Building Legacy in Local Real Estate
On April 18, 2020, pioneering Vail developer and auto-racing legend Bob Lazier made an 81st and final lap around the sun, curbed by Covid-19. Following the trail blazed by their father, builder and owner of the Tivoli Lodge and the 1981 Championship Auto Racing Teams (CART) Rookie of the Year, the Lazier brothers—Indy Racing League veteran Jaques and 1996 Indianapolis 500 winner Buddy—vow to honor his memory by seeing through an audacious project long in the making: a six-story luxury high-rise, comprising 20 units with bespoke finishes at an average of $5 million each, known as the Legacy at Vail Square.
“Everything got shut down [during the pandemic], but my dad’s dream did not,” Jaques says. “It’s about legacy, and it ties back to the philosophy of racing, too. Our favorite track is the Indy 500, and the Indy 500 is a two-and-a-half mile circuit—you start at one place, and you end at the other. My father started something, and now Buddy and I are picking up where he left off.”
The Legacy at Vail Square, along with two other high-end, high-rise condo projects under construction—Elevation Vail (its ultra-luxe neighbor in Lionshead, with nine units that include a stratospherically priced $14.5 million two-story penthouse) and Altus Vail (another luxe condo with six penthouses capping nine luxury residences on South Frontage Road in Vail Village)—represent a frenzy of high-end development activity driven by a red-hot real estate market some are comparing to the vaunted “Vail rennaissance” of a decade ago, which birthed the Arrabelle at Vail Square, Four Seasons Vail Resort & Residences, and Solaris Vail.
“I think the developers of these three projects saw an opportunity where there was still more demand; then the pandemic came along, and we’ve seen what I labeled last year as a ‘pandemic gold rush,’” explains The Stockton Group’s Tye Stockton, who during the pandemic opened a Vail Village branch of Compass, a national real-estate technology firm. “Due to Covid-19, we’ve seen this unprecedented move to own real estate in the Rocky Mountains—not just in Vail, not just in Colorado, but all of the mountain states.”
Stockton believes pandemic-driven flight from urban areas will continue to propel the demand for high-end property in the mountains into the near future, adding, “I think the challenge with this latest renaissance of projects is timing of delivery.”
For the Legacy at Vail Square, that means Christmas 2023. Nevertheless, at press time, six residences were already spoken for, a fact that might have something to do with the bona fides of the guy charged with delivering the sales pitch: Pete Siebert Jr., scion and namesake of Vail’s visionary cofounder.
“Since my dad passed in 2002, I’ve always thought about the legacy of the skiing and mountain life that he gave me, that then in turn was given to his grandkids,” Siebert says. “I’m very grateful, and I’ve also tried to thank the other pioneers, people like Bob, the Laziers, who built this town and made it possible for the rest of us to stay here.”
And who now are making room for a spate of high-income pandemic refugees shopping for a luxury penthouse with an 81657 zip code, preferably with an Indy car pedigree.
“Vail has always been my mom and dad’s legacy and our family legacy,” says Jaques. “For the people who are going to be moving into these units, our intent is to really make this building the beginning of their Vail legacy as well.”