Timber Ridge loan not a sure thing | VailDaily.com

Timber Ridge loan not a sure thing

Lauren Glendenning
Vail CO Colorado

VAIL, Colorado – With initial financing approvals from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, the redevelopment of the eastern side of Timber Ridge is starting to look like it’s within reach.

The $45 million project has faced delay after delay in the last year. Rockfall mitigation work slowed it down the first time around, and the HUD financing delays slowed it down again.

The developer, Darren Woody of Texas-based Vail Timber Ridge LLC, said a closing hasn’t been scheduled yet, but he’s still hopeful he can close with HUD by the end of the year.

Woody will need the building permit from the town of Vail in place before he can close, so he’s continuing to work with the town of Vail on the loose ends that need to be tied up.

“A lot of things have to get done,” Woody said.

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While the redevelopment project is mostly through the town of Vail entitlement process, some of HUD’s financing requirements – mainly a downsizing of the project – will require some more work, Town Manager Stan Zemler said.

It won’t be a full blown review all over again, but the application will need to return to the town’s Planning and Environmental Commission, and possible back to the Design Review Board.

Zemler said HUD is very thorough with its market studies before approving financing, which is why he thinks the downsizing became a condition of the financing approval.

The development will now have 279 units, whereas the original plans called for 359 units, Zemler said.

But with 500-plus beds still likely with the redevelopment, Zemler is still happy with the proposal.

“When we acquired Timber Ridge, the primary goal was to preserve the deed restriction on the property,” Zemler said. “There are 600 (beds) on the whole 10 acres, so if we can get 500-plus on half the property, we’re doing pretty well.”

The HUD process has been a long and difficult one, Woody said. The process went from solely a regional review process to a national review process, and the timing couldn’t have been more wrong.

As the economy collapsed and HUD became one of the only options for multi-family development financing, the agency became inundated with applications. Woody said Timber Ridge got caught up in the delays as a result.

“The (town of Vail’s) process, while it’s more demanding than a lot of other places, hasn’t been the problem,” Woody said. “Really, the financing has been the more challenging part of this process.”

Woody said HUD’s financing conditions are doable, but he’s still working through the details. He hopes to get it sorted out in time to not only close by the end of the year, but also in time to begin demolition of the eastern buildings sometime next spring.

“It’s a difficult deal. I think we’ve been trying in good faith to get it done,” Woody said. “Everybody’s still trying to get it done. … There’s a lot of moving pieces.”

Community Editor Lauren Glendenning can be reached at 970-748-2983 or lglendenning@vaildaily.com.

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