New housing set to open in S’mass |

New housing set to open in S’mass

Sarah S. Chung

Snowmass Village will cut the ribbon today for the newest Mountain View apartments, marking completion of the town’s largest employee-housing effort to date.

Mountain View’s 26 newest apartments will most likely be filled by those already on the town’s 100-plus waiting list for housing. But everyone is invited to come by and see the project town officials credit with changing the face of the Snowmass Village.

“Quite simply, Mountain View changed the demography of the town,” said Town Manager Gary Suiter of the 155-apartment complex. “Getting more employees to live in town meant more people who work here could live here. It meant more people got involved, more people were showing up at council meetings, and helped create a stronger sense of community.”

Starting with the approval of phase one of the project in 1990, Mountain View now constitutes more than half of the town’s 247 employee-housing apartments.

The 26 apartments in phase two were approved in 1997; construction on the units started last May. There are 18 studios, four one-bedrooms, and four two-bedroom units in the new batch of apartments.

The employees who will move in to the rental apartments were selected on a priority basis; seven apartments have not yet been assigned. The minimum requirement to qualify for the town’s deed-restricted housing is one year of employment in Snowmass Village. However, among those awarded units, most averaged at least three to five years or longer, said Joe Coffey, the town’s housing manager.

The new apartments won’t be immediately available following today’s open house, but Coffey hopes residents of the first two buildings will be able to move in by Friday. According to Coffey, the third of the new buildings should be habitable in 45 to 60 days.

While Mountain View is nearly done, no other new employee housing projects are on the horizon. The town generally takes a two- or three-year breather between such ventures, Suiter noted.

But, as additional housing is a high priority for the Town Council, “we’re looking at all avenues in land purchases, converting existing complexes, and whatever we can do,” Suiter said. The town’s total housing inventory, including apartments, condos and single-family homes, stands at 356 units.

For now, Snowmass Village’s newest Town Council member said it’s time for a pause to appreciate the near completion of Mountain View.

“I’d say any day celebrating the opening of more employee housing is a good day for the entire valley,” Councilman Kevin Costello said.

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