red Cliff. The Water Street project is a sizable change and will bring more people to town.

McCarthy said the family owns other parcels in Red Cliff. The future of those parcels depends on how the townhome project goes.

“We want to make sure everyone’s happy and then re-assess,” he said.

Vail Daily Business Editor Scott Miller can be reached at and 970-748-2930.

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