Housing authority approves memo with developer on Mid Valley project
Project should have 128 rental units and 72 for sale
The Yampa Valley Housing Authority has approved a memorandum of understanding with a developer for the Mid Valley housing project, which is expected to add 200 units in Steamboat Springs.
With the approval on Thursday, April 14, the entitlement process will begin right away and construction could start at the site off U.S. Highway 40, just down the road from the Alpenglow complex, in less than a year.
The housing authority’s contribution for the project will be the property — which the authority bought with a $6 million anonymous donation last fall — and $10,000 per unit, which totals $2 million.
The authority would also maintain a 49% ownership stake in the property, more than other development deals the authority has made.
“We’re more or less 50-50 partners in this deal,” said Jason Peasley, executive director of the housing authority. “I think it’s a very good deal for us, and it’s also representative of the fact that we’re putting more into this project than we have with any other.”
The memo lays out how the housing authority and developer Lone Tree Trust will partner on the project going forward. The memo isn’t legally binding, but it signals a formal contract is in the works.
Of the 200 units, about 128 would be available for rent, and 72 would be put up for sale with those units having a deed restriction or being part of a community land trust, which would limit who could purchase them and their potential resale price.
Both of these methods to keep housing affordable have been discussed as part of the Brown Ranch development west of Steamboat.
The 128 rental units would be segmented to serve targeted groups with about 54 reserved for households earning less than 80% of the area median income, another 54 units for those earning less than 120% of the median income and 20 more units without any income limits.
The for-sale units would also have a limit with 18 reserved for each 80% and 120% area median income levels, and 36 units targeted at those earning less than 150% the area median income.
In addition to retaining nearly half of the ownership stake, the housing authority would also split profits from rents and property sales on a 49% to 51% breakdown, according to the memo.
The housing authority would have the right of first refusal to purchase the property back from the developer, and there is an option to buy the developer’s stake at least one year after completion for a mutually agreed upon price.
“We’ve already sort of done a bit of a kickoff related to entitlements,” Peasley said. “We could have those entitlements by the end of the year and then be working on construction drawings and bidding out the project.”
Entitlements are a land-use permit that must be approved and generally involve things like variances, zoning amendments or tax relief.
Ken Marsh, a managing partner with Lone Tree Trust, said they already have Hausmann Construction from Lincoln, Nebraska, lined up as the general contractor. There aren’t any requirements to use a certain number of local contractors on the project, but Marsh said they would use as much local labor as possible.
“But (Hausmann) can also bring in people from across the country because they have buying power,” Marsh said.
Routt County Commissioner Tim Corrigan, a former local contractor and housing authority board member, said he feels locals should be able to submit the best bids and that he is more focused on the cost than he is prioritizing local work.
Board member Rodger Ashton said the development committee reviewed the memo in March and that each of their comments was incorporated into what was approved on Thursday. Board member Kathi Meyer, who was absent from the meeting, sent a note saying she wholeheartedly supported approval.
Ashton noted there’s another aspect of the deal that’s somewhat different than others the authority has made in the past, so the board will have final approval over site design, urban design and the architecture of the project.
“There has been a lot of conversation about this being sort of an entrance to Steamboat,” Ashton said. “We want to make sure that it conveys that sort of feel.”
To reach Dylan Anderson, call 970-871-4247 or email danderson@SteamboatPilot.com.
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