Drive down the Old Spanish Trail and you’ll see the Rocking K Ranch, nestled at the foot of the Rincon Mountains on the North side of the road. As it sits now, it’s a small housing development with less than 1,000 residents. That’s all set to change as Diamond Ventures, the developers and owners of the land, soon will build out a 4,800-acre master plan community. As planned, the community will be divided almost in half by Old Spanish Trail with 2,800 acres set for development on the North side of the road, and 2,000 acres on the South side. Rocking K Ranch will be primarily residential with only a small amount of space allowed for commercial development. Rocking K Ranch South has been approved for 3,680 units. Most of these units will be production housing with a small amount planned for semi-custom or custom homes.
On the North side of Old Spanish Trail, 40 acres have been permitted for commercial development. Here, Rocking K Ranch will have more semi-custom and custom homes. The housing development will also include more than just homes and commercial real estate. Some of the proposed amenities include parks, a non-motorized multi-use trail system, abundant open space, and schools.
Diamond Ventures has a long-standing relationship with the Vail School District. This relationship will continue to play a critical role in the build out as both organizations plan for the influx of new residents in the area. Diamond Ventures acquired the land for Rocking K Ranch over time with the first purchase made in 1960. Although the development firm started buying the land decades ago, there were a few challenges to building the housing community standing in their way.
The first challenge is the topography and Rincon Creek on the North side of Old Spanish Trail. The master plan developed by Diamond Ventures has overcome these hurdles, getting the developers a step closer to breaking ground. Another challenge is transportation infrastructure. The current plan for Valencia Road is to construct the road concurrently with the initial phase of homes – a total of 1,440 homes. This construction will happen in advance of the required timing. Old Spanish Trail will need to be expanded to four lanes before the next phase of 1,920 homes can begin.
There is no set date for when development will break ground or which developers will build their platted subdivision, but “we’re closer than ever to things happening,” said Bert Dover, a representative of Diamond Ventures who spoke at a recent Greater Vail Area Chamber of Commerce breakfast. The Rocking K Ranch is “Mr. Diamond’s crown jewel in the Southeast.” As construction continues to surge ahead, The Vail Voice will keep you informed on the progress.