The Steamboat Springs Planning Commission reaffirmed its approval for the new 42-unit Skyview Apartments, which are slated to be built at Whistler Road and Skyview Terrace south of Walton Creek Road.

OZ Architecture and Brinkman Partners/courtesy

The Steamboat Springs Planning Commission reaffirmed its approval for the new 42-unit Skyview Apartments, which are slated to be built at Whistler Road and Skyview Terrace south of Walton Creek Road.

Steamboat Springs City Council to review proposed apartment building

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What: Steamboat Springs City Council considers permit for Skyview Apartments and other matters. The issue is on the consent agenda for Steamboat Springs Planning Commission referrals and could be approved without discussion unless a council member calls up the matter.

When: 5 p.m. Jan. 8

Where: Citizens Hall at Centennial Hall, 124 10th St.

— The Steamboat Springs City Council will meet for the first time in the New Year on Tuesday and consider approving a new 42-apartment building at Whistler Road and Sky View Terrace.

The Steamboat Springs Planning Commission voted unanimously Dec. 20 to recommend approval of Skyview Apartments being developed by Brinkman Partners. However, the approval is conditional on developer Paul Brinkman returning to the city with more specific information about exterior building materials and a plan to meet the requirements of the community housing plan by offering reduced rents on several apartments in collaboration with the Yampa Valley Housing Authority.

“We hope to break ground this spring,” Brinkman said. “We have two buildings, and ideally we would finish the first by the end of the year, but more realistically, it will be the first quarter of 2014.”

Brinkman, who lives in Steamboat Springs and does most of his development work along the northern Front Range, said Brinkman Partners has developed or is in the process of developing 1,000 apartment homes in the past 12 months.

Mountain Village Apartments, one of the most recent big projects of its kind developed in Steamboat, was built in the late 1990s.

Brinkman’s company purchased the site for Skyview Apartments in 2011. It has been occupied for many years by a red brick building originally intended for a neighborhood convenience store but has been used for most of the past 15 years as offices for construction companies. It is across Skyview Terrace from Whistler Village Townhomes and a couple of blocks from Whistler Park.

Brinkman originally planned to build 36 apartments at the project. Since 2011, he has decided to build more one-bedroom apartments than two-bedroom units. That decision is based upon rental vacancy rates reported by the Colorado Division of Housing.

At the end of September, the vacancy rate for one-bedroom apartments here was 2 percent compared with 15 percent for two-bedroom units with two baths and 10 percent for two-bedroom apartments with a single bath.

“On the Front Range, we’re at 13-year lows in vacancy and the highest market rents in history,” Brinkman said. “We’re getting higher rents in Fort Collins and Boulder than we’re seeing here" in Steamboat.

He tentatively expects his new one-bedroom apartments with high trim levels to rent for $950 to $1,050. Documents on file with the city show the one-bedroom units will measure 690 square feet and the two-bedroom units will comprise 979 square feet.

The net residential square footage of the two buildings will total 31,557 square feet. Elevation drawings by OZ Architecture, of Boulder, consulting with Becker Architecture in Steamboat reflect that the apartments will have decks or patios.

Planning Commission Vice Chairwoman Kathi Meyer said Friday that discussion during the Dec. 20 hearing on Skyview Apartments centered on some aspects of the architecture of the buildings and the plan to meet community housing requirements.

The developers did not bring actual samples of the exterior building materials to the hearing, but showed images of previous projects instead. Planning Commission made its approval contingent on seeing the actual materials before the development permit is issued.

Similarly, Planning Commission wants to see a formal document describing how Brinkman Partners would make two or three units available at lower rent for tenants approved by the Housing Authority. The intent is for the reduced rents to add up to an amount corresponding to a fee the developer might have paid in lieu of providing community housing.

The developers came to Planning Commission seeking a variance in the form of a 10 percent increase in allowable floor area ratio (size of the building relative to the lot). Despite the objections of a couple of neighbors, Planning Commission decided the additional units implied by the variance did not represent a significant impact.

To reach Tom Ross, call 970-871-4205 or email tross@SteamboatToday.com

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