Housing group eyes $26M affordable apartment deal for Steamboat | SteamboatToday.com

Housing group eyes $26M affordable apartment deal for Steamboat

Overland Property Group wants to double down on its success with The Reserves at Steamboat's affordable apartments, with a new 96-apartment development on a site yet to be determined.

STEAMBOAT SPRINGS — The board of the Yampa Valley Housing Authority voted unanimously Thursday to pursue two very different affordable apartment projects, with the potential to deliver another 130 income-restricted apartments to Steamboat Springs by spring 2020. That includes a proposal by Overland Property Group of Kansas to build a 96-apartment complex with an estimated construction cost of $26 million.

"Securing a $26 million development for Steamboat Springs is a big deal," Overland's Vice-President of Development Matt Gillam said.

The second proposal by SW Development would convert a downtown motel, The Alpiner, which is already serving as seasonal workforce housing, into 34 income-restricted studio apartments.

The motion to move ahead with the proposals was made by Catherine Carson and calls for board members Cole Hewitt and Kathi Meyer to meet with the developers with the goal of returning to the full board in February for their signatures on a letter of intent with each developer. Plans depend upon landing tax credits from the Colorado Housing Finance Authority to leverage private sector investments.

"We're going to get this done," Carson said after the meeting.

Overland is the same developer that successfully partnered with YVHA on the creation of 48 income-restricted  apartments in The Reserves at Steamboat on lower Elk River Road. That complex is now fully leased.

The partnership proposal put forth by Overland on Thursday called on the housing authority to contribute $700,000, representing 40 percent ownership, which Overland estimates YVHA would recoup within four years with an annual management fee of $52,494, a $300,000 development fee and cash flow.

Carson and Meyer agreed the discussions over the letters of intent are an opportunity for the board to scrutinize both proposals and ensure that the housing authority is spending the money of district taxpayers prudently.

Gillam told the YVHA board Thursday that his company had  identified more than one potential site for the 96-unit apartment buildings but declined to identify them.

New future for the Alpiner?

In contrast to the Overland proposal, developer Scott Yeates of SW Development Group is proposing to remodel the current seasonal employer housing units in the Alpiner into 34 income-restricted apartments with kitchenettes.

Yeates, who recently moved to Steamboat, reported that his company has created 421 income-restricted units and facilitated housing for 750-plus households. He told the housing authority that instead of developing new buildings, he prefers to re-purpose existing buildings like a former iron foundry in Denver that he turned into an apartment building.

"I don't do green field sites," Yeates said. "They don't interest me. The majority of my projects are rehabilitation or redevelopment of an existing site." We are interested in "a lot of community engagement – listening to how the community views the architecture, then we'll design to that. We don't come on day one with a design."

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Like Overland's proposals, Yeates’ plans for the Alpiner depend on successfully acquiring federal tax credits from the Colorado Housing Finance Authority. Based on his two years of service on its board, Yeates predicted both his proposal and that of Overland will find favor with the housing finance authority, because the proposals are a little out of the norm.

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

New affordable apartment plans at a glance

Overland Property Group’s plan to build 96 more affordable apartments in Steamboat

• The first of the four apartment buildings is targeted to come online in March 2020

• Estimated value of the development: $26 million

• What’s new? Availability of one-bedroom apartments

• A rarity: 48 of the apartments would lease to higher income households earning between 60 percent and 120 percent of area median income

• Estimated completion: spring 2020

SW Development Group’s plan to convert the Alpiner motel to 34 income-restricted studio apartments

• Complete interior remodel to add a kitchenette

• Tentative concept shows living area separated from sleeping area by a room divider/closet

• Community laundry

• Unit square footage: 360