Affordable homes coming to Gypsum |

Affordable homes coming to Gypsum

Edward Stoner
Vail correspondent
Aspen, CO Colorado

GYPSUM, Colo. ” Eagle County has invested $4.5 million in an affordable-housing neigh­borhood in Gypsum that some consider to be the next Miller Ranch.

Stratton Flats, near the western side of the Eagle County Regional Airport, is supposed to have 226 deed-restricted homes, ranging from one-bedroom condos to five-bedroom single-family houses.

By comparison, Miller Ranch in Edwards has 282 affordable homes.

County politicians said the “public-private partnership” is an important step in provid­ing homes for workers.

“Being able to house our workforce is part of our basic infrastructure,” County Com­missioner Peter Runyon said. “It’s every bit as important as road and sewer, basic infra­structure improvements that governments are charged with providing.”

Runyon said the county will look for more, similar opportunities to build large afford­able-housing complexes.

Eagle County, like many of western Colorado’s resort areas, has watched real estate prices skyrocket out of sight for many working locals. The county encompasses the ski resorts of Vail and Beaver Creek, located to the east of Gypsum along the Interstate 70 corridor.

A one-bedroom affordable condo at Stratton Flats is expected to sell for about $165,000, while a 2,020-square-foot home could sell for about $370,000, the county said.

The project ” already approved by the town of Gypsum ” will have 339 homes in all, from condos to townhomes to single-­family homes. It also is supposed to have several small parks.

“It’s kind of like this is the second Miller Ranch,” said Scott Russell of Meritage Devel­opment Group in Basalt, the developer.

Miller Ranch was also a public-private partnership in which developer ASW Realty Partners joined with the county, the town of Vail, the Eagle County School District and Colorado Mountain College. Miller Ranch has price-appreciation caps but no income caps.

At Stratton Flats, one-third of the homes will be sold on the free market. Another third will be deed-restricted through the town of Gypsum. Those restrictions will include income caps. The remaining homes will be deed-restricted ” which will include caps on the amount the home appreciates in val­ue ” through Eagle County. In both cases, the homes will be available only to full-time Eagle County workers and residents.

Construction will start in the spring, and the first homes will be completed in the fall. The 47-acre project could be completely fin­ished in about four or five years, Russell said. The county expects to recoup the $4.5 mil­lion, plus 6 percent, at the end of the project through the sales of the homes.

Commissioner Sara Fisher said the coun­ty will look for businesses or other towns that could partner in Stratton Flats so the county can get the money back faster and move on to other affordable-housing projects.

“The No. 1 issue that keeps coming up for having a livable community is the lack of affordable housing,” Fisher said.

The county approved the $4.5 million contribution at a meeting Tuesday.

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