MOUNTAIN VILLAGE – Eastern Partners, the Dallas, Tex.-based real-estate investment-and-development company, acquired the four-lot assemblage, including the partially constructed Villas at Cortina project in Mountain Village, from Bank of America affiliate on Dec. 18, 2011.
The two-phase condominium project is the centerpiece of the Cortina subdivision, a 23-lot development on the Sundance ski run and San Joaquin Road.
Literally “shrink-wrapped” mid-construction three years ago, this move forward is the result of a year’s worth of work spent collecting approvals from the Town of Mountain Village, its homeowners association and neighbors.
Following a long fight between the project’s original developers and investors and the bank, the bank foreclosed on the project in December 2010.
Eastern contracted to purchase the property in April 2011, and began negotiations with the Town of Mountain Village to reinstate and extend the entitlements for the project, and set forth a plan to restart the construction.
As part of this acquisition, Eastern teamed up with longtime Mountain Village developer, Randy Edwards, who had originally developed the Cortina subdivision and was part of the team that designed the villas.
Edwards’ market expertise was integral to the decision to move forward on this project. “Closing on a partially constructed condo deal in this environment, even if it is the best project in the Telluride market, was not an easy task,” said Eastern partner Reiner Brasch.
“However, with the support of the Town and the Building Department, solid insight from the local brokerage community, especially the Peaks Real Estate team, and local construction expertise from Finbro Construction, we were able to get comfortable with the opportunity.”
As part of the deal, Brasch added, “We acquired property, improvements, building materials and two deed-restricted condos, where nearly $30 million was invested before the downturn, buying it for a fraction of that amount. As a testament to its quality, location, and amenities, Ritz Carlton previously planned to use Cortina for its entry into the Telluride market, and had contracted to purchase 6 condos prior to the foreclosure. To us, that said a lot about the vision, the location, the views and the amenities that are the Villas at Cortina. We are very excited to be kicking off the New Year by jump-starting Mountain Village’s most visible stalled project,” added Brasch.
Work will focus initially on the 12 units in Phase 1, the pool, great room, spa rooms and other amenities, beginning in the spring-summer building season, with a hoped-for 2012-2013 ski season Phase 1 delivery date. “We will have the best product available in Mountain Village,” said Roger Johnson, head of investment for Eastern.
“Cortina’s knoll-top location boasts some of the biggest views I have ever seen,” said Chris Cooper, another Eastern partner. “You add that to ideally sized units in the 1700-3100 square foot range, true trail-side ski access, Core-type amenities in a private enclave, and a unique, well-appointed design, and that all adds up to great opportunity in a distressed condo market. We think that Cortina will lead it back.”
Eastern has developed resort projects throughout Texas and Georgia, including country club and golf courses, marinas and lake front resorts, and has investment experience in more traditional land, residential, multi-family and retail projects across the South and Southwest.