Silt mayor takes on housing project
Glenwood Springs correspondent
Aspen, CO Colorado
SILT, Colo. ” Mayor Dave Moore has announced plans to develop about 34 affordable housing units in Silt.
“I believe that we can lead the parade on affordable housing in Garfield County,” Moore said in an interview Thursday. “And I’m looking forward to some great things happening in the town of Silt.”
Moore, his family members, and a few business partners purchased three acres of land in the eastern part of Silt, located west of Glenwood Springs and New Castle, in August. The area sits on the north side of Main Street, across from the Intermountain Transfer and Storage business. He said he grew frustrated hearing lots of talk about affordable housing.
“We all talk about affordable housing, but nobody does anything about it,” Moore said.
He said cities and towns up the Roaring Fork Valley have run out of space for affordable housing, and land has become too costly to build it.
“In the past the developers and municipalities have failed to come together,” Moore said. “We’re stepping out and saying, ‘Hey, we’re willing to do this and reduce the prices and even contribute ourselves.'”
To get things rolling, Moore said the group of investors ” High Point Ventures ” plans to contribute some $5,000 to $10,000 on each unit to buy down prices.
“You’re not going to find anybody that’s trying harder than us to make this work,” Moore said.
Moore envisions getting the Garfield County Housing Authority to purchase some of the townhouse units, which would likely be deed-restricted. He also plans to get other organizations like school districts, hospital districts and the Aspen Community Foundation on board in hopes of further subsidizing some of the units.
“I think he’s got a good plan to build some affordable units there,” said Geneva Powell, director of the Garfield County Housing Authority. “It does sound realistic. They’ve got the land secured. They’re going forward with the town for approvals.”
She said the housing authority is looking at buying down the price of up to 10 of the units by another $20,000 to $30,000 on top of any existing subsidies. The development could become the first time the housing authority uses federal grant money to subsidize housing, she added.
“In the past (Garfield County) has said they would put money into a development, but we’ve never used the money,” she said, mentioning affordable housing plans at Glenwood Meadows that haven’t been carried out.
Moore said High Point Ventures anticipates appraisals for the units at about $280,000 to $300,000. But he’s hoping that participation from the housing authority and other entities will bring those prices down to around $190,000 to $230,000.
High Point Ventures includes Moore, his wife Sherree, his daughter Joy Zeller and her husband John, Moore’s son Jim and Jim’s wife Kelly, plus Jim Voorheis of American National Bank, and Deric and Tracey Walter.
The townhouse units would offer more than 2,000 square feet of living area. There would also be a place for a restaurant on the three-acre spot. Moore said his expertise in development and construction, combined with Walter’s expertise in engineering and Vorheis’ expertise in finance, will help save on costs of development, which should help lower unit prices. Engineering work laying out street design and other infrastructure has been completed, he said, and the proposal will go before the Silt Planning and Zoning Commission on Tuesday night.
“It should get approved,” Moore said. “I hope that Silt will see the same vision that we have seen.”
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