Guest column: The Michaels’ approach to Brown Ranch will build community, not just homes

Bruce Morgan
Guest column

In Steamboat Springs, a new era in community development is underway. As Yampa Valley Housing Authority’s builder, developer and property manager partner, The Michaels Organization brings a distinct approach to housing communities, and that approach defines this project.

For close to five decades, Michaels has been a national cornerstone in affordable housing, prioritizing environments where individuals and families truly prosper. Building communities that lift lives is the heart of our work.

Now, let’s delve into the Brown Ranch project.

Our phased approach combines fiscal responsibility with adaptability to evolving community needs. We emphasize building small, smart-growth-oriented neighborhoods that foster resident connections. Brown Ranch will begin with its first neighborhood of about 400 units, hopefully to be delivered in the next four to six years. This first phase is financially viable, thoughtfully designed and will set the standard for the future of the entire project as it evolves over 20 years.

Brown Ranch is poised to respond to the housing needs of the Steamboat community and it does so with a distinct purpose: Residents must live and work in Routt County to call Brown Ranch home.

Everyone deserves to live near where they work, and attainable housing that is affordable will make this a reality. Brown Ranch is for the teachers, nurses, first responders, construction workers, landscapers, hospitality workers and the many other key contributors who provide so much for this community. Investing in attainable housing is an investment in their success and the community’s success.

More than just providing bricks and mortar, Brown Ranch affirms that housing is a right, not a privilege. It will be 100% income-restricted, welcoming diverse workers and professions, from police officers to physicians, with incomes ranging from 30-250% of the area median income.

Moreover, this development will be deed-restricted in perpetuity, securing its affordability for generations. With 60% of residences for rent and 40% for ownership, Brown Ranch will respond to an array of needs and aspirations.

Collaboration with local partners, from the general contractor to artisans, ensures that Brown Ranch integrates seamlessly into Steamboat Springs.

As we embark on this journey, we do so with a profound sense of duty and an unshakable belief in the power of community. Together, with the support of this remarkable city, we will forge not just a development, but a legacy — a testament to the possibilities when the community takes center stage.

Bruce Morgan is senior vice president at The Michaels Organization.

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