Vail sensitive to developers’ hardship |

Vail sensitive to developers’ hardship

Lauren Glendenning
Vail, CO Colorado

VAIL, Colorado – The town of Vail is cutting some slack to four developers whose projects are on hold because of the economic downturn.

The town approved the four development plans for Cascade Residences, Cornerstone Residences, Strata and Timberline Roost Lodge before not only the economy went south, but also before the town adopted new regulations on a construction tax, a 50 percent on-site employee housing and new international building codes. The three new laws would place further financial hardship on the four approved developments, which is why the council is deciding to give developers extensions.

Greg Gastineau, the developer for the Timberline Roost Lodge project, said the problem is more than just waiting for market conditions to improve.

“There is no financing available for construction – that market is gone,” Gastineau told council members Tuesday. “We’re waiting for banks to get back into the business of lending money.”

The town agreed to grant an 18-month extension to the four projects, giving as much as three years from now to get them going – the extensions are set to begin when the project’s current approvals are set to expire.

Some council members worried about whether the decision would create precedent for future developers, but agreed having these projects in the pipeline and ready to go when the market rebounds is the most important thing.

Mayor Dick Cleveland said he doesn’t think it’s government’s role to ensure a developer’s success and thinks the town has limits on project approvals for a reason.

The town voted to bring the matter back as a resolution to approve the extensions at a future meeting. Cleveland was the only dissenting vote.

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