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East West Partners has had much in the way of change recently. The company emerged from Chapter 11 bankruptcy on July 1 and is looking to the coming ski season as an opportunity for a fresh start. With commitments from a new financial partner, the developer intends to take a very bold step given the lasting real estate slump — begin developing again. Home Run Townhomes, a 16-unit townhouse project on the mountain at Northstar, promises to be the first new-era project from the developer of the Ritz-Carlton Hotel, the Village at Northstar, Old Greenwood, and Gray’s Crossing.

The concept of introducing new, luxury residences to the market when other projects throughout the region are struggling to find buyers seems bold. East West believes that by building smaller, more efficient LEED-certified homes, they can meet a much lower price-point than in the good old days. ‘The Home Run site is triangulated between two ski runs providing immediate ski-in, ski-out access to all 16 residences,’ said Jeff Brown, East West vice president of sales and marketing. ‘The setting is super-unique and will no doubt be attractive to families serious about their ski access.’ The project is part of the Highlands project to be built around the Ritz-Carlton featuring townhomes, condominiums, and single-family home sites.

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‘The confidence shown by East West is a beacon of optimism for our region in general,’ says Brown. While prices continue to erode somewhat in the face of foreclosures and short sales, the volume of sales has risen significantly in 2010 and available inventory has dropped, possibly strong indicators that we are near, if not at, the bottom.

Another big change is the recent purchase of Northstar-at-Tahoe by Vail Resorts. With the addition of the Ritz-Carlton and Hyatt to Northstar in the past two years and a new owner coming in, one can only hope that as real estate comes back, the Truckee/Tahoe region will stand to benefit in a big way.

Did you know?
A new program for struggling homeowners in California rolled out Nov. 1. The U.S. Treasury Department has approved CalHFA’s plan to use nearly $2 billion in federal funding to help California families struggling to pay their mortgages.

The Keep Your Home California programs aim to assist low and moderate income families stay in their homes, when possible, and leverage additional contributions from lenders and mortgage servicers. Info: keepyourhome.calhfa.ca.gov

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