Five years after Twin Buttes received approval from Durango City Council, land sales in the development west of town could start this fall.
The project has been dormant for the last 18 months and went through a restructuring of ownership and hired a new management team, said Bob Delves, chief operating officer for the development.
“We understand that trust is the real currency of commerce, and our project has lost some trust,” Delves told the Durango City Council Tuesday.
To regain trust, his team wants to under-promise and over-deliver, he said.
Even though the project was restructured, the property was never sold. It is still owned by Glenn Pauls and his sister, Terri.
The vision for the project is also the same, with pockets of high-density neighborhoods on small lots and with a mix of commercial buildings, parks and gardens and open space.
“We intend to completely respect the vision of Twin Buttes,” he said.
His presentation got a warm reception from councilors.
“I knew this day would come,” Mayor Dean Brookie said.
To get the project on track, Delves and his team have applied for a loan through Alpine Bank, and they hope to be approved by the end of January. Shortly after that, the project hopes to be approved for metro-district bonding.
During construction season, infrastructure projects also have to be completed.
The developers plan to finish the entrance to the development, which intersects with U.S. Highway 160, and to complete utilities and pave roads to serve the first 60 lots that will go on sale, hopefully, in the fall, Delves said.
The water and sewer lines have already been built, and the roads have already been cut in the area.
“At this point, our business model is to sell raw land,” he said.
With time, he added, the business could shift to building homes for sale.
When completed, the development could have 790 new homes, including 655 single-family homes and 135 secondary units, like mother-in-law apartments, said Director of Community Development Greg Hoch.
Delves was hired in August as part of a new management team, and he declined to explain exactly why the project has not been active.
“It certainly was a victim of the recession,” he said.
Before the project went “dormant,” some people reserved lots, but none of the lots within the development are under contract, Delves said.
“We have a plan for re-engaging with those people,” he said.
Two school lots are part of the development’s plan. Animas High School had considered building in Twin Buttes, and Delves plans to discuss this plan with the school’s board Wednesday.
While some of the development has been on hold, the gardens have been functioning for five years.
“We think it’s a big part of our branding,” he said.
While the vision for the project will remain the same, the management style will be different.
“We’re going to be taking a more corporate approach,” he said.
He also plans to keep the management team small and outsource as much as possible.
Delves has managed a global software company, managed major developments in Colorado, California and Montana and served as the mayor of Mountain Village near Telluride.