Early plans for Mid Valley project envision 200 units, both rentals and homes for sale
The Yampa Valley Housing Authority purchased the land in December with an anonymous donation
An 11-acre parcel of land along U.S. Highway 40 in Steamboat Springs known as Mid Valley could eventually have multiple four-story buildings with as many as 200 housing units on it, according to a plan presented last week.
The Yampa Valley Housing Authority bought the land in December with a $6 million anonymous donation — the second contribution from an unnamed donor who also gave $24 million to make the Brown Ranch purchase possible last summer.
Details of the Mid Valley project are in the early stages, and the housing authority board still needs to approve a memorandum of understanding with the Centennial-based developer Lone Tree Trust next month. However, Executive Director Jason Peasley said it was the best deal the housing authority reviewed.
“It was clear that the Lone Tree group was offering us by far the best deal and produced the most units,” Peasley said.
If it comes to fruition, a 200-unit project would be the most to date for any housing authority project, and it comes as the demand for attainable housing is illustrated at the soon-to-lease Sunlight Crossing, which has more than 800 names on an interest list.
“(Mid Valley) will provide 200 units,” Peasley said. “Knowing that we have 800 on an interest list for Sunlight (Crossing) right now just puts a finer point on the fact that we need to be developing a lot of supply.”
After the purchase of the land in December, the housing authority quickly put out a request for proposals to develop the property.
Peasley said the housing authority received six proposals, but none of them was exactly what the housing authority was looking for. After giving developers a little more guidance, each resubmitted another proposal in February.
Then the housing authority’s development team met to review the proposals and selected two for follow-up interviews. The development team then unanimously landed on the Lone Tree proposal.
“At the end of the day, the recommendation from the development team was unanimous,” said housing authority board member Kathi Meyer, assuring other board members it was the correct choice. “Both proposals had pluses and minuses, but overwhelmingly, the one we’re recommending is by far a strong first place.”
The proposal includes 200 deed-restricted units that would serve households making between 80% and 150% of the local area median Income. This is similar to Sunlight Crossing, which targets people making between 80% and 120% of the AMI.
There will also be a mix of rental units and those that could be listed for purchase. The housing authority and developer will need to work together to come up with a figure for what that ratio might be.
As presented, Lone Tree Trust would handle project financing and make financial guarantees on the project, something Peasley noted limits the housing authority’s risk.
The authority intends to contribute the land and a $10,000 per unit cash subsidy, which would be $2 million at 200 units. The authority will also chip in entitlement services and utilize tax exemptions where available.
The housing authority also will be the property manager of the rental units and facilitate real estate transactions for the for-sale aspects of the project.
Peasley said this is the first time the housing authority has come into a deal with land and Lone Tree’s willingness to treat the authority like a true partner in the project helped the authority make its selection. Peasley said there is a lot of room to maneuver within the deal with Lone Tree, which also gives him more confidence.
“Assuming this all goes the way that it is at least modeled out at the moment, it would be a very good deal for the housing authority and set us up very well for the future,” Peasley said.
To reach Dylan Anderson, call 970-871-4247 or email danderson@SteamboatPilot.com.
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