Community to lose a significant chunk of designated affordable housing | AspenTimes.com

Community to lose a significant chunk of designated affordable housing

The Castle Ridge Apartments near Aspen Valley Hospital, which has 80 deed-restricted units, will become a free-market property in 12 years. The complex is just one of over two dozen that will see deed restrictions lifted over the next four decades.
Carolyn Sackariason/The Aspen Times

Scheduled deed restrictions on apcha housing

Ownership project Units Explanation of sunset provision

Centennial 25 21 years after the death of the last Board of County Commissioner who approved the project; the last surviving BOCC is Michael Kinsley

Cipriano-Taylor Condo 1 April 4, 2020 (30-year requirement)

Curton Duplex 1 21 years after the death of the last Board of County Commissioner who approved the project; the last surviving BOCC is Michael Kinsley

Highland Villas 3 21 years after the death of the last Board of County Commissioner who approved the project; the last surviving BOCC is Michael Kinsley

Hunter Creek 29 21 years after the death of the last Board of County Commissioner who approved the project; the last surviving BOCC is Michael Kinsley

Hunter Creek 1 May 12, 2039 (50-year requirement)

Midland Park 20 21 years after the death of the last Board of County Commissioner who approved the project; the last surviving BOCC is Michael Kinsley

Park Place 2 August 16, 2032 (50-year requirement)

Smuggler Park 87 May 13, 2037 (50-year requirement)

Smuggler Run 5 21 years after the death of the last Board of County Commissioner who approved the project; the last surviving BOCC is Michael Kinsley

Sopris Creek Cabins 1 21 years after the death of the last Board of County Commissioner who approved the project; the last surviving BOCC is Michael Kinsley

Valley Condominiums 1 April 20, 2038 (50-year requirement)

Vicenti Condominiums 2 21 years after the death of the last City Council member who approved the project; both units were approved by different City Council members of which at least 1 person is still alive

Total ownership units 178 units

Rental project Units Explanation of sunset provision

Alpina Haus 43 December 2, 2035 (50-year requirement)

Castle Ridge 80 August 20, 2032 (50-year requirement)

Centennial 148 21 years after the death of the last Board of County Commissioner who approved the project; the last surviving BOCC is Michael Kinsley

Comcast 8 April 14, 2038

Copper Horse 14 September 25, 2035 (50-year requirement)

Guido’s 3 June 6, 2040 (50-year requirement)

Park Place (Gorsuch) 2 April 3, 2032 (50-year requirement)

Shadow Mtn. Lodge 2 October 29, 2034 (50-year requirement)

Tom Thumb Building 2 February 8, 2032 (50-year requirement)

Ute City Place 22 February 21, 2039 (50-year requirement)

Total rental units: 324

Source: Aspen-Pitkin County Housing Authority

As Aspen’s elected officials contemplate spending $10 million on buying deed restrictions at Centennial, there are hundreds of other affordable housing units with deed restrictions that are going to be lifted in the not-so-distant future.

There are a total of 502 units that will eventually become free-market properties and taken out of the Aspen-Pitkin County Housing Authority inventory.

The city is in the process of attempting to secure 148 of them at Centennial where between 300 and 350 people live in rent-controlled apartments.

The city last month entered into a purchase agreement and is in the middle of a 30-day due diligence period to buy the deed restrictions that cap the rent at Centennial.

The city’s interest in buying those deed restrictions in perpetuity was prompted by the owner shopping the property to prospective buyers, officials have said.

How much the owner can charge for rent expires at the end of the 21st year after the death of the last member of the Pitkin Board of County Commissioners who approved the development, which is 72-year-old Old Snowmass resident Michael Kinsley.

That was part of the deal for the development to get approved in 1984.

Similar approvals were applied to 13 ownership complexes and nine apartment projects in which the deed restrictions will be lifted for the next 40 years.

It will affect thousands of people who live in those places who are part of the roughly 3,000 units in the APCHA inventory.

In 12 years, the deed restrictions at Castle Ridge Apartments will sunset and 80 units will become free-market.

Councilwoman Ann Mullins said she’s been looking at ways to preserve the current affordable housing inventory and build upon it, knowing that deed restrictions are starting to expire.

“It struck me that buying the deed restrictions was the best place to spend the money,” she said Friday, adding that securing the funding for future buy-outs has to be strategized.

She noted that City Manager Sara Ott and Chris Everson, the city’s affordable housing project manager, are working hard to find innovative ways to build up the program.

In presenting the purchase agreement for Centennial, Everson wrote in a memo to council last month that staff estimates the current replacement cost of the units to be around $85 million in today’s dollars, but it’s difficult to estimate the value of extending the deed restrictions in perpetuity.

“There’s no good time to invest this money, and it’s very easy to second guess this investment, but as time goes on, it’s going to get more expensive,” Everson said at the time. “It buys a lot of time when you think about the long-term viability of the (housing) program.”

Of the 178 ownership units that have deed restrictions that have sunsets on them, 86 have the county commissioner clause on them.

Of the 324 rental units that will become free-market, just Centennial has the county commissioner clause.

The rest, like Castle Ridge, have a 50-year requirement from when they were approved.

The owners of those complexes can do whatever they like in terms of remodeling and selling the units, or redeveloping the property under the city’s land-use rules, according to Everson.

The city is in the early stages of planning to build hundreds of units, both ownership and rental, at three locations on land that the government owns, including Burlingame Ranch near Buttermilk, the site of the Harbert lumberyard near the Aspen Business Center and Water Place, a neighborhood above Aspen Valley Hospital.

Mullins said building those units will merely replace what’s being taken out of the inventory through expiring deed restrictions, and a multi-pronged approach to the housing shortage is needed.

“Building new ones is extremely expensive and a slow process,” she said.

The city and developer Aspen Housing Partners also are building 45 new apartments that will mostly be geared toward a low-income workforce. Those units are expected to come online next year.

csackariason@aspentimes.com


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