Workforce housing breaks ground in Estes – Estes Park Trail-Gazette
After a two year process, Wildfire Homes, LLC laid the foundation stone for their residential development in Estes Park. The project is owned and operated by Rick and Susan Allnutt and Mark and Melissa Westover.
“I know a lot of people have wondered if this project would happen,” said Melissa. “There were times when we asked ourselves too. Who could ever anticipate the challenges we have all faced over the past year? But now that we’re ready to build our first building, it’s a bit surreal. “
The first structures built will be manpower housing units, and eventually a total of 88 workers will be available to fill a much-needed hole in our community. Labor is limited to at least one person in the household who works at least 30 hours per week in the Estes Valley.
Front row: Brian Schaffer – Crossroads General Manager, Scott Applegate – Crossroads Board Member, Mark Westover, Melissa Westover Co-Owner, Wildfire Homes, Mayor Wendy Koenig, Rick Allnutt, Susan Allnutt Co-Owner, Wildfire Homes, Colleen Logan – Designer, Valerie Dascoli – Designer Second Row: Barbara McAlpine – City Councilor, Gene Whannel – ReMax Realtors, Jeff Woeber – Community Development, Steve Lane – Base Architecture Lonnie Sheldon – Van Horn Engineering, Cory Berg – Van Horn Engineering, Frank Roberts- Van Horn Engineering, Jason Walker – Van Horn Engineering, Kevin Marquart – Project Manager
“We’ve heard for years that the demand for housing for workers is huge,” said Rick. “We plan to meet this need.”
Occupancy and ownership of workforce units are neither income-related nor are the units subsidized in any way. In addition to the 88 workforce units, the development includes 26 terraced houses and 14 single-family houses.
“There are no offense restrictions on these properties,” said Mark. “However, we have written in the agreements that there will be no vacation homes. We want development to feel like a neighborhood where people know and take care of each other, ”he said.
Developers say one of the bright spots in developing the Wildfire project is the benefit it will bring to the Crossroads Ministry.
“When we looked at the initial plans, it made sense to offer Crossroads our current Westover Construction building in exchange for their property,” said Melissa. “The property on which Crossroads is now located will allow more workforce units and ensure continuity in development. In return, Crossroads is getting a newer, updated building that better suits their needs, “she said.” For us it was like the icing on the cake. “
While Melissa and Mark own and run their own construction company, that company is not being contracted to build the new development. Instead, Wildfire Development, Inc., also owned by Westovers, will begin construction on the project.
“Mark will build the units. We didn’t want people to believe that Westover Construction wouldn’t be able to do what we already did, ”said Melissa. “Westover Construction has completely different staff and we thought it best to use another company that we already need on this project for a number of reasons.”
“We wanted to separate this project from Westover Construction,” commented Mark. “However, those buying properties in this development can expect the same high quality on which we have built our reputation,” he said. “Westover Construction will continue to be strong and build quality homes. We have no desire to let go of the business we have been working so hard on.”
The construction phase of the project across from Wildfire Road 1789 is expected to take three to five years.
“Wildfire’s single-family, townhouse and staff housing options were developed from the vision of offering the region’s working group housing options with the craft of home ownership. They range from the number of bedrooms to customizing your own counters and floors, ”states Wildfire’s website.
Those interested in further information can contact www.wildfirecolorado.com or call 970-480-1823.