The Challenge: High demand for new construction with contemporary design within the Ketchum core collides with nearly non-existent inventory.
The Solution: Build for the demand and build it well. As developer Peter Wolff says, “Think Range Rover—use it, abuse it, but hey, it’s still a Range Rover and dresses up nicely.” The philosophy behind the project? Basecamp should elevate the way we live while stylishly adapting to the realities of our active lives.
Basecamp, a new development in downtown Ketchum, Idaho, is a passion project dreamed up by developer Peter Wolff and a uniquely positioned team: two real estate agents, the owner of an interior design store, and a high-end contractor. Together, they pooled their collective experiences to build a set of homes that fill a niche in the Sun Valley market.
Katherine Rixon and Rob Cronin, two Ketchum-based Keller Williams real estate agents, grew tired of telling their clients no—no, there just isn’t much in-town living with contemporary design inventory. But how would you like this beautiful 20-acre property in Bellevue? They grew so tired of it, in fact, that they decided to put their money and efforts where the demand was.
Ketchum resident Peter Wolff was also feeling the same frustration. A developer with a background in architecture and design, Wolff was looking for an in-town project. After considering the available inventory—or lack thereof—he bought a lot, recruited the team, and set things in motion. Along with Rixon and Cronin, he also brought to the table Ketchum’s Lee Gilman Builders, and the owner of Ketchum’s Architectural Resources, Rob McGowan, to work on a solution to the inventory problem.
What is it about in-town that people want? Rixon says, “More and more buyers are looking for a location that is within walking distance to all the things they love about this area: the restaurants, the cultural events, trails, schools, and lifts.” But, according to Rixon, high-quality, contemporary homes with private outdoor space just weren’t available. “Much of the inventory in town is dated. Certainly remodeling is an option, but so many buyers want something move-in ready.”
But buyers don’t want just anything. Basecamp is a project designed and built by people who live, work, and play in the mountains for people who live, play, and maybe work in the mountains. Developer Peter Wolff says, “These homes are meant to launch your skiing or biking adventure; they are built to store your toys and your gear, but they are centered on gracious and well thought-out living and entertaining spaces. Basecamp is not too precious to live in.”
The spaces are also adaptable. Wolff says, “Both houses have flexible spaces.” If you have kids and need ample space for them to play while you are, say, having a dinner party. The downstairs “bunkroom,” which opens to the yard, is perfect for a slumber party. But the bunkroom could just as easily be office space for two empty nest professionals. These homes are meant to be lived in—however you live.
The design inspiration is, at heart, Scandinavian—it’s clean, simple, and modern. Wolff says, “The thoughtful simplicity of the design allows for a higher percentage of the value to be put into windows, doors, interior finishes, and overall spatial quality.” The homes were designed by Peter M. Koliopoulos, AIA, and the interior furnishings will be provided by Rob McGowan, owner of Architectural Resources, a key partner in this project. “All the team members bring a proven record of best practices to the project,” says Wolff. “Rob’s work on high-end interiors is exceptional. He is humble—so he won’t tell you this—but he recently worked on the interior of an Architectural Record award-winning 2014 Record House.”
And Lee Gilman Builders is the contracting firm making it all happen. Mike Gilman, one of the principals at Lee Gilman, says, “This is the sort of project we love. Smart design, exceptional quality, and high-end finishes. Add to that a great location, and you’ve got a beautiful and very livable home.”
The team behind Basecamp: John Lee (Lee Gilman Builders), Katherine Rixon (Keller Williams), Mike Gilman (Lee Gilman Builders), Wes Powell (Lee Gilman Builders), Rob McGowan (Architectural Resources), and Peter Wolff.
Katherine Rixon & Rob Cronin
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