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Huge Development Site Offered For Sale Near Telluride

Nearly 1,200 acres of commercially zoned land are for sale near Rico, Colorado.

The tiny mountain town of Rico could become Colorado’s newest development hot spot with the sale of nearly 1,200 acres of commercially zoned land that was officially placed on the market Wednesday.

Roughly 30 minutes south of Telluride, the land, called Silver Springs at Rico, is the largest commercial parcel currently for sale in Colorado and perhaps the American west, according to Mark King of Solutions RE, one of the brokers marketing the property.

“I have been a commercial broker for 24 years and have never seen something of this size and scale come to the market,” he told Bisnow

Ranches and other agriculture properties of this size are more common in Colorado, but a commercially zoned property reaching this acreage is indeed rare.

The property is currently owned by a pair of unnamed career real estate developers who are in their late 80s and live in Arizona, King said. They are estate planning and are looking to divest the property, seeking $10M.

Four potential uses exist for the property, according to a press release. It could be developed into a hot springs resort hotel on the Dolores River, or into housing. In addition, it is a candidate for a land exchange program offered by the U.S. Forest Service that would allow the land to be conserved in return for a different piece of land anywhere in Colorado. Finally, the geothermal deposit under the surface of the land could be cultivated for power.

None of these options are mutually exclusive, King said, meaning that the eventual buyer could ostensibly pursue multiple options at once, including developing part of the land while leaving some for conservation.

While nothing has been formally proposed, it is also feasible to put in a single chair lift for skiers, King said. At nearly 9,000 feet above sea level and near Telluride, the area is popular for winter sports as well as summer activities like mountain biking and hiking.

Housing is tight all over Colorado, but the problem is especially persistent within expensive mountain communities, where staff from resorts and restaurants struggle to find affordable housing while wealthy out-of-towners own vacation homes nearby.

Silver Springs at Rico is zoned for hundreds of housing units, which would significantly boost the population in the area. Rico itself has a current population of about 300 people, and 93 acres of the available land are located within the town limits. Telluride has a population closer to 2,000, but it gets thousands of visitors every year.