Burlingame housing prices drop
ASPEN City Hall will spend an extra $3 million to make it more affordable for the next round of homeowners at Burlingame Ranch, it was decided Monday.Twenty-two new units are ready for purchase, with locals able to bid on them beginning Tuesday. Open houses will be held on Wednesday, July 18 and Wednesday, July 25; the lottery will be Aug. 6.When the first round of 31 units were offered last September, housing officials realized that many of them were priced too high for dedicated income levels. As a result, 16 units in this phase of the project will be offered at lower income categories and several more at moderate income levels. “You are not sure what your demand is going to be,” said Tom McCabe, executive director of the Aspen-Pitkin County Housing Authority, which manages the subsidized housing program. “We didn’t know how it was going to go.”But since only two people from the highest income category bid last year, officials decided they had to redistribute the pricing.The adjustments were presented to the City Council on Monday. At Mayor Mick Ireland’s request, the additional cost will be officially ratified in a resolution next Monday.”I would feel better that if we are spending millions of dollars that the public know what it’s for,” he said.
The 53 units that are planned to come on line this year initially created a subsidy of $8.2 million, but with the income levels lowered, that subsidy is up to nearly $11.5 million. With all the Burlingame units combined, City Hall is providing a total subsidy of nearly $16.6 million.The sale prices will be based on 2007 guidelines and the unit prices, tied to income, were based on each unit’s square footage, its location, its view, the size of storage units, whether the parking is covered or not, and how much each unit can be expanded.”It’s as much of a rational explanation of the pricing as we could get,” McCabe said.Also, during the first Burlingame lottery, many units were not completed, which is one reason there might not have been a large turnout of people bidding.Housing officials expect a much larger bidding pool this go-round because the 22 units offered now are complete and ready for people to move in. Another 31 units will be ready by the end of the year and the bidding will take place then.”There wasn’t even walls in some of the units last year,” said Cindy Christensen, who works in the housing office. “These are ready to go … this way [people] will know what they can win and they can close right away.”
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