Chris Maguire is the CEO of Cypress Equities, the developer of Aperture. In 1995, Chris founded Cypress Equities to primarily develop, redevelop, acquire and manage retail real estate. Chris is responsible for leading the firm which has developed and acquired more than 18 million square feet. Cypress’ current portfolio consists of more than 10 million square feet that is primarily focused on retail and mixed-use properties. Cypress, with headquarters in Dallas, operates five regional offices in the U.S.
How did you first come to find out about and visit Crested Butte?
I first visited Crested Butte when I was 12 years old. It was 1973, and my father’s business partner had built the Columbine condos up near the ski mountain. He kept a unit for himself, and that’s where we stayed. As a kid growing up in Dallas, coming to the mountains was a revelation for me. Over the years, my family continued to spend summer and winter vacations in Crested Butte. My two brothers and I all loved to be outside; fishing, rock climbing and skiing were a few of our favorite things to do.
What made you choose Crested Butte for your vacation home, and how long have you had your place?
My wife, Kelli, is also a skier, and in the late eighties we took our first trip together to Crested Butte. By the late 1990’s we were married with two young daughters, and we rented a place back at Columbine condos. In 1999, we celebrated our first Christmas in our townhome at the base area. By 2003 we were one of the first families to buy and build in Prospect. Although we had been to bigger resorts like Aspen, Vail and Tahoe, we chose Crested Butte for our home because we love that the community is safe, understated and low-key.
Aperture is a different kind of project for Cypress Equities. Can you share a little about your company, and how Aperture came to be?
Cypress Equities started in the retail real estate business in 1995. From single tenant retail, we evolved to multi-tenant and mixed use, including hospitality. In the early 2000’s we began to look at resort real estate, particularly unique beach and mountain opportunities.
The land for Aperture was previously conceived as a project known as Foothills of Crested Butte. The original proposal, prior to our involvement, was for a subdivision to be annexed to the Town of Crested Butte with about 150 units. Residential land development is not typical for Cypress Equities, but I became involved because of my long-time connection to the community. I wanted a project that would be a good fit, and, in part, that resulted in taking the density way down to just 23 home sites for sale east of the river.
As part of our agreement with the Town of Crested Butte, Cypress is also providing substantial benefits to town residents. Most significantly we’ve recently completed the cleanup and capping of the old Town landfill. This reclaimed land is part of 14 acres located west of the Slate River that will be annexed to Crested Butte. Approximately 11 of the 14 acres will be donated to the Town. This is public land that could be used for affordable housing, emergency and medical services, parks, or snow storage to name just a few possibilities. Additional benefits provided by Cypress include drought proofing the Town's water supply through the conveyance of senior McCormick Ditch water rights; a launch area providing public access to the Slate River; a new public trail; and attractive and secure fencing around the Town’s public works yard.
What are the key construction milestones slated for completion by the end of this year?
The Pyramid Avenue Bridge will be finished in the next week or so. The ornamental stone work and rustic timbers create an impressive and beautiful entrance to the Aperture neighborhood. Also, the utilities have all been installed, and the final roadwork will be completed soon. Work is also starting on the homeowner’s river park. The most exciting news to me is that the first new homes are scheduled to break ground this fall on lots 6 and 17.
Can you briefly describe what sets Aperture apart and why you think Aperture is the ideal place to build a home?
Of all the options to buy or build a home around Crested Butte, Aperture is the only place that provides more land and allows freedom of design for a larger home right next to Town. To get incredible views and space along with peace and quiet so close to downtown Crested Butte is unique.
Can you describe a perfect day for you and your family when you’re in CB?
A perfect day could be in the summer or winter. We all love and embrace the different seasons. Having family and friends all in Crested Butte together is the reason we built a larger home. My parents, as well as my brothers and their families, all still gather in Crested Butte. In the winter, we ski almost every day we’re here. After a day on the hill, it’s great to relax in the hot tub or next to the fire. In the summer, we love the clean, cool mountain air, especially coming from Dallas. We mountain bike and hike. We have a lab so we’re out on the trails a lot, but we also enjoy just hanging out and relaxing on the back deck.
What's your favorite ski run? Favorite trail?
For me, there’s nothing better than Spellbound on a powder day. I also love Last Steep.
In the summertime, Meander is our go-to place with our dog. Lupine Trail to the Upper Lower Loop is another favorite.
What do you miss about Crested Butte when you're in Dallas?
The weather (summer or winter), the incredible views and mountain air, and the friendly community that’s not at all pretentious and offers a slower pace of life.