West End in Edwards resurrected as residential project
November 13, 2016
EDWARDS — A resurrected residential development is working its way back through the county's approval process.
The West End project in Edwards fell dormant when the economy tanked in 2008 and 2009, but the latest incarnation, an East/West Partners project, is working its way through Eagle County's active development applications.
"We think it will be a fine addition to the valley," Harry Frampton, founder and chairman of East West Partners, said.
Near the Preserve
The West End will be one of the first major projects Eagle County since the recession. It will be located near the entrance to the Eagle River Preserve open space in Edwards.
"We like two things about it. First, it's in the middle of Edwards, which is a wonderful place to live. Second, it's buffered by the Eagle River Preserve. We think those two items make it a highly desirable project," Frampton said.
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They'll be priced in the valley's "medium" range, Frampton said.
It's within walking distance to all sorts of things: shops, movie theaters, restaurants, said Jim Telling, of East West Partners.
The land has changed hands several times since the economy tanked, ending up with a financial firm in the Midwest. East West's people started talking with the banking people, and they came to an agreement.
The new plan is strictly residential, unlike the previous plan approved in 2007, which also included commercial space.
"We felt there's enough commercial in the valley already, and certainly in Edwards," Frampton said.
In 2007, the 5.4-acre West End site was approved for a combination of 185 units — 113 free market, 72 employee housing units and 85,000 square feet of commercial space.
East West's plan proposes between 56 and 60 units, in a mix of single family homes, stacked flats, three-story townhomes and two-story townhomes. The plan remains fluid, Telling said.
"If the market tells us the townhome units are more popular than single family homes, we can adapt to that," Telling said. "Our hope is that this is a project that could appeal to young professionals, or couples who are downsizing."
In the past decade the housing industry, like all industries, has seen significant improvements in technology.
It's a little like the difference between buying a 2007 car and a 2017 car. The older car may be fine, but the new car is much better in technology and materials.
"We have some good ideas of how to make this the next generation of residential product," Frampton said.
Rolling in a roundabout
The project still has lots of moving parts, many of them automobiles. Besides on-site infrastructure such as utilities, East West Partners has to build a roundabout, possibly at the entrance of The Eagle River Preserve. The location depends on input from the county and the Colorado Department of Transportation.
However, so far neither the county nor Colorado Department of Transportation are estimating prices for the roundabout they're requiring.
For now, the ambitious timetable targets the end of 2017 to begin construction, with the first phase coming to market in 2018.
"We're trying to keep the prices as low as we can and still have it be a free market unit," Telling said.
Instead of building affordable housing, East West will contribute to the county's housing fund.
The county's housing regulations require that 25 percent of the total residential units be designated as affordable housing, or that the developer pay a fee based on the square footage. In West End, 25 percent of 56 units is 14 units, or 14,545 square feet.
New tax source
When this project is finished, perhaps in 2019, the homes will generate $144,448 in new property taxes. It's expected to be 80 percent owned by full-time residents, who will also generate approximately $540,225 in new sales taxes, according to the plan filed with the county's community development department.
Staff Writer Randy Wyrick can be reached at 970-748-2935 and firstname.lastname@example.org.