New affordable housing project on Anglers Drive will help housing authority reach nearly half of its 600-unit commitment
STEAMBOAT SPRINGS — With its last three housing development projects and its newest venture, Anglers Four Hundred, the Yampa Valley Housing Authority has locally invested $4.5 million, created $100 million in development and, most importantly, has created 285 units of affordable, attainable housing in Steamboat Springs.
Those developments have carved out almost half of the housing authority’s pledge to create 600 units of affordable local housing by 2030, a commitment the nonprofit organization made when Steamboat voters approved a property tax levy through Referendum 5A in 2017. That measure was passed to help raise the $900,000 annually that the housing authority would use for developments.
The newest development, Anglers Four Hundred, represents a slightly different move for the housing authority. While its exterior mountain aesthetic will be consistent, its floor plans and economic footprint will differ from prior projects.
It’s the third housing project to use funds collected from 5A and the first to utilize a hybrid funding mechanism — using both federal and state tax credits. While that’s not important to the layman, it’s important for the housing authority to diversify its tax credit pool, said Jason Peasley, executive director of the Yampa Valley Housing Authority.
“We’ve obviously been super successful at getting tax credits for The Reserves and Alpenglow Village,” Peasley said. “But we had to diversify the tax credit pool we were going for.”
The Anglers Four Hundred project received a total of $14 million in tax credits. It was the only project on the Western Slope to be approved for the state’s credit; the others were focused around the Interstate 25 corridor on the Front Range.
“There are very few projects that can be made to work economically in the mountains,” Peasley said. That’s because of the extreme costs associated with development, land, labor and materials.
Still, the Yampa Valley Housing Authority has shown its distinct success in the highly competitive process of acquiring massive tax credits to create affordable housing.
While the housing authority continues to stick with its commitment to build a new housing project every year or so, the opportunity for large tax credits will likely be exhausted for the next few years, according to Peasley.
Steamboat has had more affordable housing projects come online than most other Colorado mountain communities, which Peasley said is a testament to the local strategy following passage of 5A but also the “practical economics” in the community.
“Land and construction is expensive — but it’s not as expensive here as, say, in Aspen,” he said. “We’re able to efficiently use those tax credit resources that are allocated across the state. We’re able to do that more efficiently than most other mountain communities.”
Anglers Four Hundred, bringing a total of 75 new affordable one-, two- and three-bedroom units, will be situated on the long, relatively narrow stretch of property on Anglers Drive south of downtown Steamboat. It sits vacant, across from the Sundance at Fish Creek shopping plaza and immediately adjacent to McDonald’s and Bank of the San Juans.
The development will target those who earn from 30% to 80% of the annual median income, or $26,160 to $69,760 for a household of four. There will be no market rate units available.
Overland Property Group LLC, headquartered in Salina, Kansas, will return as development partner on the project. The housing authority had partnered with Overland for The Reserves and Alpenglow Village.
But this project will utilize a “totally different building type,” according to Peasley.
There are two, four-story wings to the project, connected by a single-story lobby and leasing area. There will be a community garden, kids’ play area, basketball court and community outdoor space and patio atop the first floor lobby.
The development was very location driven, Peasley said.
“It’s a wonderful site from the standpoint that it’s very close to a lot of services you would use in town,” he said.
Across the street are a daycare and grocery store, and it’s right on bus route.
The property had plans for development over the years but never saw anything progress. There were several different concepts for its use, mainly a mix of commercial and residential space.
An early public meeting with property owners in the project’s immediate vicinity went well, according to Peasley. People were generally supportive of what is planned though there were some concerns about parking, traffic and things visible on balconies. Those are things, he said, that are being taken into consideration with the development. A highway study is currently being work on with the city to analyze potential impact on the prominent intersections of U.S. Highway 40 and Anglers Drive and Rollingstone Drive and Pine Grove Road.
“With the new Marriott hotel, we saw how much backlash that neighborhood is capable of,” he said.
Anglers Four Hundred will mark the first large-scale affordable housing development that is within an established residential neighborhood in Steamboat. But there hasn’t been much of the “not in my backyard” sentiment, Peasley said.
“We’ve been lucky,” he said.
The $25,000,000 Anglers Four Hundred development is expected to begin construction in mid- to late- summer of 2021 with units to be delivered by the end of 2022, beginning of 2023.
To reach Bryce Martin, call 970-871-4206 or email bmartin@SteamboatPilot.com.
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At a town hall meeting in Steamboat Springs in June, Sen. Bob Rankin had some advice for local officials.