Construction of the Tree Farm project in El Jebel on Wednesday June 2, 2021 (Kelsey Brunner / The Aspen Times)

The real estate frenzy sweeping through the Roaring Fork Valley dramatically cuts the time some large projects anticipate before full construction.

The Ace Lane Tree Farm project is expected to be near completion within two to three years instead of the five to seven years envisioned when it was approved in 2017, according to documents submitted to the Eagle County Planning Department.

Planning director Morgan Beryl on Wednesday approved a request from Lane’s team for a minor change in approvals. Initial approvals called for 40 price-capped apartments to be completed before construction exceeded 142,000 square feet. The approved modification allows the simultaneous construction of the 40 apartments and as many other buildings as possible. The apartments have yet to be completed in the first phase.

Dave Marrs, CFO of Geronimo Ventures LLC, a member of the Lane team, said major components of the project will be inaugurated this summer, including a 122-room hotel, a 72-unit independent living complex and a residential complex. ‘apartments of 196 units which includes the 40 units restricted by deed.

“Looks like the hotel is going to innovate first,” said Marrs. This could happen as early as July, he added.

A new website for the project said the hotel will be part of the Tapestry Collection by Hilton. It will include a bar with indoor and outdoor dining. The boutique hotel, according to the website, “will go live in December 2023 and will be a must visit for guests and locals.”

The 196 apartments and 72 independent units are expected to be on the market in spring 2023.

On the commercial side, 20,000 square feet of restaurants and shops are planned.

“A bistro, cafe, delicatessen, tavern, boutique, lifestyle and other amenities are expected to be completed between fall 2022 and summer 2023,” the project’s website says.

Marrs said the separate builders of the different components of the project are coordinating the planning, architecture, excavation and vertical construction. They will probably lead the way within a few months of each other.

“There are some great synergies,” he said.

A limited number of office spaces attracts requests from businesses in the upper valley. Many are facing rising rents and are therefore looking for alternatives, Marrs said. Many companies have labor who live in the valley, so they are exploring offshoring to save travel time, he said.

While demand is not an issue, the material supply could hamper builders’ goal of completing components as soon as possible, according to Marrs. There is a limited amount of concrete available at any one time for the curb and gutter, and asphalt for the streets, he noted.

If the supply problems can be overcome, Marrs estimated that 70% of the project could be completed in three years.

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