Ridgway townhomes

 An artistic rendering of one of the Lena Street Commons buildings in Ridgway. (Courtesy image)

The Telluride real estate market experienced a record year through 2020 and into 2021, as the COVID-19 pandemic created an unexpected boom within remote resort communities. 

Telluride Properties was no different. Telluride Properties Realtor and Director Brian O’Neill shared that the company saw a 111 percent increase in year-over-year sales, totaling $599.2 million for 344 units. 

While prices have risen in San Miguel County, neighboring Ouray County, particularly Ridgway, has become a popular option for people who are looking to relocate to a rural area at more affordable prices, he added.  

“The Ridgway market is similar (to Telluride’s) in that the demand is high and inventory is low, creating upward pressure on pricing,” O’Neill said. “You cannot buy a house for less than $2 million in Telluride, but Ridgway still has homes for less than $1 million. Is it going to be Basalt or Carbondale? Probably a blend.”

The Lena Street Commons housing project recently broke ground, which will add an additional 19 townhouse-style units in downtown Ridgway. The project consists of four residential buildings and one commercial building. Prices for the three-to-four-bedroom units start at $855,000, while pricing for the one-plus-bedroom units is still being determined, explained O’Neill, who is handling the listing with Telluride Properties Realtor Denise Scanlon. 

He added that the one-bedroom units may be deed-restricted, “if the town will allow,” which would “create a very affordable product.” 

“Lena Street Commons is an ideal community nestled in the heart of Ridgway, Colorado. You will enjoy car-free access to a beautiful town park, walking trails, biking adventures, and a variety of winter activities. The town of Ridgway also has social and cultural options including breweries, great restaurants, music and entertainment — all within walking distance,” according to the website lenastreetcommons.com. “Whether you are here to stay or visiting for adventure, our residential units are your optimal choice and a brilliant investment. Each building provides maintenance-free living custom built with your aesthetics in mind. Open concept living space is enhanced by an extended garden terrace and beautiful views of the Cimarron Mountain Range. Whether you’re a family, an urbanite seeking reprieve, or enjoying the freedom of retirement, Lena Street Commons has something for you.”

The project will be completed within the next two to three years, O’Neill said, with the first two buildings projected to be finished this fall and the remaining three next summer. 

The project includes various green and sustainable elements, including LED lighting, Energy Star GE appliances and high-efficiency natural gas furnace systems, thanks to the design of local architect Sundra Hines. The exteriors feature American-made decking material composed of recycled materials, and Energy Star windows and sliding exterior.

“Following Green Built practices is at the heart of every decision with LSC (Lena Street Commons). Green Built Homes are superior products. They save money on utility and maintenance expenses, provide better indoor air quality and give homeowners a sense of pride knowing that their home has a reduced impact on the environment,” according to the project website. “Green Built homes are also more comfortable, durable and safe. From every aspect, the best interest of the environment and consumer is the goal.”

O’Neill pointed to the green elements, as well as the on-site workspaces, as components that make this project unlike anything else available on the market right now. 

“Sundra Hines has done a tremendous job creating a beautiful product that has many green elements and will be indigenous to the forward thinking community,” he said. “Live-work opportunities are a key strategy for this project because there are not many opportunities of this kind.”

Interest has been “fantastic” so far, O’Neill added, as it’s not only regional buyers who have inquired about Lena Street Commons. 

“It has been local, regional, statewide and out of state,” he said. “Clearly Ridgway is on the map.”

That’s proof that the real estate market is still hot, though for different reasons, O’Neill explained.

“The offseason market today is very much like an on-season market, where buyers are clamoring for an escape, but to enjoyment versus safety like the past 12 months,” he said. 

For more information, visit lenastreetcommons.com