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Yampa Valley Housing Authority close to applying for permit to build 48 affordable apartments

— The Yampa Valley Housing Authority is moving swiftly with its development partner, Overland Property Group, to prepare a “shovel-ready” plan to build 48 affordable two- and three-bedroom apartments on Steamboat’s west side.

Housing Authority Executive Director Jason Peasley said during a Tuesday work session he hopes to submit a development permit application to the city of Steamboat Springs early this month.

YVHA members are eager to be prepared to apply to the Colorado Housing Finance Authority this spring for its next round of federal income tax credits to be used by local housing agencies to leverage equity that they can then bring to a housing project.



YVHA Board President Kathi Meyer told Steamboat Today in early January that the Housing Authority had chosen Kansas-based Overland Property Group from among three proposals to develop the apartments that would be built on 10 acres the YVHA owns on lower Elk River Road. The site is roughly opposite the Colorado Department of Transportation shop and the new Yampa Valley Electric Association campus in the former TIC building.

YVHA board member Catherine Carson confirmed Tuesday that the tentative business arrangement with Overland calls for the developers to absorb the entirety of the nearly $2 million debt on the land incurred by the local Housing Authority in the real estate run-up of the last decade.



Overland would build and own the apartments. YVHA would have a very small stake in the buildings and a long-term contract to manage the property. Peasley said Overland will have a long-term interest in seeing the project succeed.

But all of the work currently taking place on the two-building apartment complex is dependent upon YVHA’s ability to succeed in the highly competitive application process for the tax credits. Peasley told Steamboat Today in early January that the project will not go forward without them.

Construction would not begin before 2016.

The low-income housing tax credits are the longstanding way the U.S. government lends financial assistance to stimulate affordable housing projects. The credits are sold by a broker to people who have income they want to shelter from taxes, and the proceeds go to support the development of the housing project.

Peasley said late last year that the area is experiencing an acute need for rental housing, particularly among households earning 40 to 60 percent of the median income here — the target range for residents of the new complex.

He told YVHA board members Tuesday that CHFA is encouraging, even incentivizing them to build a project of 50 units or less. Overland is proposing to construct two three-story buildings with a mix of eight two- and three-bedroom apartments on each floor.

It’s a building that Overland has developed numerous times.

“We believe there is a lot of value in that. We think we’ll get a high-quality project for a reasonable price as a result,” Peasley said.

The apartments will have patios/decks with adjacent outdoor storage closets, nine-foot ceilings and master bedrooms, based on floor plans that were in the board’s agenda packets. Plans call for two outdoor parking spaces for each unit.

In addition to the apartment buildings themselves, plans call for a community building that Peasley hopes will have room for a couple of offices as well as space for an area where parties could be hosted and a small fitness area. Plans for outdoor amenities have not been made, but there is ample room on the site, which includes a steep hillside that is not suitable for building.

Peasley said there are future plans for a Steamboat Springs Transit bus to turn right off of U.S. Highway 40 onto Elk River Road and stop close to one of the entrances to the apartment complex before looping back to the highway via Downhill Drive. That would take the bus past two more residential subdivisions, West Acres Mobile Home Park and West End Village, as well as numerous businesses.

Overland, with offices in Leawood, Kansas, near Kansas City, and in Austin, Texas, builds market-rate apartment buildings as well as affordable and independent senior living apartments. Its current projects are focused on smaller cities including Oskaloosa, Iowa, Wichita Falls and Lubbock, Texas, and Great Bend, Kansas.

However, the company is currently in the middle of an atypical project — the multi-million dollar refurbishing of the Tabor Grand Hotel in Leadville.

To reach Tom Ross, call 970-871-4205, email tross@SteamboatToday.com or follow him on Twitter @ThomasSRoss1


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