Highmark nudges $1,000 barrier | SteamboatToday.com

Highmark nudges $1,000 barrier

Vail Village condos typically being sold for $1,100 per square foot

The three penthouses at the Highmark, currently under construction at Village Drive and Apres Ski Way, are listed by Cam Boyd at Prudential Steamboat Realty for $2.25 million to $2.35 million, or nearly $1,000 per square foot.
Tyler Arroyo

Could slopeside condos at Steamboat someday be routinely priced at more than $1,000 per square foot?

The day could be coming.

The three penthouse condominiums at the Highmark, each about 2,300 square feet, are listed for sale with Prudential Steamboat Realty, at a little more than $2.25 to $2.35 million.

The six-story condominium building is under construction at Village Drive and Apres Ski Way, immediately opposite the ski gondola parking lot where One Steamboat Place is poised to go forward.

The penthouses on the sixth floor of the Highmark represent a new price ceiling for Steamboat in terms of per-square-foot price, listing Realtor Cam Boyd said. But he added he’s aware of ski village units priced much higher 110 miles away in Vail.

An analysis of the Vail market prepared by Slifer Smith and Frampton Real Estate confirms that in Vail Village and Lionshead, the average price of condominiums sold in 2005 was $1,115 per square foot. The highest price paid for a condo in Vail Village last year was $2,246 per square foot, and the lowest price was $482.

“I really don’t think you’ll see a differentiation between our product here, and there,” Boyd said.

He has the listing on the seven unsold condominiums at the Highmark. The other 17 were pre-sold by developer Concord Wilshire Partners of Los Angeles.

Concord Wilshire took over development of the project in mid-construction and made pre-existing contracts dating to the summer of 2003 “go away,” Boyd said.

The seven remaining units in aggregate represent $13.3 million in listings. The least expensive of the three is a three-bedroom plus den, three-bath unit on the second floor comprising 2,324 square feet. It is priced at $1.34 million.

In Vail Village and Lionshead last year, the median sale price of a condo or townhome was $1.1 million, a 49 percent increase from 2004. The average sale price of a condo or townhome in Vail last year was $1.63 million. A contributing factor in the rapid escalation of condo prices in Vail is the redevelopment of Lionshead, currently under way.

As recently as 2003, the average sale price of a condo in Vail/Lionshead was $828,761, half of the figure for 2005.

The Steamboat market set a record for the number of condo units sold in 2005, but the inventory of modestly priced units kept the average far lower than in Vail. During 2005, 616 condos were sold here for a total of $215.25 million. The average price of a condominium in 2005 was almost $350,000 and through the first quarter of 2006, the price had risen to $364,213.

The penthouses at the Highmark are noteworthy for their cathedral ceilings and the sheer volume of space they occupy. The unit fronting on Village Drive has views of the ski slopes. The other two have open staircases that lead to large lofts.

Daniel Jessen, construction manager for Drahota Construction, said crews are on track to complete the building by early 2007.

“We’ll turn the entire project over to the owners in early January,” Jessen said.

Recently, Drahota and its subcontractors had as many as 100 workers on site. All of the units at the Highmark have a feeling of spaciousness attributable to 9-foot, 4-inch ceilings.

Every interior wall has sound insulation and the post-tensioned concrete floors transmit virtually no sound. All of the walls are trimmed in crown molding at the ceiling joint – Jessen estimates trim carpenters will have gone through 5 miles of crown molding when the project is complete.

A model condominium on the second floor of the building is nearing completion.

Trim levels include marble tile in the bathrooms, alder kitchen cabinets and master bedrooms pre-wired for plasma TVs.

The building has central air conditioning with controls in each unit and hot water baseboard heat.

Boyd can be reached at 879-8100.

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