The largest Craig project is Western Skies, a collection of 149 single-family homes west of Ridgeview and north of Columbine Apartments being developed by Western Skies LLC. Different colors represent different construction phases. The orange section is the first construction phase, which has 22 home lots. Green is the second phase that expands the eventual neighborhood with 27 homes and a three-acre park. Yellow is the third phase. Purple is fourth phase, and blue is fifth phase.

Courtesy of the City of Craig

The largest Craig project is Western Skies, a collection of 149 single-family homes west of Ridgeview and north of Columbine Apartments being developed by Western Skies LLC. Different colors represent different construction phases. The orange section is the first construction phase, which has 22 home lots. Green is the second phase that expands the eventual neighborhood with 27 homes and a three-acre park. Yellow is the third phase. Purple is fourth phase, and blue is fifth phase.

Developing Craig

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— Craig's residential real estate market could see more progress in the next 10 to 15 years than it has since the late 1970s.

"I have so many projects going, I have to stop and think here," said Dave Costa, Craig community development director, as he dug through stacks of maps and memos, looking for residential subdivision plans.

Developers plan to build three different subdivisions - providing a mix of single- and multi-family housing - within city limits, totaling 283 homes on more than 104 acres.

Stakeholders plan to build the two larger subdivisions, Overlook and Western Skies, in five phases each, staggering construction so homes are completed as the market adjusts.

City officials are unsure of plans for Pineridge Town Homes, the third development, which was once slated for construction in the 1980s but never built.

Steamboat Engineering and Architectural Design, Pineridge project applicant, wants to change the original design plans, and a new sketch plan has not yet been submitted to Craig officials.

Overlook is the only development to pass the sketch phase of the city's development process. The Planning and Zoning Commission plans to look at sketches for the other two at its March 17 meeting.

Costa said he doesn't expect Overlook developers will be able to incorporate the city's suggestions to their sketch plan in time to make this month's Planning and Zoning meeting.

Local real estate prices have spiked in part because of Craig's small amount of available housing, said Jaime McAnally, American Northwest Realty part owner, citing an average 40 percent increase on residential lots between 2005 and 2007.

These developments would be Craig's first major residential construction efforts in about 30 years, McAnally said, adding he thought demand would probably be there to fill new homes.

"New construction is definitely needed," he said. "From what we saw, a lot of people moved up last year. I think real estate is still a good investment."

If there are not many new homebuyers in the future, new housing would give current homeowners a chance to invest in a modern home and rent their old property, McAnally said. Depending on the energy industry, the future could go either way.

Soaring prices in Steamboat Springs could bring unseen buyers into the Craig market, as well, McAnally said. The average price for a single-family home up-valley is about $600,000, he said, with real estate near the mountain going for about $1 million.

"That excludes a lot of people," McAnally said.

Prices for proposed Craig developments are not yet available.

The largest Craig project is Western Skies, a collection of 149 single-family homes west of Ridgeview and north of Columbine Apartments being developed by Western Skies LLC, which includes companies out of Denver.

Its first construction phase starts with 22 home lots. The second phase expands the eventual neighborhood with 27 homes and a three-acre park.

Every home, except for one across the street from the park, will have access to another three-and-a-half acres of hike-and-bike running trails throughout the development. Submitted landscaping plans also call for trees and shrubs in every yard.

Pineridge is slated as 45 patio and town homes, which would be built on Craig's west side between the current Colorado Northwestern Community College and the Holiday Inn of Craig.

The original 1980s design called for some apartment complexes, but there won't be any apartment units in the new plan.

A large additional lot will belong to the development's homeowner's association and incorporate all open space and trail areas required by the city.

The Overlook subdivision, developed by Craig residents Jay Oxley and Mike Anson, is nestled between Ridgeview and The Memorial Hospital's new building site.

Its five-phase development will produce a mix of single- and multi-family housing and also incorporate open space for parks.

Overlook developers are in the preliminary planning stage with the city, when its engineers look over the sketch plans and make it fit codes and geographical requirements.

Housing demand may not be growing by leaps and bounds right now, but it's at the point where 18 of the first 20 Overlook lots are sold, Anson said, though he couldn't talk about prices for other lots.

"I think over time, once the whole thing is mapped out, it's going to be a nice addition to the city," he said. "A place for some new houses, a place for new parks."

Any development goes as fast or as slow as the developers can handle, Costa said. Exactly when they get draft plans to city officials for review is up to them.

After sketch and preliminary planning phases, the city issues final comments before issuing a building permit.

Collin Smith can be reached at 875-1794 or cesmith@craigdailypress.com

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