STEAMBOAT SPRINGS — As community leaders gathered for a ceremony celebrating the beginning of vertical construction of what’s soon to be the Yampa Valley Housing Authority’s newest apartment complex, audience members found it hard to pay attention to the developer’s remarks.
That wasn’t because of a lack of interest or loud machinery at the construction site, but because Housing Authority Executive Director Jason Peasley’s young daughter Lily was toddling back and forth between the audience and her father as he spoke to them. Peasley picked her up with his left arm, his other daughter, Violet, already sitting on his right arm, and introduced them to the crowd.
“I guess it’s kind of fitting that these kids are here because building these apartments is really all about our local families and making sure people have safe and affordable places to live,” he said.
The project, Alpenglow Village, will build 72 apartments aimed at Routt County residents who make low to moderate income, with the goal of opening next year. Alpenglow Village is located on the south side of Pine Grove Road on the lot adjacent to Walgreens.
The complex will be composed of three apartment buildings — all of which are currently in different phases of construction — and a clubhouse, which will be completed next year. Other amenities will include a community garden, a play area for kids, a basketball court, fitness center, picnic areas and natural space near Fish Creek, which flows along the complex’s western property line.
“There’s a lot of work that goes in to get us to this point,” Peasley said. “A lot of hard work putting together the funding, getting the awards, dialing in the design, getting the entitlements. This is just a great moment. To start seeing the apartments go vertical, it’s really going to hit home that these units are going to be occupied in a year.”
Matt Gillam, vice president and partner at Overland Property Group, the company overseeing the development of Alpenglow Village, said construction on the project is a couple of months ahead of schedule. Gillam attributed it to the development and construction teams preparedness this winter.
“We’re way ahead of schedule, and it’s because of all the prep work that went in, so when the window opened weather-wise, we were ready to hit it,” he said.
Over the winter, crews will complete interior work on the buildings, before putting the finishing touches on the exterior when the weather warms again next year.
Peasley said the Housing Authority hopes to begin leasing the project in spring 2020 to allow residents to move in summer 2020. The Housing Authority has not determined how residents will be selected.
When the Housing Authority began to accept applications to live at The Reserves at Steamboat Springs, an apartment complex on the west side of Steamboat, applications were accepted on a first-come, first served basis. People started to line up at Library Hall at 3 a.m. to apply. Today, there are still more than 225 people on the waitlist to apply to live in the Reserves, according to a news release. Those on the waitlist will not get priority in applying to live in Alpenglow Village.
“We learned a few things from the Reserves,” he said. “Namely that the demand is just insane, and people are willing to sit out at three in the morning in February to get a unit. We obviously don’t want to put people in that position of waiting out in the cold, so that’s probably the number one lesson.”
Those interested in applying should watch for information online at yvha.org. Peasley has previously said the Housing Authority would “heavily advertise” when people can apply to live in Alpenglow Village.
Alpenglow Village was financed using a combination of $13.5 million in low-income housing tax credits from the Colorado Housing Finance Authority and funds from the Housing Authority’s one-mill property tax passed by voters in November 2017.
Gillam said Overland aims to close on the sale of the tax credits to Wells Fargo by the end of the month.
“We’ve had two very successful projects that were selected on the first round of CHFA, which is not common, so that’s really kudos to you guys,” said Kathryn Grosscup, a tax credit officer at the Colorado Housing Finance Authority, who spoke at Thursday’s ceremony and explained why the organization awarded the project tax credits. “Just the creativity in addressing both a middle-income workforce project as well as lower-income units — that was a unique aspect that we really valued.”
Peasley has previously said the Housing Authority aims to begin one new project each year for the duration of the one-mill property tax, which sunsets in 2027.
“This is the first project that will be funded with our property tax that the voters voted in in 2017,” Peasley told the audience at the ceremony. “This is the first of those projects, and we’ve got a pipeline full of projects to bring on board. This is a great, watershed moment for the organization.”