Million dollar home neighborhood in Steamboat bounces all the way back from recession |

Million dollar home neighborhood in Steamboat bounces all the way back from recession

There's a barn in that subdivision

One of the first two completed homes in Steamboat Barn Village is now surrounded by 33 others.
Tom Ross

STEAMBOAT SPRINGS — The sale last month of the last of the original 62 residential building lots in Steamboat Barn Village for $243,995 epitomizes the recovery of the local real estate market from the depths of the Great Recession of the last decade.

When Bear Stearns went down and the effects of toxic lending set in, the impact wasn’t immediately felt in Steamboat. But when the national housing bubble burst, it was only a matter of time until it caught up with a subdivision in Steamboat where a .2-acre lot was priced at more than $500,000.

Barn Village has matured into a very desirable Steamboat neighborhood of million dollar homes, somewhat secluded along Fish Creek, but within walking distance of shopping and dining.

One constant throughout the 13-year history of Barn Village has been listing real estate broker Chris Wittemyer of Steamboat Sotheby’s International Realty, who represented the More family in the original sale and was asked to remain in that role post-recession under the new ownership.

“I always had faith in it and wanted to be part of it,” Wittemyer said. “Although there were times when I thought I’d get ‘moved on.’”

The original developers of Barn Village, just off Pine Grove Road behind the iconic More Barn, enjoyed a wildly successful roll-out over Labor Day weekend 2007 with two- and three-deep backup offers on lot reservations.

But that optimistic start crumbled when the process of obtaining the final plat and completing the development agreement stretched into 2008. In the interim, the national economy tanked and would-be buyers, many of them local building contractors, disappeared.

Just eight lots went through closing. And for years, the development, with its completed neighborhood clubhouse, went dormant.

All of that has changed since 2012, when Gibraltar Capital Management acquired the debt on Barn Village and foreclosed on the property. Gibraltar brought the property back to the market in 2013, adjusting lot prices downward by more than 60 percent to recover momentum and align them with the cost of building.

As sales steadily recovered, Gibraltar astutely increased lot prices with every two or three sales until the typical value of a completed home there is above $1 million

The Routt County Regional Building Department confirmed this week it had issued building permits for three new homes in Barn Village — one on Angels View Way and two more on Twilight Lane. Permit values, which are below retail for the homes and don’t include the price of the lot, ranged from $678,000 to $750,000.

As of this fall, 36 homes and duplexes had been completed or are under construction in Barn Village with 34 of those properties breaking ground since 2013. More than two-thirds of the occupied properties are permanent residents including local teachers, realtors, doctors, lawyers and retirees, according to Wittemyer.

He credits original development team leader Bob Comes and project planners Peter Patten and Scott Woodford for creating a strong set of design guidelines for the subdivision, and the board of the homeowners association for ensuring the completed homes in the development are harmonious in style.

“The board over there has worked to be consistent and applied standards that have resulted in a good-looking product. There’s a requirement for a certain percent of stone and natural woods,” Wittemyer said. “But the thing I think has really made a difference on the small lots, is that, a number of homes have their garages on the alley. And on the duplexes, at least one of the garages is side loaded, so you have front porches,” facing the streets.

To reach Tom Ross, call 970-871-4205, email or follow him on Twitter @ThomasSRoss1.

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