Winter Park invests over $1M in workforce housing project
Winter Park committed $1.27 million to its deed-restricted apartment building Fireside Creek to buy down rents and ensure its feasibility.
Over a series of meetings on Tuesday, Winter Park established its housing authority, which consists of the town council, and approved a number of measures supporting the Fireside Creek project. The housing authority was created to allow the town to authorize incentives for affordable housing projects.
Fireside Creek is planned to be a 50 unit apartment complex with one and two bedrooms for people who work at least 32 hours per week in Grand County.
During the town council meeting, the council approved a purchase option agreement with Winter Park Partners, offering the land for $10. Winter Park Partners hopes to close on the transfer of land ownership by the end of August. This would allow for construction to start in September.
In addition, the council approved an amendment to the development agreement with Winter Park Partners to increase the town’s financial contribution and ensure the project could move forward.
Fireside Creek was originally planned to be 70 units; however, the Town Board of Adjustment rejected a height variance request for the apartment building, bringing it down to 50 units. In order to close the financial gap from the loss of apartments, the town will be contributing $65,000 per year for the first 10 years.
Winter Park will also contribute $124,000 per year for five years to reduce rent on 24 units. A dozen one-bedroom units will be restricted to 80% Area Median Income (AMI) and another 12 will be capped at 100% AMI. After five years, the units will increase to 120% AMI, matching the remaining units in the project.
Using 2021 data from the Colorado Housing and Finance Authority, rent for a one-bedroom at 80% AMI is $1,183 per month, at 100% AMI it’s $1,478 and at 120% rent is $1,774. The two-bedroom units will all be 120% AMI with a monthly rent at $2,130.
Finally, the housing authority passed a resolution finding Fireside Creek meets the affordable housing need in the community and, therefore, can receive tax abatements from the town.
In other business:
• Winter Park Assistant Town Manager Alisha Janes was appointed to be the director of the housing authority.
• The housing authority established meeting notices will be posted at the Winter Park Town Hall and at http://www.wpgov.com.
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