Workers hope for new Gypsum homes |

Workers hope for new Gypsum homes

Melanie Wong
Vail, CO Colorado
Dominique Taylor/Vail DailySales manager Andrew Forstl, right, shows Bill Voorhees the layout and prices of the condominiums available in the Stratton Flats affordable housing project Wednesday in Gypsum. The neighbourhood, which will include condominiums, townhouses and single family homes with options for both free market and deed-restricted, went on sale Wednesday with the first homes planned on being completed by fall 2008.

GYPSUM, Colorado ” The 47-acre lot west of the airport may be nothing but dirt and bulldozers now, but Avon resident Michael Strumph hopes that it will soon be the site of his new home.

Strumph, 31, was one of the first to apply for a home at Stratton Flats, a Gypsum development that will be a mix of 339 deed-restricted and free market condos, townhomes and single-family homes.

The project is a partnership between the town of Gypsum, Meritage Development Group, and Eagle County, which invested $4.5 million in the development. A third of the homes will be free-market, a third will be deed-restricted under Gypsum’s terms, and a third will be deed-restricted under the county’s terms.

The project was designed to provide workforce housing for local residents, a sort of second Miller Ranch, said developer Scott Russell.

Prices for deed-restricted residences begin at $171,000 for condominiums, $300,500 for town homes, and $343,000 for single family homes. Free-market residences start at $344,000 for townhomes and $394,000 for single family homes.

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The first homes are expected to be ready this fall, and the project is expected to finish over the next three or four years.

On the development’s first day of selling, a handful of people came in with applications and home sites picked out, and quite a few applications were handed out, said sales manager Andy Forstl.

Others, like Avon resident Bill Voorhees, stopped by just to check out floor plans and sketches. Voorhees said he is interested in buying a free-market condo.

“The prices are fair for the valley, and they look pretty nice,” he said.

Right now the sales office is seeing potential buyers by appointment, and the office will be open for walk-ins on Wednesday.

Besides being a mix of deed-restrictions and free market homes, buyers have a variety of down-payment assistance programs to choose from, too, Forstl said.

The project offers Eagle County assistance programs as well as Federal Housing Administration loan programs.

“A lot of people right now are thinking they can’t get a loan,” he said. “But what person who works in this valley can afford 20 percent down? With these programs you can do 3 percent down.”

Strumph, a structural engineer with KRM Consultants, said he has wanted to buy a home since he moved to the area three years ago, but couldn’t find anything affordable that came with a garage.

He said he has his eye on a 2-bedroom, 2 1/2-bath townhouse under one of Gypsum’s deed restrictions, which has less caps.

He’s looking forward to owning his own place and having space to keep his dirt bike and other gear, he said.

“I think this is just what the valley needs,” he said of the development. “I always thought I made good money until I moved here. This is a good way to keep locals around.”

Companies and governments are interested getting a piece of the neighborhood, too, Forstl said.

The Eagle River Water and Sanitation District plans to buy 10 homes to sell to employees, said Jerry Soenksen, the district’s housing analyst. The district already owns 32 properties that they sell to employees under the district’s deed restriction terms.

“It’s an opportunity for us to help out any new employees, because all of our employee homes are full right now,” Soenksen said.

Other potential buyers include Eagle County, ECO Transit and several other local businesses.

For more information, see or call 970-524-5544 to schedule an appointment with the sales office.

Staff Writer Melanie Wong can be reached at 970-748-2928 or

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