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Mon, Feb. 24

Stilo: progress at Camper Village slow
Tom DePaolo cites weather, easements and affordability issues as slowing down delivery of interim housing to Tusayan area, asks council to rethink development agreement conditions

Stilo representative Tom DePaolo discusses current development updates with Tusayan Town Council members Feb. 6. Clara Beard/WGCN.

Stilo representative Tom DePaolo discusses current development updates with Tusayan Town Council members Feb. 6. Clara Beard/WGCN.

During a progress report style presentation to Tusayan Town Council members Feb. 6, Stilo Group's representative Tom DePaolo said several "surprises" have come up during construction at Camper Village.

The floodway, existing easements on the property and affordability issues are slowing down the delivery of modular homes to Camper Village.

"There were some weather issues and what we ended up with was, instead of having almost 22 homes sites in that particular area of land, we ended up with 12," DePaolo said to council members.

"Just by having to work around either physical barriers, easements, the floodway, trying to use existing roadways, and that's fine, but it took a lot of time and certainly a lot more cost per site than anyone anticipated," he went on to say.

So far, Stilo has sold or leased four doublewides and three singlewides to local residents. By the end of this month, two more doublewides will be available for purchase or rent.

"Among the homes that were purchased by others, three of the four were Pink Jeep (Tours), that bought them corporately," DePaolo said.

Private individuals bought the other two homes and the Grand Canyon School District plans to purchase a home for one of its teachers.

DePaolo said affordability is another challenge Stilo faces.

"It's hard to get people qualified with loans to buy homes, so we're looking at possibly being a bank, in all honesty, to help facilitate this," he said.

Council member Bill Fitzgerald asked if anyone applied for Tusayan business owner Elling Halvorson's loan program.

Last year, Halvorson committed to deposit $250,000 into an interest-bearing account for Tusayan residents who are not landowners.

"The only condition that Barbara (Halvorson) and I have is that opportunity for this gifting is open to all qualified people in Tusayan who are working in the town for at least three years regardless of where they have worked or who they have worked for," Halverson wrote in a Jan. 2012 letter to the Grand Canyon News.

"I don't believe it's finalized yet," DePaolo said, adding that Stilo isn't involved with Halvorson's proposal.

Stilo's development agreement with the town requires 16 doublewides. However, DePaolo reported that residents showed minimal interest in doublewide homes, opting instead for singlewide models.

DePaolo asked the town council to consider altering the development agreement to more accurately reflect the needs of the Tusayan people.

"To make for more variety and affordability, there are some options to do some things with duplexes and even quads that may be more suitable for the market," he said.

Stilo owns 375 acres in and around Tusayan, including Kotzin Ranch on the northwest end of town, Ten-X Ranch, located just outside the town's border and Camper Village, which the group partially owns. Stilo plans to develop the land for housing as well as multi-use facilities, including a dude ranch, hotels and cultural center.

See next week's edition of the Grand Canyon News for more on DePaolo's presentation to the Tusayan Town Council Feb. 6.

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