Affordable housing planned

Steamboat Crossings developers back for another try

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— The developers of Steamboat Crossings are proposing to double the number of affordable housing units in the project in order to win city approval.

Pederson Development of Boulder was asked to do more to create a community benefit during a round of city hearings in February. The developers originally proposed that 17 of the 108 townhomes and apartments in their project would be deed-restricted affordable units. Now, Pederson is back with a final development permit application that would boost the total number of units in the project to 138 and create 36 affordable units.

Jorge Gonzalez-Rodiles, a project engineer with Landmark Consulting in Steamboat Springs, said the 30 additional units would be built over detached garages that were in the original proposal.

"We feel that, with a strong affordable component, and our plan to protect 4.2 acres of open space and wetlands with a conservation easement, we meet the criteria for the development," Gonzalez-Rodiles said.

He said city planning commissioners and City Council members asked developers to create more density along with more affordable units. He said developers are still discussing how best to mix the market rate and deed restricted homes in the overall plan.

Steamboat Cross-ings is really two separate projects being added to an existing commercial center.

Steamboat Crossings North would add six commercial buildings on the north side of Pine Grove Road and close to the banks of Fish Creek. The largest of the buildings would be a 14,280-square-foot Walgreens. It exceeds the threshold of the city's big box ordinance, which holds large retail stores to a higher standard of public benefit.

The other portion of the project is the residential development that would include more than a dozen buildings when the detached garages are taken into account.

Walgreens is a publicly held company that operates more than 4,680 stores, including more than 90 in Colorado.

Walgreens has been adding more than 400 new stores a year every year since 2000. At the same time, the company has enjoyed double-digit growth rates in annual sales.

The Steamboat store would have a drive-through pharmacy window, but not the electronic message sign commonly displayed on the stores.

-- To reach Tom Ross, call 871-4205 or e-mail tross@steamboatpilot.com

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