Deal sealed on West End Village | SteamboatToday.com
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Deal sealed on West End Village

— A local family company closed Tuesday on a 30-acre piece of property that, within the next year, could be home to more than 80 “families, self-starters and people who are tired of renting condos,” the buyer said.

Connell LLC, which has strong family ties to Steamboat, sealed the deal on the land for West End Village, the city’s first deed-restricted affordable-housing project, buying it for $850,000 from Bill Moser of Moser and Associates.

“This is the happiest day in my life in the last two years,” said Rob Dick, the executive director of the Regional Affordable Living Foundation, the local affordable-housing advocacy group that developed the project off Downhill Drive.



The project received a development permit and certain concessions from the City Council in December 2000, but potential purchasers failed in their attempts to buy the land. Meanwhile, some of the 75 people who had originally expressed interest in buying homes in the development began to look for other options.

“That’s good news,” said Dan Clarke, one of the local residents initially interested in buying into the project, upon hearing the land deal had closed. “I definitely hope to get in there.”



Clarke, who currently lives in Dream Island Trailer Park, where he rents the land under his trailer, said he would now try to sell his trailer to get money for a down payment on a home in West End Village.

Half of the units in the development potentially as many as 83 will be available to people who make 120 percent of the area median income or less. The “affordable” homes, including units in a multifamily development, duplexes and detached single-family homes, could go for between $120,000 and $175,000, prices unheard of in the local duplex and single-family housing markets, Dick said. The multifamily development, which still needs to be approved by the City Council, could sell for as little as $110,000 per unit, Dick said.

Tony Connell, a principal in both Connell LLC and Connell Resources, a local heavy highway contractor that will do the infrastructure work on the project, said his intent is to provide a housing project that will allow working locals to get their feet in the door.

Connell said he would offer many of his market-rate homes at prices that will be affordable to middle-income residents who may not qualify for the affordable deed-restricted homes. Those “market-rate” homes could go for $150,000 and up, he said.

What’s more, Connell Resources, which will be putting in the infrastructure for the lots, will help RALF pay for the cost of the lots for the affordable homes. Connell is essentially giving RALF a subsidy by selling the nonprofit organization the lots at below cost, Dick said.

RALF may not even have to go out and find financing to buy half of the lots, which could have been another roadblock to breaking ground. As long as the organization can help homebuyers secure financing for their homes, the money would basically be passed directly through RALF to Connell. RALF will still likely help finance the project by offering one-time aid on mortgages that would have to be paid back when the house is sold.

The city and county have also pledged $250,000 to the project, which could be paid back.

The project could break ground as early as April, Dick said.


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