Granby discusses attainable housing with developers
Grand County is a place of epic landscapes.
The beauty of the high country coupled with the recreation opportunities available in Middle Park makes the region a desirable place to live. But for many who call Grand County home that means working multiple jobs just to try and make ends meet. A popular saying among locals is, “Grand County: poverty with a view”.
A recurring theme for many working class people in the region is the need for affordable housing. Recently the Town of Granby began speaking with as of yet unnamed developers who are looking at a few parcels of land in the area for potential mid-range attainable housing.
Granby Mayor Paul Chavoustie explained. “I am speaking with one group that is pretty serious about building,” Chavoustie said. “It wouldn’t be the first rung of the affordable housing ladder. It is more like the next step up on affordable housing.”
Chavoustie explained the discussions are still in early stages and there is, at this point, no firm commitment from developers to move forward with the project but Chavoustie expressed his excitement about the potential. If negations are worked out and the developer decides to move forward with the project Chavoustie said his initial impression was the developers were looking at constructing town homes costing somewhere in the mid $200,000 to mid $300,000 range.
Chavoustie added that he wasn’t sure the term “affordable housing” was appropriate and used the term “mid-range” housing. “We are trying to work through the expenses and challenges,” Chavoustie said. The main area of focus for the potential development is in the area directly north of City Market, across Thompson Road. Chavoustie pointed out that parcel of land already has roads, water and sewer infrastructure installed, decreasing the overall costs of development.
Earlier this year the Town of Granby was engaging in discussions with another developer about the potential development of affordable housing units in the old Grand Elk/H&R Block property located just east of US Highway 40 and just north of the Flying Heels Rodeo Arena.
Chavoustie said the developers on that project backed away from the table. “The hard part is a lot of developers have assumptions based on other parts of the country,” Chavoustie said. “They come up here and find out what our building costs and tap fees are. That stuff is very expensive.”
Chavoustie said he recently attended a Mayor/Manager/Commissioner meeting for Grand County; the meetings include all the Mayors, Town Managers and Commissioners for the various governments in Grand County. “We spent more than one hour talking about the need for affordable housing,” Chavoustie said. “We are trying to find solutions. There is a real commitment from all the mayors, managers and commissioners but it all comes down to the challenge of building costs. It almost has to be subsidized at the Federal level. There just isn’t any good way to skin it.”
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Both the Grand County/Granby airport and the Kremmling airport are upgrading facilities this summer.