Second major affordable housing project takes shape in Basalt |

Second major affordable housing project takes shape in Basalt

RealAmerica LLC is building 56 apartments for low-income households in Basalt. Work started on the foundation in December and framing will start soon.
Scott Condon/The Aspen Times |

Construction is progressing in Basalt on the second of two major projects expected to make a dent over the next year in the affordable-housing shortage.

Construction of the framing will start “any day now” at the Roaring Fork Apartments project next to Stubbies Bar, according to Ronda Weybright, CEO and president of RealAmerica LLC, an Indiana-based development company that specializes in affordable-housing projects.

There will be 56 units in the apartment complex targeted for low-income households. The 45 one-bedroom apartments will rent for between $450 and $1,350 per month. They will be 670 square feet.

The 11 two-bedroom units will rent for between $550 to $1,450 per month. Those units will be 965 square feet.

RealAmerica has committed to rent six units at 30 percent of area median income, 11 at 50 percent of median income and 27 at 60 percent. The remaining 12 will be rented according to local affordable-housing guidelines.

Weybright said her company has 41 households on the waiting list for when the application process starts. Applicants have to qualify on income and asset limits of Basalt’s affordable-housing guidelines.

Construction started in December at the site, where there was already a foundation from a previous hotel project that was abandoned. At that time, RealAmerica anticipated it would take 12 to 14 months to complete the project.

Rents at the Roaring Fork Apartments will be considerably lower than at the Willits Town Center apartments, where 50 units will be ready for occupancy this spring.

There will be 26 one-bedroom apartments, 22 two-bedroom apartments and two three-bedroom units in the Willits Seven building.

The one-bedroom units will rent for $1,640 per month while the two-bedrooms will go for $1,870, according to information supplied by Belinski. The three-bedroom units will go for $1,966. The rents comply with Basalt’s affordable-housing guidelines.

Following is a summary of major development projects in the midvalley and their status in the review processes of Basalt and Eagle County:

Project: El Jebel Mobile Home Park expansion

Location: Adjacent to the western side of the mobile home park, west of the El Jebel ball diamond.

Owners: Crawford Properties LLC.

Specs: The project is approved by Eagle County for the addition of 46 affordable-housing units to the existing El Jebel Mobile Home Park. There will be eight two-bedroom units and 38 three-bedroom residences.

Features of note: There will be six deed-restricted affordable-housing units. The remaining 40 units will be rented at 30 percent of the area median income, making them attainable for the working class, according to the owners.

Status: Five modular units were moved into place this winter and are occupied. The mild winter also has allowed installation of the infrastructure. The goal is to move in the remaining 41 units this summer and have them occupied by fall.

Project: Tree Farm

Location: North side of Highway 82, across from Whole Foods.

Owner: Ace Lane and his firm, Woody Ventures LLC.

Specs: Proposal for 340 residences; 74,007 square feet of general commercial space and a 60,000-square-foot hotel.

Features of note: Project includes 43 deed-restricted affordable-housing units and free-market apartments that the development teams described as attainable housing.

Status: Woody Ventures made a major revision to try to answer concerns of the Roaring Fork Valley Regional Planning Commission and the public. The project is the second of three rounds of approval needed from Eagle County. The county commissioners are scheduled to start the review March 21.

Project: The Fields

Location: South of the intersection of Highway 82 and Valley Road, across from the Blue Lake subdivision entrance.

Owner: The Fields Development Group.

Specs: Proposal for 97 to 110 single-family homes and duplex residential units.

Features of note: Includes 24 to 27 deed-restricted affordable-housing units.

Status: Received first-round approval by the Eagle County Commissioners. The Roaring Fork Valley Regional Planning Commission recommended denial.

Project: Willits Town Center

Location: Southern end of the commercial core

Owner: Mariner Real Estate Management

Specs: 50 affordable-housing apartments and 27 affordable-housing condominiums.

Features of note: The apartments are nearly completed and will be rented under Basalt affordable-housing guidelines. The Roaring Fork School District, Basalt Fire Department and town of Basalt have committed to purchase the condos.

Status: The interiors of the apartments are finished and construction is wrapping up on common areas of the building. The first tenants will be selected in March. The condominiums will be finished later this year.

Project: Stott’s Mill

Location: 18 acres north of Basalt High School and east of Southside Drive.

Owner: Briston Peterson and partners in MSP1 LLC.

Specs: Proposal is for 60 single-family homes and 96 multi-family residences. Developer will build two parks and provide the shell for a day care space to be rented out.

Feature of note: 20 multi-family units and 10 single-family units will be sold under affordable-housing guidelines.

Status: The Basalt Town Council declined by a 3-3 vote to approve the request for 156 units. The council majority said they would be willing to accept 110 units, which the project earned original approvals prior to the recession. The development group is assessing its options.

Project: Basalt High School housing

Location: South of the high school.

Owner: Roaring Fork School District owns the property and Habitat for Humanity Roaring Fork will construct the units.

Specs: Proposal for 27 units in three triplexes and nine duplexes.

Feature of note: More than half of the units would go to teachers and the rest to other members of the work force. Mortgage principal and interest, insurance and taxes would come to less than 28 percent of the buyers’ gross monthly income. That’s a Habitat goal on its projects.

Status: Project earned unanimous approval from the Basalt Town Council recently and faces one more round of review.

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