Homestead demolition coming in November

Prepping property for development

By Kendra Walker

The Mt. Crested Butte town council on October 17 approved an agreement with Bywater Development to initiate the process for demolition of the unfinished Homestead affordable housing development. The town council selected Bywater Development to complete the community housing development in the Homestead Subdivision, and the town has agreed to move forward with demolishing all existing structures and foundations based on engineering and geotechnical assessments and evaluations conducted earlier this year.

In the contract, Bywater agrees to procure at least three bid estimates from qualified demolition contractors for the town’s consideration for the demolition. Once town manager Carlos Velado selects a demolition contract and negotiates payment of the subcontractor, Bywater will supervise the demolition and begin preparing the property for development.

Joel Wisian of Bywater told the council that his goal is to start the demolition the first week of November and have it done by November 20 before winter kicks in. He said it will be split in two phases, with all existing vertical construction materials and debris demolished this fall and the concrete taken out in April or May. The concrete demolition in the spring will lead straight into the rest of the construction process. 

Construction of the 22-unit Homestead affordable housing development began in 2020 by Lance Windel of Homestead Housing LLC. In the fall of 2021, Windel went into default of his contracts with the Homestead unit owners, leaving the construction incomplete. Earlier this year, the town closed on a General Mutual Release and Settlement Agreement and agreed to pay Homestead Housing $750,000 for all the Homestead property rights. The town is currently working with Bywater to finalize the main contract to complete the project. 

Councilmember Roman Kolodziej asked Wisian to make sure surrounding neighbors were aware of the demolition. “Please be hyper communicative with everyone living there. Let them know what’s up, timelines, etc.,” he said. 

The town and Bywater also hosted a Homestead Housing Project Open House on October 19 and explained the reasoning behind the decision to do a complete demolition and start from scratch. 

“There was a lot of discussion and a lot of thought to decide if demolition was the right path,” said Wisian. “The principal issue is that what was there was structurally compromised. Also, the buildings weren’t necessarily scoped right for what an affordable housing project is. It was deemed that the better path was to have a fresh start.”

Velado agreed. “The quality of the construction there was very poor. We didn’t feel that if we took anything that was existing there, that we couldn’t with a straight face hand that over to members of our community,” he said. “Let’s rip this horrible band aid off and start from scratch.”

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