Luxury homes go up in El Jebel | AspenTimes.com

Luxury homes go up in El Jebel

“You’ve come a long way, baby” could be the rallying cry these days in El Jebel.The village that began as affordable housing for workers at Ruedi Reservoir and the Fryingpan-Arkansas water diversion project is now the site of Shadowrock, a high-end townhouse project where prices will start at almost $600,000.A powerhouse real estate development and acquisition firm from Dallas is building the first phase of the 100-townhouse project between the El Jebel shopping center, the location of Bella Mia and the Short Stop, and Ace Lane’s water ski lake farther east.Madison Partners LLC bought the land from Kevin and Tammy Tucker last year, and acquired final approvals for the project from Eagle County government.The marketing for Shadowrock is targeting both second-home owners and permanent residents of the Roaring Fork Valley, according to Jennifer Neary, a real estate agent with V2 Land and Homes. The Edwards firm has the listing for Shadowrock.There are four models of townhouses. The smallest is 1,664 square feet, and the largest nearly 2,600, according to Neary. All of them will be high-end units, with hardwood floors, stainless steel appliances and interiors by Slifer Design.”We’re delivering more than a box,” said Tom Banner, a broker and owner of V2 Land and Homes.The first phase of 30 townhouses is scheduled for completion by summer 2007. It will likely take three years to build all the units, Neary said.Reservations are being taken with a $10,000 down payment. Potential buyers will be able to choose their units closer to completion, or they will be able to bail out and get a refund before signing a contract.The number of townhouses will be limited to three to five per building rather than lumped into a few monolithic structures.Wendy Lucas, the listing broker at the Willits development across the street from Shadowrock, said there is proven demand for the type of product the new project offers. She noted that any housing in the $600,000 range is rare in the midvalley market these days because of consistent high demand and low inventory.Lucas said Shadowrock has an “attractive price per square foot.” A 1,664-square-foot unit selling for $600,000 would fetch about $360 per square foot. That is in line with the $378 per square foot experienced for similar townhomes at Willits.In another sign of the changing times, Shadowrock touts its location in El Jebel rather than pussyfooting around it. In the past, some observers snidely referred to El Jebel as “edge of hell.” Now it is home to several top restaurants, a collection of shops and service providers, a bowling alley and theater. Willits developer Michael Lipkin is completing the first building in what will be a 10-block town center with numerous more shops and restaurants.Neary and Banner were unaware there ever was a stigma connected to El Jebel. The website for the project boasts of a favorable location next to Highway 82 and easy access to Aspen.Lucas said she feels buyers view that part of the midvalley as one community. They don’t draw a distinction between Basalt, West Basalt, Willits, El Jebel and Blue Lake as much anymore, she said.Shadowrock had enough potential to attract a large, successful development firm: Madison Partners’ expertise is in projects that mix commercial and residential uses, single-family homes, urban entertainment and retail districts, according to its website. Its activities range from managing and developing shopping centers to investing in oil fields. One of its biggest projects is a 1,600-acre master-planned community in Atlanta.Neary’s father, Michael Neary, is one of the principals in the development firm. She said the partners “love the Colorado lifestyle” and have visited the state for years. Their past developments include the 25,000-square-foot West Vail Mall and the 34,000-square-foot Vail Professional Building.They are branching out in Colorado, investigating a project in Telluride as well as in El Jebel, Neary said.Scott Condon’s e-mail address is scondon@aspentimes.com.