Town says negotiations are ongoing
[ By Kendra Walker ]
The future of the 22-unit Homestead affordable housing development in Mt. Crested Butte is still in limbo. It’s been one year since Homestead Housing LLC developer Lance Windel went in default of his contracts with the Homestead homeowners, and the project has been at a standstill ever since. The town of Mt. Crested Butte is working with a Denver-based attorney on next steps and town representatives say they are “diligently working with lawyers to resolve the matter.”
This week, town manager Greg Sund told the Crested Butte News that negotiations are ongoing between the town and Windel’s attorneys, but he did not provide any additional information regarding the timeline of the negotiations or next steps due to the confidential nature of negotiations. The town is working with special counsel Joe Rivera of Murray Dahl, Beery & Renaud.
Sund did share that the town’s Community Development Department has issued a notice of permit expiration requiring cleanup of the entire site along with fencing certain areas of the site in the interest of public safety. “The site has been declared a public nuisance and the building has been deemed to be unsafe,” he said. “The notice is sent to the owner who is responsible,” said Sund, but he did not know the timing of the notice or deadline for the required cleanup.
The News reached out to Windel for comment but did not hear back as of press time. Windel had previously said last year that he wanted to consult his attorney before signing the Homestead contracts again, due to issues with the supply chain, material delivery and lack of contractor availability.
Windel owns the property and according to the town’s contract dated November 21, 2018, if Windel is in default, the town could “exercise its option to purchase,” “exercise its right to assumption” or “exercise its right to specific performance.”
Sund confirmed that the contract does not include a performance bond or clause regarding completion of the project, as what was done with the Paradise Park affordable housing project in Crested Butte.
Mayor Nicholas Kempin also spoke with the News. “Although we are not in litigation at the moment, litigation is still possible which is why unfortunately there’s not a lot of information we can share,” he said. “We realize the hardship this delay has caused. Folks with the town are doing everything we can on the Homestead front, as well as looking into other possible projects we could do so we’re not waiting on Homestead. The whole thing is unfortunate, nobody wants to be in this spot. But things are happening, and we are in ongoing negotiations.”
The town council has an executive session with Rivera to discuss Homestead scheduled for Monday, November 14.