Developer wants to offer housing credits at ABC | AspenTimes.com

Developer wants to offer housing credits at ABC

Karl Herchenroeder
The Aspen Times

Affordable-housing credits have never been offered outside city limits, but a developer is asking to do just that.

If approved, Peter Fornell would develope eight three-bedroom units at the Aspen Business Center, establishing affordable-housing credits for 24 full-time-equivalent employees at the Category 2 level. Three-bedroom units offered at that level are rare in the Aspen-Pitkin County Housing Authority's program, so the housing office is thrilled about the proposal and confident that there will be demand, said city planner Justin Barker. All eight units will be entered into the affordable-housing lottery.

"Some consideration should be made for creation of units outside the city limits in certain circumstances," Fornell wrote in a letter to the city. "High-category housing such as Category 4 may need discounting in that they may not have the same demand or cost to create. Lower-category housing, which requires a higher subsidy by the builder, will have more demand and may not need any discounting."

The project would serve as Phase 2 in a 17-unit construction plan associated with the Alpine Grove Subdivision, which was approved by the county in 2004. The first nine units were completed as mitigation for the Residences at the Little Nell development. The remaining eight units would be called the Pacific Avenue Condominiums, located at 412 AABC.

The business center is within the city's urban-growth boundary, a requirement for qualified housing, and the land has been earmarked by the city for deed-restricted development. But Pitkin County must approve the project's site plan, which it did previously in 2004. Vested rights were extended in 2007 and expired in 2010.

Fornell and Mitch Haas, of Haas Land Planning, are scheduled to meet with the Aspen Planning and Zoning Commission on Tuesday. With approval from the commission, the project will go before the Aspen City Council for a final decision.