STEAMBOAT SPRINGS — One of the last vacant spots on the Yampa River in downtown Steamboat Springs will be home to a new mixed-use building by summer 2020. Construction on the empty lot at Yampa and Seventh streets starts in May.
SwedWood will have at least four residential units on the top floors with windows and decks facing the river and Yampa Street, while the bottom floor is reserved for commercial and garage use.
Local architect Michael J.K. Olsen designed the building in the modern mountain style with a Swedish influence. After all, it was Swedish developers Ulf Clacton and Johan Monsen’s pursuit of a Steamboat home that sparked the development.
“The reason we got into this project is we couldn’t find an existing unit that met the parameters of what Ulf and Johan wanted,” said Jon Sanders, a local developer and partner in the SwedProperty Group for SwedWood on the Yampa River.
“Each of them wanted a luxury unit downtown, and we were able to add a couple of extra units to the project,” said Sanders.
SwedWood hasn’t priced out the remaining two condos, but the riverfront homes are expected to be more expensive than any condos in downtown Steamboat. In fact, local developer Jim Cook, who specializes in downtown development, sees the market for SwedWood condos approaching $1,000 per square foot.
“Will they achieve $1000 a square foot? Probably not,” said Cook.
“But who’s to say what someone might want to pay right on the river and in the heart of everything downtown. I will tell you that in 2006, before the whole world collapsed, I sold one of our Howelsen Place units at a $1,000 a (square) foot. I think we’re very close to that,” said Cook. The Howelsen Place condos he referred to are located at 700 Yampa St. and are not right on the river but overlook Howelsen Hill and downtown.
Sanders said SwedWood’s architect, Michael Olsen, designed the riverfront building to be flexible.
He said there is space for five garages, all of which can be converted to retail space.
Right now, the design shows a 565 square foot retail space on the left side of the building facing Yampa Street, with a 2,899 square foot space on the right side of the building with decks that look out onto the river. While the larger space can house a restaurant, it can also be broken up into smaller commercial spaces said Sanders.
In fact, Sanders said the flexible building design could even house a fifth residence on the bottom floor facing the Yampa River, leaving a smaller commercial space facing Yampa Street.
SwedWood chose Jessen Construction as their builder.
“It’s an incredible, high-quality builder. The building will be energy efficient with smart technology and solar panels. … It’s Swedish influenced, and there’s nothing like it,” said Sanders. “We’ll even have electric car chargers in the garage.”
Jessen Construction has plans to use materials “consistent with the historically preserved properties” in downtown with stone and reclaimed wood on the outside. Sanders said architecture is designed along the simpler, modern Scandinavian style, but individual buyers can finish out their space with custom designs.
The condo living areas run about 1,861 square feet with up to four bedrooms and high-end Miele appliances.
SwedWood is taking full advantage of the river and Howelsen Hill views with full windows, including accordion glass walls that open out to decks facing the river.
Sanders said SwedWood should be ready to move in before summer 2020.
Sanders said the designer widened SwedWood’s setback on the side next to E3 Chophouse restaurant to preserve space for a possible core trail connector and new bridge over the Yampa River.
Frances Hohl is a contributing writer for the Steamboat Pilot & Today.