Options for Boomerang | AspenTimes.com

Options for Boomerang

Dear Editor:

The other night I was watching City Council review the Boomerang proposal – very interesting stuff. The former hotel lot is now to be used for an affordable housing complex.

The owner plans to use the housing credit (TDR) program to build a single building, housing 46 affordable housing units. The neighbors would rather have four buildings and 28 units. Others would rather have a hotel. And, still others, if the opportunity existed, might want to use the land to build something else, such as senior housing.

All good ideas, all come with benefits, and all problematic to some degree.

The reason the affordable housing idea has wind in its sail is the TDR program and the money generated from it, which makes the project profitable.

My mind wonders if the housing credit (TDR) program was allowed for hotels or senior housing, if either would jump to the top of the list in this instance?

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Truth is, I do not know.

I do know if the housing credit (TDR) program could be applied to a hotel or senior housing project, it would make for an interesting conversation.

And, since this is all pie-in-the -sky thinking, I will suggest that a senior housing project would yield more affordable housing units than just building affordable housing units.

How could that be?

Well, if we had a complex built to suit upcoming retirees and our older citizens that are now living alone in two and three bedroom units, I think many might make this move, thus opening up their units for new affordable housing families in need of larger units.

Imagine a complex consisting of one-bedroom units with ample storage, and some guest units scattered about for visiting friends and relatives, a clubhouse, buses and a car-share program eliminating the need for an underground garage, and you might just have a win-win.

This is just an out-of-the-box thought. Hopefully it may generate some more conversation, and a better project for the old Boomerang site than the one on the table.

Andrew Kole

Aspen

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