Stratton Flats project in Gypsum ready to change hands | VailDaily.com

Stratton Flats project in Gypsum ready to change hands

NWS Stratton Flats KA 07-15-10

GYPSUM, Colorado – Despite the current real estate slump, a Denver-area company thinks there’s promise in the Gypsum market.

The Pauls Group recently purchased the remaining undeveloped property in the Sky Legend neighborhood of the Cotton Ranch subdivision, and has a contract to buy the Stratton Flats affordable housing project just east of Eagle Valley High School.

If and when the deal for Stratton Flats closes, that project’s product will probably change somewhat.

The project was originally approved with 339 units split between condos, townhomes and single-family homes. About one-third of the units were hit with Eagle County’s “deed restrictions” – contractual limits on how much a home can appreciate and be re-sold for. Another third of the units were slapped with town of Gypsum deed restrictions, which essentially limit the buyer pool to local employees, but without the appreciation caps.

The county’s restrictions came because the Eagle County commissioners in 2008 agreed to put $4.5 million into the project. That payment was used to lower the price of more than 100 units. In exchange, the developer put appreciation caps on them.

Now, town and county officials are negotiating with the Pauls Group – which did not respond to two interview requests – about those deed restrictions.

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“The bottom line is they’ve asked us to drop our restrictions, and for the county to adopt our restrictions,” Gypsum Town Manager Jeff Shroll said.

That’s fine with Gypsum Town Council Member Tom Edwards.

“It shouldn’t be as restrictive there as the county wanted,” Edwards said.

But the county does want to preserve some kind of deed restrictions at Stratton Flats.

While the county and original developer Scott Russell are still negotiating, Eagle County Attorney Bryan Treu said the county’s goal is the same as it was two years ago – to have homes available at a lower price than the free-market units.

“We were an investor,” Eagle County Commissioner Peter Runyon said. “We got deed-restricted housing for our investment. And we’re still going to have a third of those units restricted to resident-occupied housing.”

While the deal hasn’t closed yet, Runyon said he’s encouraged by at least one thing he’s heard from the potential new owners.

“Under the (current) owners, the single-family homes would be manufactured somewhere else and then trucked up here,” Runyon said. “Now it looks as if they’ll be built locally. That could mean a lot of local jobs.”

Business Editor Scott N. Miller can be reached at 970-748-2930 or smiller@vaildaily.com.