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StoryBook eyes next phase; announces plans to buy second parcel

StoryBook Homes has announced it plans to complete the purchase of the second of three parcels of land where it is building Boulder Hills Estates.

The 11-acre parcel is being bought for $3.3 million and will allow StoryBook to build 45 homes in the 127-home subdivision near the intersection of Adams Boulevard and Bristlecone Drive.

“We’ve always been confident in being able to proceed with phases two and three,” said Janet Love, president of StoryBook Homes, noting there was some concern and uncertainty from city officials when it proposed to buy the 30.63-acre parcel in three steps.

She said Councilman Rich Shuman, especially, was concerned about the potential of having the development only partially completed and the builder having enough “skin in the game.”

“We did outline in early discussions how much we would have invested in the property. We did have big investments for phases two and three in the original for phase one,” she said citing expenses such as grading, installing wet and dry utilities, street improvements and perimeter walls along Bristlecone Drive.

“We have a lot of money in the ground. … It showed our commitment to complete all of Boulder Hills,” she said.

According to Michael Mays, the city’s community development director, the purchase does not need to be approved by City Council, but the parcel’s final map must come before planning commissioners and council members before any construction can start.

Love said the map is scheduled to come before council July 9.

Also, all necessary permits and allotments would need to be obtained, Mays said.

Love said the company has 26 building permits it can pull from its 2018-2019 allotment, which will expire in April 2020, plus the company plans to go to the allotment committee to reserve its 30 allotments for the 2019-2020 year.

The city’s controlled-growth ordinance allows for a builder to have only 30 annual allotments.

Love said the purchase of the second phase is coinciding with the company’s projected timeline for the project, although when the sale was first approved company principal Wayne Laska anticipated buying all three parcels by May 2019.

She said there is no doubt it will purchase the third parcel, but the timing is uncertain, depending on home sales.

“Sales have been strong, especially in the past six months since we opened our models,” she said. “People needed to see the homes in person before committing to plans to purchase.”

She said the single-story design modeled on site has been the most popular seller, followed by the company’s largest model, a two-story home with a flexible floor plan.

Love said they are seeing more traditional buyers, those who prefer being able to select their site and floor plan versus buying a home built on speculation.

The second phase is situated in the middle of the development, which is in high demand from buyers.

“We are so excited. Just seeing all the architecture, beautiful street scene and talking to homeowners. … It’s gone very well,” Love said.

The second phase will include the neighborhood’s largest open space, a three-quarter acre park with an 8,000-square foot open area.

Mays said the parks, with the development’s roads, will be maintained by the homeowners association and not require any additional city staff to be hired.

The Las Vegas-based homebuilder’s three-phase purchase for $9.1 million was approved by City Council in July 2017. It was the only bidder for the parcel, which voters approved to sell in 2014.

That sale was approved in a divided vote, with Councilmen Kiernan McManus and Shuman voting against it, citing concerns about completion of the project by splitting it into thirds.

Originally, the second phase was to be a 12.68-acre parcel priced at $3.8 million. Love said the change is a result of the way the lots were placed on the community’s final map.

Hali Bernstein Saylor is editor of the Boulder City Review. She can be reached at hsaylor@bouldercityreview.com or at 702-586-9523. Follow @HalisComment on Twitter.

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