Beth Logan and Mark Griffith love being outdoors. Like many people, that’s why they came to Moab. And for the last several years they have been designing and building White Horse development in Spanish Valley. It’s a neighborhood that they feel reflects what they and their friends value: an active lifestyle.
“We are six years into it,” Logan said. “Not only is it a day job, it’s our residence.”
The 33-lot project seeks to merge comfortable living with the incredible terrain that people come from all over the world to see, Griffith said.
For Griffith, real estate development is something that runs in his family.
“Maybe that’s some of the childhood experience that comes out later in life, because my dad was a real estate developer who built the neighborhood we lived in,” he said.
After growing up in Colorado and finishing college at Colorado State University, Griffith began working in Denver.
“Living in Denver, Moab was my playground. Then I decided to move to the playground,” he laughed.
But before he moved to Moab, Griffith took a trip to see some friends in Colorado Springs. While there he crashed a wedding party where he met a woman named Beth Logan. The two instantly felt a connection and after four years of long-distance dating the pair decided to come to Moab.
The first real estate project Griffith did in Moab was Coyote Run, near the Moab Golf Course in Spanish Valley. For that project he partnered with his sister Sheri Griffith, who had decided to transition out of her career as a river outfitter.
The idea for White Horse came later, as Logan and Griffith talked with their friends about the kind of houses they where looking for.
“We all chat while we recreate and everyone was talking about when they transition they would like to live here,” Griffith said. “We began to talk about what would you like to live in, and what would your house look like. What is your vision?”
From that catalyst the project began to crystallize. The couple found financial backers, including some of the friends they had talked to, and began looking for land.
Christoph Schork, a world ranked endurance horse racer, sold them the land and decided to build his own home in the development.
Then the planning of the White Horse development began.
“We decided that the best way to move forward would be through a series of design retreats,” Griffith said
The retreats included the capital partners, the architect, the interior designer, and the engineer, “all the people that play a part in fashioning a home to fit a lifestyle.”
The final plan puts a premium on open space and views, but not at the expense of privacy, Logan said. By dividing the neighborhood into two cul-de-sacs, having no street lights, and only allowing indirect outdoor lighting, White Horse hopes to keep noise and light pollution to a minimum.
However, when the 2008 economic crisis hit and dealt a serious blow to property markets across the country, White Horse was shielded, but not immune.
“We are privately financed. We have no conventional financing,” Griffith said. “I think that greatly helped us during the economic storm.”
Logan and Griffith originally sought to sell White Horse lots with houses, but since the recession they have allowed buyers to build the home later.
Buyers can choose between six general floor plans of between 1,800 square feet to 3,000 square feet. Once a floor plan has been decided on, the buyers meet with White Horses architect, Ken Alexander, to adapt the designs to the homeowners specific needs.
“We are expanding on the success of Coyote Run, which tried to create a new Moab style of architecture, which is a combination of southwestern architecture and rustic architecture,” Alexander said.
Each lot and house sells for between $480,000 and $650,000.
“We provide that level of service to the homeowners here,” Logan said. “Builders are not project managers. Mark is a project manager.”
All of the construction is done by local companies, with the principal contractor being Chuck Garlett Construction.
“The quality of construction is top notch. The insulation values, the home appliances – everything we have done is top notch,” Garlett said. “I would say 95-percent (of the materials used) are local, we have hardly gotten anything from out of town.”
Logan and Griffith don’t want or expect White Horse to be just vacation homes; they want residents who are as involved in the Moab community as they are.
In addition to organizing three skinny tire bicycle events throughout the year, including the Skinny Tire Festival in March, the couple also supports the cancer resource and treatment center at the Moab Regional Hospital.
“What we see with our product is that it’s attracting people that love Moab and appreciate the landscape, and because of that they are very interested in the community of Moab,” Griffith said.