After a decade of stalled construction, the second phase of the Mirador development, known locally as “Box on the Rocks,” began last month, with a spring completion date for the duplex being built.
Frank Enea, owner of Classique Builders, said the duplex is the only construction planned at the moment.
The duplex will add to the triplex built in phase one on Rock Point Drive. At buildout, the development will include 23 luxury units.
“We’re just building some models at the moment to determine how much interest there is, and what it will cost us,” developer John Wessman said. “I will tell you, last time, they cost twice as much as what they sold for. Part of it was the times, when the market collapsed.”
About two years after the Durango City Council agreed to allow residential uses in this area, the first Mirador townhomes were approved in 2006 for the ridge above Greenmount Cemetery overlooking town.
Multiple commercial uses have been proposed but never realized for the ridge-line spot over the years, including a restaurant and a Hilton hotel.
The nine-phase Mirador project received a special-use permit, which was required for residential development on the ridge, from city administration in 2006 and was therefore exempt from governmental and public review processes. To develop on the ridge near the Tech Center, the city required only a special-use permit, approved at the staff level, for Mirador.
Since then, the flat-roofed dwellings that gave the development its nickname have drawn criticism from locals for obstructing Durango’s view to the west. In 2010, city planning officials decided that ridge-line projects such as Mirador should be discouraged going forward.
“About a year and a half ago, the developers started talking about continuing construction but wanted to make some modifications,” City Planner Craig Roser said. “The new units are downscaled so they’re slightly smaller, and there are provisions for more open space between the units. But the exterior character, style, materials and colors will be the same as phase one.”
The developer must stick to the design concept originally approved for the project or else the project would be opened up to public review and subject to regulations the city instated after the 2006 approval, including the Fair Share ordinance.
Wessman did not provide an estimate on pricing for the duplex. He said rates will be set based on buyer interest when the new units are complete. Homes in the first phase sold for around $1 million to $2 million each, and one at 235 Rock Point Drive is on the market for $1.5 million.
The duplex units will range from 2,500 to 3,000 square feet, with three bedrooms and 2.5 or 3.5 bathrooms, depending on the unit, Enea said.
Roser said work on phase two will likely pick up this summer when construction season begins.