Stillwater may raise the bar for housing projects |

Stillwater may raise the bar for housing projects

Sarah S. Chung

The newly hired architects for the Stillwater affordable housing project envision a final product that will set a higher standard for employee housing.

Local firm Conger Fuller Associates is currently assembling a design team for the county project. The team will include a representative from the Rocky Mountain Institute with the intention of creating a “model of energy efficiency as well as a green development.”

“We’re very excited. It’s a beautiful piece of property,” said CFA project architect Steve Novy. “And we see this as unique opportunity to provide a product that’s affordable, not only in initial cost, but one that can also be affordable in the long term in terms of energy and monthly costs.”

Stillwater is a 4.25-acre parcel of land donated by the late Fritz and Fabi Benedict to help further the cause of affordable housing. It is located east of Aspen along the Roaring Fork River. Planners expect the site to accommodate 12 to 24 units.

Only about 2.5 acres of the parcel is buildable land, but the site’s amenities – it’s within walking distance of town and has bus service, and features wooded terrain and views of the river – will likely make lottery competition for the Stillwater units intense.

Stillwater is far from conceptual design, but the Aspen/Pitkin County Housing Authority has set a preliminary goal of applying for final approval by next January, and possibly starting construction in the spring of 2000, said housing office project manager Lee Novak.

Since the land was donated, the final cost – and needed government subsidy – for Stillwater should be lower than in other recent Housing Authority projects, Novak said. Units priced in a mix of different income categories are intended at Stillwater, he said.

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