Colorado

TERRAZA DEL SOL, WESTOOD CATALYST

By John Rebchook, Denver Real Estate Watch, August 8, 2015

DENVER – A groundbreaking ceremony is scheduled for Tuesday for a $15 million, 42-unit apartment building, Terraza del Sol, which is viewed as a catalyst for Westwood, one of the poorest neighborhoods in Denver.

Gorman & Co., in its first Denver project, is developing Terraza del Sol on a 1.3 acre-site at 3116 W. Alameda Ave.

The three-story development will provide housing for those earning 30 percent to 60 percent of the area median income.

Monthly rents will range from $382 for a one-bedroom unit to $733 per month for three-bedroom units.

Qualifying renters would earn from $23,000 to $46,020 annually.

Mi Casa Resource Center, a Denver-based nonprofit that has served the community for four decades, will occupy the first floor, providing a range of educational and economic services.

“We specialize in complex public-private affordable housing partnerships in communities that are revitalizing in an equitable way,” said Kimball Crangle, Gorman’s Colorado Market President.

The City of Denver, Denver Urban Renewal Authority, Colorado Health Foundation, the Urban Land Institute and others have worked for years to bring new investment to the area

Almost a third of all of Denver’s substandard housing units are in Westwood, and 95 percent of the children in that south-central/west Denver neighborhood are eligible for free or reduced-price lunch.

Paul Lopez, the Denver City Councilman for Westwood, grew up in the neighborhood and knows what is it like to grow up poor with substandard housing.

“As a young man, my family constantly moved searching for decent, safe, and affordable housing,” Lopez said.

“Every time we moved, I had to change schools, make new friends, and the six of us would share a two-bedroom apartment,” Lopez said.

Terraza del Sol addresses social issues that have plagued Westwood, according to Lopez.

“By providing the units at Terraza del Sol, we are not only creating affordability, but sustainability in the lives of people in Westwood,” Lopez said.”

The 71,000-square-foot, energy-efficient buildings will embrace healthy living goals. Amenities will include a fitness room, interior bike storage, a large outdoor terrace with gathering and play space for families, a community lounge and media room.

Mi Casa Resource Center will open its new organizational headquarters and Family Economic and Education Center in almost 20,000 square feet in Terraza del Sol.

The space will house Mi Casa and its core partners, providing:

  • Entrepreneurial training;
  • Business counseling and micro-loans;
  • Career training, coaching and job search help;
  • Financial coaching;
  • Tax preparation;
  • English as a second language programs;
  • GED test preparation;
  • Computer literacy classes;
  • And legal consultations.

“We are excited to bring our comprehensive economic and educational services to this beautiful facility in Southwest Denver,” said Christine Márquez-Hudson, CEO and executive director of Mi Casa.

“This will enable Mi Casa to provide easier access and help more families achieve lasting economic stability,” Márquez-Hudson added.

Terraza del Sol is being financed through the Colorado Housing and Finance Authority, State of Colorado Department of Local Affairs, Denver Office of Economic Development, Denver Urban Renewal Authority, Citibank and Enterprise Community Partners, Inc.

Terraza del Sol was designed by Shopworks Architecture.The general contractor is Deneuve Construction Services. When complete, the property will be managed by the Ross Management Group.

Have a story idea or real estate tip? Contact John Rebchook at JRCHOOK@gmail.com. DenverRealEstateWatch.com is sponsored by 8z Real Estate. To read more articles by John Rebchook, subscribe to the Colorado Real Estate Journal.

NEW AFFORDABLE HOUSING GETS GOING IN DENVER’S WESTOOD NEIGHBORHOOD

Nonprofit Mi Casa Resource Center will also move its headquarters into the building

By Joe Vaccarelli, The Denver Post, August 11, 2015

DENVER – A new affordable housing development that will also house a prominent Denver nonprofit officially broke ground Tuesday in Denver’s Westwood neighborhood.

The $15 million Terraza del Sol project — developed by Gorman and Company — will bring 42 units of affordable housing to 3116 W. Alameda Ave. The ground floor will serve as the new organizational headquarters of the  Mi Casa Resource Center and include the organization’s Family Economic Education Center.

Mi Casa has served the Latino community in the Denver metro area for the past 40 years; the education center will offer services ranging from legal consultation and entrepreneurial training to GED test preparation and computer literacy classes.

“Residents are not just facing affordability, but access to good quality jobs and education and training,” Denver City Councilman Paul Lopez said. “This project brings both together.”

Mi Casa will sell its current headquarters at 360 Acoma St. The new building should be ready fall 2016.

“This is where we need to be,” Mi Casa CEO and executive director Christine Marquez-Hudson said. “This facility will serve not just families living overhead, but the entire area. I think this is a facility we envision being a catalyst for the community.”

The 42 units will provide energy-efficient one-, two- and three-bedroom apartments that are available to people earning between 30 and 60 percent of the area median income. That translates to between $23,000 and $46,020  per year. These 42 units are part of 337 affordable housing rentals that will be available in Westwood in the near future, according to Lopez.

Rents will range from $382 per month for a one-bedroom unit to $733 per month for three bedrooms. Other amenities at the development include a fitness room, indoor bike storage, media room, outdoor terrace and community room.

The project is financed by Colorado Housing and Finance Authority, State of Colorado Department of Local Affairs, Denver Office of Economic Development, Denver Urban Renewal Authority, Citibank and Enterprise Community Partners, Inc. The building was designed by Shopworks Architecture.

Joe Vaccarelli: 303-954-2396, jvaccarelli@denverpost.com or twitter.com/joe_vacc

http://www.denverpost.com/denver/ci_28622452/new-affordable-housing-gets-going-denvers-westwood-neighborhood?source=infinite

$15M APARTMENT PROJECT KICKS OFF IN WESTWOOD

By Burl Rolett, BusinessDen, August 12, 2015

A ground-breaking ceremony on Tuesday kicked off construction of a new apartment complex. Photo by Burl Rolett.

A ground-breaking ceremony on Tuesday kicked off construction of a new apartment complex. Photo by Burl Rolett.

DENVER – A new-to-Denver developer is breaking into the market with a $15 million apartment project aimed at low-income renters.

Gorman & Co. broke ground Tuesday on Terraza del Sol, a 42-unit affordable housing development at 3116 W. Alameda Ave. The project has been in the works for more than a year, Gorman’s Kimball Crangle said, and started to take shape after talks with Councilman Paul Lopez about rising housing costs in the Westwood area.

“This area has historically been one of the more affordable neighborhoods in Denver,” said Crangle, Gorman’s Colorado market president. “But even the neighborhoods that have long been affordable are starting to get more expensive.”

Plans for the $15 million development call for a mix of one-, two- and three-bedroom apartments set aside for renters making between 30 percent and 60 percent of the area median income. The project is expected to be finished by November 2016. Terraza del Sol will also house nonprofit Mi Casa, which will relocate its Baker headquarters to the development.

C:Revit14049 - Gorman Westwood14049 Grove St Apartments_steve

The 42 apartments are expected to be finished by next fall. Rendering courtesy of Gorman & Co.

Mi Casa, which offers employment services primarily to Latino families, will own a 20,000-square-foot office condo on the project’s first floor. The nonprofit’s condo will be the development’s only commercial space.

Mi Casa has been in Baker for about 13 years, but CEO Christine Marquez-Hudson said the neighborhood is “gentrifying rapidly.” Mi Casa’s headquarters at 360 Acoma St. is under contract to be sold. The deal will close, Marquez-Hudson said, when the nonprofit’s new office in Westwood is finished.

“This is really Mi Casa’s home,” she said. “This is where we need to be now and for the next 20 years and even more than that looking into the future.”

Terraza del Sol is Gorman & Co.’s first development project in Denver, Crangle said. The development firm is also working on a 70-unt affordable housing project at 71st Avenue and Federal Boulevard in Adams County.

Rooms at Terraza del Sol will rent for between $382 per month for one-bedroom units and $733 per month for the three-bedroom apartments, according to a company press release. The 71,000-square-foot building will include a fitness room, an outdoor terrace and a common lounge room.

Though the entire building will be limited to renters making less than 60 percent of the area median income, Crangle said 90 percent of the apartments will be set aside for renters at or below 50 percent.

For a single renter, 30 percent of the area median income for Denver County comes out to $16,800, according to figures released in March by the Colorado Housing and Finance Authority. A single person at 60 percent area median income would make $33,600. For a two-person household, those figures come out to $19,200 and $38,400.

The project is being financed by Citibank and Enterprise Community Partners, as well as the Denver Office of Economic Development, Colorado Housing and Finance Authority, Colorado Department of Local Affairs and the Denver Urban Renewal Authority.

The general contractor is Deneuve Construction Services, and Shopworks Architecture designed the project.

CHFA provides funds for Westwood project

By: Inside Real Estate News, October 2, 2014

Grove Street Apartments, a planned 42-affordable housing development in southwest Denver’s Westwood neighborhood, has been awarded almost $1 million in federal tax credits.

The Colorado Housing and Finance Authority $915,504 in Federal Low Income Housing Tax Credits for the development by Gorman & Co. on a 1.3-acre site at 3116 W. Alameda Ave.

The development is part of a comprehensive revitalization effort being implemented by city leaders in partnership with the Westwood community.

CHFA recently announced the final round of LIHTC allocation awards for 2014, which included Grove Street Apartments, a proposed mix-use development incorporating affordable housing and a nonprofit community services organization.

“By partnering with cities and Urban Renewal Authorities, CHFA can leverage our resources even further to help address the need for affordable housing, especially in communities like Westwood where revitalization has been prioritized,” said Cris White, CHFA executive director and CEO.

Westwood has been identified as a blighted Urban Renewal Area in need of reinvestment by the Denver Urban Renewal Authority.
In addition to the tax credits, the $14.3 million project will include a financial contribution from DURA.

“We are extremely pleased to partner with Gorman and Co. the Colorado Housing and Finance Authority, and the city and county of Denver by deploying DURA resources for the Grove Street Apartments,” said Tracy Huggins, DURA’s executive director.

“The redevelopment of this site, identified as a priority location for redevelopment in the 1990 Urban Renewal Plan, represents a significant milestone for the corridor,” Huggins continued.

DURA has had a long relationship with Westwood.

“For over 20 years, DURA has worked with individual residential and commercial property owners to reinvest in the Westwood area,” Huggins said.

CHFA’s allocation of federal LIHTC in round two will allow Grove Street Apartments to leverage $3.35 million in DURA funds that otherwise would not be available to support redevelopment in the area.

These resources are crucial, as 24 percent of Westwood’s families live below the poverty line and 95 percent of the children in Westwood are eligible for free or reduced-price lunch.

According to the U.S. Census, approximately 27 percent of all of Denver’s substandard housing units are in Westwood. Its rental housing stock also is old. Some 78 percent of renter-occupied housing in Westwood was built before 1980.

Additionally, Westwood’s affordable housing rentals are 99.8 percent occupied with very long wait lists, of up to 300 people.
“Grove Street Apartments is the kind of catalytic project we specialize in,” said Kimball Crangle, Colorado market president for Gorman & Co.

“We’ll provide high quality housing and services for working individuals and families who are low income earners, helping to strengthen the economic well-being of families and transforming the community over time,” Crangle added.

Crangle was previously a senior developer for Denver Housing Authority and led its flagship Mariposa redevelopment at West 10th Avenue and Osage Street.

The development of Grove Street Apartments coincides with coordinated efforts by City Councilman Paul López, Mayor Michael Hancock’s administration, and others to bring new investment into the Westwood neighborhood spanning housing, health care and food access needs.

“Mayor Hancock is focused on five critical strategies for Westwood revitalization through community investment—parks/open space, youth, fresh food, affordable housing, and commercial development,” said Paul Washington, executive director of the Denver Office of Economic Development.

“We are therefore so pleased to see Grove Street Apartments added to Denver’s spectrum of affordable and workforce housing, and particularly in Westwood, as one of the highest areas of concentrated poverty in the city,” Washington added.

“The Grove Street Apartments development is a catalyst project for Westwood,” said López, who represents the area.

“In addition to critically needed affordable housing, this mixed use development will bring job training opportunities to southwest Denver,” he said.

The construction of Grove Street Apartments is estimated to generate $15.85 million in economic impact and support 74 jobs. Ground breaking is expected in early fall of 2015 with an opening in fall of 2016.

Low Income Housing Tax Credits to Help Support New Affordable Housing in Westwood Neighborhood Revitalization

For Immediate Release
TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 30, 2014

contact:
Jerilynn Martinez, 303.297.7427
jmartinez@chfainfo.com

Hilarie Portell, 720.810.3906
hilarie@portellworks.com

Low Income Housing Tax Credits to Help Support New Affordable Housing in Westwood Neighborhood Revitalization

(DENVER) – A new affordable housing development in south west Denver’s Westwood neighborhood was awarded $915,504 in Federal Low Income Housing Tax Credits (LIHTC) by Colorado Housing and Finance Authority (CHFA). The development, Grove Street Apartments, is part of a comprehensive revitalization effort being implemented by City leaders in partnership with the Westwood community. CHFA recently announced the final round of LIHTC allocation awards for 2014, which included Grove Street Apartments, a proposed mix-use development incorporating affordable housing and a nonprofit community services organization.

“By partnering with Cities and Urban Renewal Authorities, CHFA can leverage our resources even further to help address the need for affordable housing, especially in communities like Westwood where revitalization has been prioritized,” said Cris White, CHFA executive director and CEO.

Grove Street Apartments, at 3116 West Alameda Avenue, being developed by Gorman & Company, will be a 1.3-acre, mixed-use development that will bring 42 units of much-needed affordable housing and services to the Westwood neighborhood, an Urban Renewal Area identified by the Denver Urban Renewal Authority (DURA) as blighted and in need of reinvestment. In addition to the tax credits, the $14.3 million project will include a financial contribution from DURA.

“We are extremely pleased to partner with Gorman and Company, the Colorado Housing and Finance Authority, and the City and County of Denver by deploying DURA resources for the Grove Street Apartments. The redevelopment of this site, identified as a priority location for redevelopment in the 1990 Urban Renewal Plan, represents a significant milestone for the corridor. For over 20 years, DURA has worked with individual residential and commercial property owners to reinvest in the Westwood area,” said Tracy Huggins, DURA’s executive director.

CHFA’s allocation of federal LIHTC in Round Two will allow Grove Street Apartments to leverage $3.35 million in DURA funds that otherwise would not be available to support redevelopment in the area. These resources will be critical as 24 percent of Westwood’s families live below the poverty line, and 95 percent of the children in Westwood are eligible for free or reduced-price lunch. According to the U.S. Census, approximately 27 percent of all of Denver’s substandard housing units are located in Westwood, and 78 percent of renter-occupied housing was built before 1980. Additionally, Westwood’s affordable housing rentals are 99.8 percent occupied with very long wait lists (up to 300 people).

“Grove Street Apartments is the kind of catalytic project we specialize in,” said Kimball Crangle, Colorado market president for Gorman & Company. “We’ll provide high quality housing and services for working individuals and families who are low income earners, helping to strengthen the economic well-being of families and transforming the community over time.” Crangle was previously a senior developer for Denver Housing Authority and led their flagship Mariposa redevelopment at 10th Avenue and Osage Street.

The development of Grove Street Apartments coincides with coordinated efforts by City Councilmember Paul López, Mayor Michael Hancock’s administration, and others to bring new investment into the Westwood neighborhood spanning housing, health care, and food access needs.

“Mayor Hancock is focused on five critical strategies for Westwood revitalization through community investment—parks/open space, youth, fresh food, affordable housing, and commercial development,” said Paul Washington, executive director of the Denver Office of Economic Development. “We are therefore so pleased to see Grove Street Apartments added to Denver’s spectrum of affordable and workforce housing, and particularly in Westwood, as one of the highest areas of concentrated poverty in the city.”

“The Grove Street Apartments development is a catalyst project for Westwood,” said City Councilman Paul López, who represents the area. “In addition to critically needed affordable housing, this mixed use development will bring job training opportunities to southwest Denver.”

The construction of Grove Street Apartments is estimated to generate $15,852,402 in economic impact and support 74 jobs. Ground breaking is expected in early fall of 2015 with an opening in fall of 2016.

About Colorado Housing and Finance Authority (CHFA)
CHFA finances the places where people live and work. Created in 1973 by the Colorado State Legislature, CHFA strengthens communities by making loans to low- and moderate- income homebuyers, affordable multifamily rental housing developers, and small and medium sized businesses. CHFA also provides education and technical assistance about affordable housing and economic development. CHFA is a self-sustaining public enterprise. CHFA issued bonds are not obligations of the state. For more information about CHFA please visit www.chfainfo.com. Contact our Denver office at 1.800.877.chfa (2432), or our Western Slope office at 1.800.877.8450.

About Gorman & Company, Inc.
Gorman & Company, Inc. specializes in revitalizing communities through innovative housing partnerships. As a trusted partner and respected industry leader since 1984, they specialize in downtown revitalization, the preservation of affordable housing, workforce housing and the adaptive reuse of significant historic buildings. Gorman & Company has offices in Denver, Co; Milwaukee & Madison, WI; Chicago, IL; Phoenix, AZ; and Miami, FL. Learn more at www.GormanUSA.com.

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Gorman & Company, Inc. Partners With Town Of Vail And Wright And Company To Build 112 Unit Deed-Restricted Employee Housing In Vail, Marking Vail’s Largest Employee Housing Project Ever

VAIL, Colo., Sept. 16, 2014 /PRNewswire

– Gorman & Company, Inc., an affordable housing development leader for over 35 years, has partnered with the Town of Vail and local developer Jen Wright and Wright and Company for the redevelopment and new-construction of Lion’s Ridge Apartment Homes on a 5.24-acre parcel on Vail’sNorth Frontage Road opposite Vail Mountain, which is the eastern half of the existing Timber Ridge employee housing complex. All costs of construction will be borne by the developer while the town will lease the underlying land to the developer with payments deferred up to 10 years. The town has invested $8Million in the parcel to insure the units remain deed restricted housing.

The groundbreaking, held Tuesday, September 16 at noon, was open to the community as a celebration of the Town’s housing milestone. Construction begins immediately.

“This is a phenomenal project for Gorman & Company, Inc. in that it involved complicities that the Town of Vail Councils and staff for many years, and the associated Town and community planners and financiers all solved. The result will be a beautiful housing project benefitting the community of Vail for the long-term,” said Gary Gorman, chief executive officer of Gorman and Company, Inc.

Lion’s Ridge Apartment Homes will be comprised of 112 deed-restricted units and a manager’s unit, will be constructed by Gorman General Contractors with construction management by the local firm of RA Nelson. The project, comprised of one and two bedroom units will include four, three-story tall buildings. The Town of Vail will continue to own and operate 95 rental units on the western side of the property.

“Lion’s Ridge Apartment Homes will be for the year-around employee in Vail who wants to live and work in Vail for the long-term,” said Jen Wright, principal of Wright and Company, the locally-based developer. “They will be ‘loft-like’ with galley kitchens, washer-dryers, storage and, generally-speaking, nice apartment homes which appeal to the Vail residents who are established here.”

Vail Mayor Andy Daly, echoed Wright and Gorman’s sentiments. “I couldn’t be more proud of this monumental accomplishment knowing that our investment on behalf of the Town of Vail taxpayers is fundamentally sound and will become part of this community’s legacy,” he said.

Construction to begin at Lion’s Ridge

By: Scott N. Miller, Vail Daily, September 15, 2014

VAIL — It’s been more than a decade since a big rental housing project was started in Vail. And, like anything in Vail, this project has carried plenty of controversy.

Town officials and developers Tuesday will hold a ground-breaking ceremony for the Lion’s Ridge apartments. That 113-unit project, on the eastern half of the 10-acre Timber Ridge property, will essentially replace the old units — which date to the early 1980s. But instead of units geared toward seasonal workers, these new apartments are aimed at year ‘round residents.

Every unit in the new apartments will have its own laundry equipment and furnace. The new apartments will also feature a small storage area for every bedroom.

At a Vail Town Council meeting in November of 2013, community development department director George Ruther noted that the plan for the new apartments is to present an in-Vail option to people who can live elsewhere.

That’s a scaled-down vision from several more ambitious plans floated over the years.

Those plans began percolating in the early years of the previous decade. Then, the original owner of Timber Ridge was ready to put the property on the open market, since federal tax incentives that kept the property in the “affordable” housing pool were set to expire.

Former Vail Mayor Rod Slifer recalled that town officials at the time believed the town wouldn’t be able to replace those 198 units of employee housing, and decided to buy the property.

“The council at the time felt it was important to keep it there for housing,” Slifer said.

Since then, there have been at least three proposals to replace the apartments with everything from rental housing to entry-level condos. All those proposals ran into various roadblocks, most having to do with the cost of building in Vail.

The most recent proposal — the one breaking ground Tuesday — is more modest. Developers Jen Wright and Gary Gorman brought the essentials of this plan to the Vail Town Council in 2013. Even after approval in November of 2013, more hurdles cropped up.

The project was supposed to break ground in May, with an eye toward the first tenants moving in in time for the 2015-16 ski season.

But ground breaking was delayed, due to what Wright said were difficulties with possible lenders. In late summer, Wright and Gorman asked to modify the original agreement, extending the terms of the ground lease for the apartments from 35 to 50 years, and adding an option for the developers to buy the property within the first decade.

That purchase price is about $5 million, roughly half of what the town paid for that part of the property.

Developers said both those changes were essential to get the project running. And plan supporters on the council have argued that contributing property, in whole or part, is standard practice in building workforce housing in mountain towns. However, the prospect of selling town land was a sticking point for some residents and a couple of council members.

Second-term council member Margaret Rogers first ran for office in 2007 pledging to get a Timber Ridge plan in place. She opposed the latest deal, both because of the potential cost to the town and the fact there aren’t more units being built.

Rogers and fellow council member Dale Bugby were in the minority on council, and cast the dissenting votes when the plan was put up for approval.

Wright praised Vail Mayor Andy Daly and Town Manager Stan Zemler for keeping the process going through the most recent hurdles.

“We couldn’t have gotten this done without the town,” Wright said.

Slifer believes the deal remains a good one for the town.

“It’s been a good investment,” he said. “It’s terribly important to preserve rental housing in town.”

Craig Cohn, a member of the Vail Local Housing Authority board, said he’s also eager to see new housing built.

“As a member of the (board), it doesn’t really matter what the deal was,” Cohn said. The important thing, he said, is building new housing for Vail’s front-line workers

“The town of Vail is under-housed at this price point,” Cohn said. “The sooner we get going the better.”

And, Wright said, “the town will end up with a nice project. It’s going to be a great place for people to live.”

Timber Ridge construction weeks away?

Scott N. Miller, Vail Daily, July 31, 2014

VAIL — After several years and a few false starts, the job of replacing the Timber Ridge apartments should start in the next few weeks.

Work was supposed to begin in May to replace the apartments on the eastern side of the 10-acre parcel. That work was delayed when a development team led by Gary Gorman and longtime valley resident Jen Wright ran into unexpected hurdles obtaining financing for the project.

Wright said the hang-up primarily involved the length of the land lease for the new apartments. The original agreement called for a 35-year lease. But, Wright said, lenders all asked for a longer lease term. The Vail Town Council on Tuesday will be asked to extend that lease out to 50 years, which will enable the developers to complete their financing agreements.

George Ruther, head of Vail’s Community Development Department, said the lease extension could be a good thing for both the town and the developers. The developers get the extra years lenders require, while the town will get another 15 years of lease payments on the property.

If council members approve the deal, Wright said construction work could start in the next few weeks.

GETTING READY

While building hasn’t yet begun, Wright’s group has been working to get ready to tear down the eight existing buildings that will make way for four new ones. That work right now is focused on removing asbestos from the 1970s-vintage buildings, a project that came as something of a surprise to everyone involved. That work should be finished in the next couple of weeks, Wright said.

When work does start, Wright said it will take about a year to get the first of the planned 113 units ready to rent. Wright said most should be ready to rent by the time the 2015-16 ski season begins, with the rest coming to market during the season.

YEAR-ROUND TENANTS

When the new apartments are ready to rent, they’ll come to market with year-round tenants in mind. The new apartments will have storage lockers for every unit, and every apartment will get its own laundry equipment.

Town Council member Greg Moffet said more room and better amenities is a matter of “respect for the people we have working for us.”

Town Council member Margaret Rogers opposed the current plan, asking instead for more units on the property. Now, though, she said she wants this plan executed as quickly as it can.

While the eastern half of the property is ready to be rebuilt — and renamed Lions Ridge — nearly 100 of the older Timber Ridge units remain. While there was talk several years ago of re-doing the entire site, Ruther said the western half of the complex will stay as it is for the foreseeable future.

Ruther said the town — which owns the property — is putting about $1.3 million this year into exterior and interior renovations on the western half of the property. No one puts that kind of money into 92 units unless they’re going to stay in the rental pool for a long time.

But, with Vail Resorts leasing about half the units and individuals renting the rest, Ruther said revenue from the western half of the property pays the town’s remaining debt on the entire parcel.

SHORT-TERM IMPACT

While construction will take more than 100 apartments out of Vail’s rental pool for the coming ski season, Ruther said he expects people will be able to find other housing in the valley.

“We knew there would be some short-term impact, but this is the only way we can re-develop the property,” Ruther said.
When construction does begin, it will mark the end of a long period of planning and several false starts. Moffet said one such plan was well underway when he ended his first stint on council in 2007. And Rogers said she made getting Timber Ridge re-done part of her first campaign for a council seat.

“That was six-and-a-half years ago now,” Rogers said. “This has been a long time coming.”

Timber Ridge re-do to possibly begin in May

By:  Scott N. Miller, Vail Daily, November 19, 2013

VAIL ­— Ever since the town of Vail bought the Timber Ridge apartments, there have been plans, big plans, for what might come next on the 10-acre property. Those plans all failed. A more modest project may succeed where the big plans did not.

The Vail Town Council on Tuesday approved a development agreement with developers Jen Wright and Gary Gorman to build about 113 studio, one- and two-bedroom apartments on the eastern half of the property. The new project could break ground in May of next year and be finished in time for the 2015-16 ski season.

While the new units will still be rentals, they’ll be aimed at a very different market. Timber Ridge now is aimed primarily at seasonal workers. The new market will be year-round residents.

The last plan proposed for the property had triple the units, as well as a parking structure. But there was also a gap of $8 to $10 million in the project’s cost that the last developer asked the town to make up, which doomed that proposal.

Reflecting on that and other attempts to re-develop the site, Vail Community Development Department Director George Ruther said those proposals in many ways were “more frosting than cake.”

Ruther said problems included everything from parking to snow storage to the ability to build units on what is in places a very steep piece of property.

This plan, he said, started from a more basic premise — what could realistically be built on the property without any financial support from the town except providing the land.

These units will be aimed at year-round residents, so each apartment will have its own laundry equipment and furnace, as well as a small storage locker for each bedroom. But the apartments have to be built to a price. That will limit the size of the buildings. It will also put tight limits on parking.

Wright said one-bedroom units will have one parking space each. Two-bedroom units will have about one-and-a-half spaces per units.

Council member Margaret Rogers asked if parking could be further tightened to provide more housing.

But Ruther said this amount of parking more accurately reflects the needs of the people who will live there.

Expectations

“You’re asking people to live in these units like we’d live in our homes,” Ruther said. “They’re going to expect what they can get elsewhere.”

Council member Dave Chapin said more units on the property would affect tenants’ quality of life.

But, he added, the current plan seems good for younger people living in Vail all year.

“You can figure out the parking,” Chapin said.

Given the target market for the new apartments, Rogers also asked where seasonal employees will be expected to live. Ruther said there’s a “great opportunity” to put more people into the west side of Timber Ridge.

There’s still a lot more work to do to get the new project ready for groundbreaking, and Ruther said there’s still plenty of opportunity for public comment.

The Vail Planning and Environmental Commission will hold its first hearings on the plan Dec. 16 and 18.

But Jim Lamont, the representative for the Vail Homeowners Association, said this is an important first step, especially given the need to either restore or replace the structures now at Timber Ridge.

“If this is a realistic thing to get done, then let’s get it done,” Lamont said.

Vail Town Council to weigh new plan to redevelop Timber Ridge housing project

By RealVail, October 14, 2013

Plans to redevelop the easternmost portion of the town-owned Timber Ridge affordable housing complex will take a significant step forward Tuesday, Oct. 15 when the Vail Town Council considers approval of a pre-development agreement with a third-party development group.Since February, the town has been working on a redevelopment plan with representatives from Wright and Company, Inc., and Gorman and Company, Inc., after previous redevelopment attempts were discontinued due to financial considerations. The topic is listed sixth on the Oct. 15 Town Council meeting agenda, which begins at 6 p.m. in the Council Chambers with opportunities for public comment. The current redevelopment proposal includes demolishing 102 existing apartment units located on the easternmost 5.24 acres of the site and replacing them with at least 104 units. The new apartments would be constructed within a mix of three-story buildings surrounded by green space and surface parking. Seventy percent of the units are proposed to be deed restricted which is consistent with the zoning. Under the proposed agreement, the town would retain ownership of the property using a long-term ground lease to facilitate the redevelopment. The property and improvements would revert to the town after 35 years in an arrangement similar to an agreement currently in place with Middle Creek Village Apartments which will be returned to the town after 53 years.Following approval of the Timber Ridge agreement by the Town Council, a development application would be submitted to the town on or before Nov. 29 with construction beginning as early as next summer.Meanwhile, the 96 units on the westernmost side of the site would continue to be used as employee housing to maintain an ongoing inventory of rental units on the property. The town anticipates redevelopment of the western half of the site in a future phase.Prior to negotiation of the pre-development agreement, the Town Council authorized a market study to be completed in partnership with the developer. The study analyzed rental pricing, historical occupancy rates as well as unit size and amenities to verify the project’s financial viability and its ability to meet the town’s goals and applicable code requirements.The project team has had previous development experience in Vail, having redeveloped a property once known as “the ruins.” The condominium project, Westhaven at Cascade Village, was completed in 2007 following failed attempts from a previous developer.The draft of the Timber Ridge pre-development agreement, Resolution No. 13, Series of 2013, is available on the town’s website at www.vailgov.com. To forward comments in advance of the meeting, email the Vail Town Council at towncouncil@vailgov.com.