Work on affordable housing at Ironbridge under way again | AspenTimes.com

Work on affordable housing at Ironbridge under way again

John Stroud
Glenwood Springs correspondent
Aspen, CO Colorado

GLENWOOD SPRINGS – Construction has resumed on the remaining eight affordable housing units at the Ironbridge subdivision located between Glenwood and Carbondale, after money that had been tied up in bankruptcy for more than a year was finally released.

“We’re very excited to get back onto that project, we’ve been waiting a long time,” said Saul Torres of Glenwood Springs-based Maya Construction.

Torres was under contract to build 20 deed-restricted, income-category units that were required as part of Ironbridge’s original Garfield County approvals.

But the work stalled when developer LB Rose Ranch LLC, a subsidiary of the bankrupt Lehman Brothers, filed for Chapter 11 federal bankruptcy protection in early 2009.

The situation left some of the affordable housing units in various states of incompletion, while prospective buyers selected in a Garfield County Housing Authority lottery were not able to close on units that were finished. The bankruptcy also stalled construction on 100 free-market units.

Last fall, the bankruptcy court released the deed-restricted units to be sold, 12 of which were fully built. Ten units have since sold and two more are under contract.

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Now, work can proceed on the eight unfinished units.

“We’ll have a whole crew there next week,” Torres said, adding it will mean regular work for about 20 workers in a housing construction market that’s still struggling to recover from the recession.

“We’re happy to get back on track. … Our goal is to try to finish the work in three months,” he said.

The housing authority is also actively marketing the remaining units, which it is offering to qualified buyers on a first-come, first-served basis.

“We’re no longer requiring a lottery for these homes, so it is a first-come, first-served opportunity,” said Kathryn Grosscup, Garfield County Housing Authority program director. “We’ve had four lotteries already, so we’re just looking for qualified buyers to come forward now.”

The housing authority is hosting an open house at the Ironbridge neighborhood where the affordable housing units are located, on Fox Run Court, this Saturday from 3-5 p.m. and again on several subsequent Saturdays.

“It’s turning out to be a very cute little neighborhood,” Grosscup said. “Some of the homeowners and Ironbridge folks are planning a little barbecue to celebrate.”

The 1,427-square-foot, two-story, single-family houses with three bedrooms, two baths and a two-car garage are going for $230,000 to qualified buyers making up to 120 percent of the Area Median Income (AMI), depending on family size.

Buyers can also have no more than $100,000 in household assets, and the houses must serve as the buyer’s primary residence.

Applications for the Ironbridge units are available on the Garfield County Housing Authority’s website, at http://www.garfieldhousing.com.

The 20 affordable housing units on Fox Run Court are in addition to four other deed-restricted units scattered throughout the Ironbridge development that were part of the first phase, and were sold through a lottery.

Ironbridge is still required to build six more deed-restricted units. However, money has not been released through the bankruptcy proceedings for those or the remaining free-market units to be constructed.

jstroud@postindependent.com