First multi-family development opens |

First multi-family development opens

Kathy St. George, right, takes in the view from the porch of her new home in Fox Creek Village on Hilltop Parkway. The Yampa Valley Housing Authority hosted a ribbon-cutting for the new affordable housing development Thursday afternoon. Beside St. George is Lynn Finkbohner and Lynn's 11-year-old daughter Sydney, at left. At center is Nikki Vande Velde, 11, a friend of Sydney. The Finkbohner's will also live at Fox Creek, in unit 4F. "We can wave to each other from our porches," St. George said.
Tyler Arroyo

— George Thomas can plan his workday just by standing on his porch.

Thomas, the ski coach at Colorado Mountain College in Steamboat Springs, will close later this month on a new condominium with an unobstructed view of several ski runs at the Steamboat Ski Area.

“I’m be able to step outside and say: ‘Yep, looks good!'” a smiling Thomas said Thursday at a ribbon-cutting ceremony for Fox Creek Village on Hilltop Parkway.

Fox Creek is a new development containing 30 deed-restricted, affordable housing condominiums, designed for families and homeowners with low to moderate incomes.

The ribbon-cutting marked the culmination of three years of work by the Yampa Valley Housing Authority, which planned, managed and spearheaded funding for the $6 million development.

“This is our maiden multi-family, affordable housing project,” said Elizabeth Black, executive director of the housing authority. “We hope it’s the first of many.”

On Wednesday, the housing authority closed on the $2.25 million purchase of a 10.7-acre plot of land between U.S. Highway 40 and the Copper Ridge Business Park.

The site will become Elk River Village, which could accommodate as many as 38 single-family homes. Kathi Meyer, president of the housing authority’s board of directors, said that development could ne complete by fall 2007.

Most Fox Creek residents will close on the purchase of their new homes later this month.

Several units were open for display after Thursday’s ribbon-cutting, giving residents a sneak peek at what, for many, represents a first chance at home ownership.

Lynn Finkbohner has lived in Steamboat Springs for 20 years, and rented the entire time.

Self-employed with her business selling bottled water, Finkbohner will move into Unit 4F with her 11-year-old daughter, Sydney.

“They’re beautiful,” Finkbohner said about the units. “They did a really, really nice job.”

Local firm Drahota Construction built the development.

Thomas is not the only one with a nice view.

Behind all of the units is about two acres of wetlands, with access to a bike trail and sweeping views to the east and west.

“We’ve had appraisers tell us that comparable units at market rate in Steamboat are going for $300,000,” Meyer said. “We want people to see that affordable housing can get as nice of a location as other kinds of housing.”

Most of the units at Fox Creek have two bedrooms and two bathrooms.

With grant assistance, all homebuyers will pay less than $200,000.

Turning left onto Hilltop Parkway from U.S. Highway 40, Fox Creek Village is the first housing development on the left.

Black said residents at Fox Creek span a variety of ages, family sizes, incomes and ethnic backgrounds.

“This is the face of Steamboat,” she said Thursday, hugging future residents and holding back tears.

Kathy St. George is the owner of one of the units on display Thursday.

She has lived in Steamboat for 30 years. She previously owned a trailer at Fish Creek Mobile Home Park, but not the land beneath it.

Inviting residents in for a look at her new condominium, St. George jokingly expressed a worry familiar to every new homeowner.

“If you have some red wine, be sure to spill it on the carpet,” she said.

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