Developer of high-end townhomes puts project near CMC-Spring Valley on hold

GLENWOOD SPRINGS — A 48-unit townhome project near Glenwood Springs was granted a one-year delay by Garfield County commissioners Monday after the developer cited current economic conditions.

Developer Hayden Rader said in an interview later Monday that the Eagle Ridge development would consist of high-end, $700,000 residences near the Colorado Mountain College Spring Valley campus. He said he plans to wait until spring to see what the real estate market is like and “if all of the sudden people are getting more comfortable with the economy.”

Rader said the project is a “pretty large” one with a lot of up-front costs for improvements and utilities.

“We’re still feeling pretty good about it, but the lenders are feeling less good about it, so we’ve got to demonstrate that we can actually sell,” he said.

The nation’s real-estate crisis has begun to have repercussions even in the supercharged market between Rifle and Aspen, with sales slowing, prices stagnating and some projects being put on hold. However, Rader said he remains optimistic about local conditions. He’s finishing up development of a $6 million industrial park in Parachute and said interest in lots there is strong.

The park is targeting the energy industry and supporting businesses. Although many natural gas developers have indicated they are scaling back local operations, Rader said the industry remains vibrant in western Garfield County.

“It may not be as much of a frenzy as it was six months ago, but the demand is still there,” he said.

Rader also is pushing forward with a 100-room hotel and 50,000-square-foot casino in Cripple Creek. That project was bolstered by Colorado voters’ approval of a measure allowing gaming towns to raise betting limits to $100, add more games and operate around-the-clock.

“It really makes the numbers work well” for the development, Rader said of the measure’s approval. “We really feel good about that one.”

He said he continues to be more than just hopeful that the townhome project will come to fruition.

“I’m looking forward to getting that thing absolutely on the move,” he said.


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