Location for Artspace housing receives support, but parking concerns remain | SkyHiNews.com

Location for Artspace housing receives support, but parking concerns remain

This rendering included in the Grand Lake Board of Trustees meeting agenda shows a concept plan for a 20-unit workforce housing project in downtown Grand Lake. There is also a 30-unit plan that would require purchasing an adjacent parking lot.
Courtesy Grand Lake

The second proposed location for Grand Lake’s Space to Create workforce housing received considerable support during a Monday workshop after the first idea was shot down last year.

During the workshop, Grand Lake trustees heard from residents in a virtual meeting about the proposed workforce housing project at Hancock Street and Park Avenue, which could bring as many as 20 or 30 new units to town.

Grand Lake was one of a handful of Colorado communities awarded a Space to Create workforce housing project through a competitive process led by the state. ArtSpace, a nonprofit developer, was selected to manage the project, which will include live-work space for artists and creative-types. The town would continue to own the land while leasing it to ArtSpace with a long-term agreement.

This rendering included in the Grand Lake Board of Trustees meeting agenda shows how a 30-unit workforce housing project could fit on four adjacent publicly owned lots in downtown Grand Lake.
Courtesy Grand Lake

Support for the proposed site along Park Ave came after residents pushed back against hopes to build near the Grand Lake Center last year. During the workshop, the majority of comments were supportive of both the project and the new location, though some lingering concerns about parking did come up.

“I feel like the parking that is drawn on both the 20 and 30 unit site plans is good parking for the people that live there, but it’s not going to be any parking at all for the people that work in the businesses on Grand Avenue that are parking there now,” Trustee Cindy Southway said.

Another fear brought up during the conversation was financing.

Grand Lake Mayor Steve Kudron explained that the financing portion of the agreement would be examined by a lawyer before it’s approved. The mayor added that he doesn’t expect the town to agree to anything Grand Lake can’t afford.

The town’s financial contribution to the project, which will be 10% of the final cost, comes in the form of the town owned land, which is estimated to be valued at $600,000. However, that figure may be premature.

“The value of the build hasn’t been talked about because … all of those pieces come at the next point,” Kudron said. “Part of the project all along says that we won’t be digging until we have the money to build the project.”

Ongoing conversations about the project include whether to move forward with a 20-unit or 30-unit building, which is being driven by different financing options developers see as obtainable. The 30-unit proposal would also have the town buy another lot on Park Avenue, which town officials estimate could be about $150,000.

Grand Lake trustees didn’t make any decisions during the workshop, but plan to continue the discussion at their Feb. 22 meeting.

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