Development near base of Steamboat Resort enters city planning process
STEAMBOAT SPRINGS — The new owners of property at Ski Time Square near the base of Steamboat Resort have sent development plans to city planning.
The proposed mixed-use project combines condominiums and commercial space and is called Thunderhead Station. It would sit on vacant land next to the Kutuk Condominiums, with Burgess Creek on two sides.
In September, DBT Development, out of Washington D.C., and owner David Tolson bought a large parcel of land in front of Ski Time Square Condominiums, which includes everything between the Kutuk Condominiums and the Clock Tower Property. This newest condo project would sit on the east portion of that parcel on Ski Time Square Drive.
The September sale included the old Tugboat Grill & Pub. Tolson’s DBT Development bought another parcel next to Slopeside Grill, site of the former Thunderhead Lodge and Condominiums. It does not include the T Bar lot.
Tolson, who has lived in Steamboat Springs part-time for 15 years, says the 23,715-square-foot building will be a good way for his team to stick their toe in the water.
“The current cost of construction is making it very difficult to take speculative risk in the Steamboat housing market. Optimism should be tempered with this reality,” Tolson said. “That said, our development team is committed to building an initial four-unit condominium building in order to test the market.”
For 10 years, the once-hopping Tugboat Grill has sat shuttered in what was once a popular area for skiers and locals. Previous owners of the property in Ski Time Square tore down old buildings for development but failed to act on proposed projects after the economy took a severe downturn in 2007-08.
Realtor David Baldinger Jr., who specializes in base-area real estate, is optimistic about the new project
“It’s a fantastic first start,” said Baldinger, who is a broker-owner with Steamboat Sotheby’s International Realty. “We have not seen development in over 10 years. It’s extremely exciting for the neighborhood, and it’s important for the whole mountain community.”
Baldinger co-chairs the Urban Renewal Authority Advisory Committee, which advises the city on the best ways to improve the Steamboat base area through the URA.
Baldinger said Steamboat’s base is unusual because it’s owned by a large number of individuals and developers. The URA was formed to help coordinate all their interests in an effort to improve the base area for residents and visitors and attract developers.
During the last 10 years, the URA has helped fund a new beach area for families that diverts Burgess Creek above-ground during the summer. It’s improved pedestrian connections with a promenade and added a concert stage. The URA also supported much-needed road improvements for traffic flow.
Tolson said the URA is instrumental in bringing in development.
“I cannot stress how important the URA’s work at the base is,” Tolson said. “It is very helpful to have such a sophisticated entity working on base area improvements.”
Tolson said the design of the Thunderhead Station building should add value to the neighborhood and its residents, and with the help of the URA, he hopes to breathe new life and energy in the base area.
The building will include four, two-story homes, which range in size from 3,500 to 3,700 square feet and sit on a ground floor that houses garages, amenities and storage, along with 1,167 square feet of commercial space that will front Ski Time Square Drive. Tolson hopes to break ground on the project in 12 months.
To view the development project, visit steamboatsprings.net/141/Planning-Community-Development and click on “maps” to find any project that the city is working on.
Frances Hohl is a contributing writer for Steamboat Pilot & Today.
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