Despite an apparent demand for housing in the Wood River Valley, two recent annexations in Hailey are yielding minimal new housing development since receiving approvals to move forward.
Phase one of the 176-unit Quigley Farm development appears to be stalled after a preliminary large-block plat was approved for the development in March 2018, allowing the development team to proceed with infrastructure improvements.
The team staked out property boundaries and roads in the planned phase one at the mouth of Quigley Canyon last summer, but no construction followed.
Developer Dave Hennessy said in an interview in June 2018 that he planned to “break ground” within two months, and that 13 of 27 lots in phase one were already spoken for.
Roads and other infrastructure must be built before lots are sold in a development. No visible infrastructure has yet been installed on the property at Quigley Farm. Hennessy could not be reached for comment by press deadline Tuesday.
Blaine County Recreation District Executive Director Jim Keating said a required transfer of a parcel from Quigley Farm developers to the Recreation District has been completed and that the lack of final infrastructure improvements at Quigley Farm will not hold up Nordic skiing, hiking or biking activities adjacent to the development.
“Nothing about the Recreation District is holding up the development, but the best-case scenario for us would be for the roads to go in,” Keating said.
Community Development Director Lisa Horowitz said the Quigley Farm developers are current on a $232,821 annexation fee payment. An additional $347,517 would be required before completing smaller final plats within phase one of the development and selling lots.
The 27-unit Colorado Gulch Preserve development on Broadford Road has completed roads and other infrastructure requirements, but few lots have sold. Only one house is under construction.
The annexation agreement between the city of Hailey and developers Preston Zeigler and Jeff Pfaeffle was finalized in August 2018.
Jamie Coulter, the listing agent for lot sales in Colorado Gulch Preserve, said work on the first of two “spec homes” has begun, with two more homeowner builds expected this fall. Spec homes are built by speculators who intend to sell them on the open market, Coulter said.
Despite what appears to be sluggish sales and demand for new housing, Coulter said, things should soon turn around.
“There will be more demand for construction soon because everything in Hailey is getting snapped up,” she said. “Going into fall there will not be much available, so we’re going to need new homes.”