Who wouldn’t like knotty alder cabinets and 9-foot ceilings at an affordable apartment in Steamboat? | SteamboatToday.com

Who wouldn’t like knotty alder cabinets and 9-foot ceilings at an affordable apartment in Steamboat?

Ground broken on 48 income-restricted apartments in west Steamboat

— Matt Gillam of Overland Property Group predicted May 11, during groundbreaking ceremonies for The Reserves at Steamboat, that when the first residents of the affordable westside housing project move in about a year from now, they would be pleased with the quality of construction and finishes in the 48 income-restricted units.

"They're going to notice the high quality we build to," said Gillam, who is his firm's vice president of development. "Not only in terms of building finishes, but we're also very energy conscious. We build to Energy Star standards and beyond.”

So, in addition to enjoying knotty alder cabinets, 9-foot ceilings and walk-in closets, the residents of The Reserves will benefit from high-quality windows, ample insulation and efficient heating and ventilation systems, he said.

Rents for the two- and three-bedroom apartments will be scaled to households earning 40 to 60 percent of the median income here and will be set by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. Prices will likely change between May 2016 and May 2017 as the median income changes, but Yampa Valley Housing Authority Executive Director Jason Peasley told Steamboat Today in May 2014 that at that time, the two-bedroom apartments would have rented between $710 to $1,065 a month, depending upon the renter's household income.

Peasley told the gathering at the groundbreaking Wednesday that the occasion already represented about three years of work on the project, which is being counted on to ease Steamboat's super tight rental market. He thanked the city and county for their financial contributions to the project, the YVHA board for buying into the vision and the Colorado Housing Finance Authority for awarding the essential federal tax credits that gave YVHA the equity needed to swing the deal.

Even as the dignitaries from the city of Steamboat Springs, Routt County and spoke Wednesday, heavy equipment operators working for Duckels Construction were busy moving earth in the background.

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By Monday, crews will be stripping some unwanted soils from the grass-covered site and exporting them to Steamboat Springs Airport for a future runway extension.

Overland will develop the apartments in partnership with the YVHA, which owned the building site on Elk River Road opposite Yampa Valley Electric Association. YVHA was also awarded federal income tax credits by CHFA, which were in turn sold to American Express for $13 million ($2 million more than estimated) with the help of the nonprofit tax syndicator, Enterprise Community Investments.

In the process, YVHA's nearly $2 million debt on the development parcel was wiped out.

Gillam also had news for local companies in the construction field. While the general contractor, McPherson Construction, is based in Denver, greater than 60 percent of subcontractors on the job will be based in the Yampa Valley.

Asked if The Reserves represent a public-private partnership, Overland partner Patrick Beatty said, "Absolutely. In order to make it affordable, we needed the help from the city and county."

Overland, based in Leawood, Kansas, near Kansas City, Missouri, has been most active building both affordable and market-rate apartment projects in Texas and in the Midwest (many of them bearing names that begin with The Reserves). Currently under development in Leawood is the The Fairways of Ironhorse, described as "the most luxurious retirement community the Midwest has ever seen."

But Gillam said his company is intent on building a larger niche in the region due to a growing awareness that Colorado mountain towns are underserved in terms of rental housing.

Asked if the prospect of building through a Steamboat winter was daunting, Gillam was quick to point out that his company and its contractor worked through the past winter in Leadville, elevation 10,151, to complete the $9 million historic restoration of the 1885 Tabor Grand Hotel to accommodate 37 affordable apartments.

Enterprise will continue its relationship with The Reserves at Steamboat as asset manager for its client, American Express, protecting the value of the project by ensuring that it stays in compliance with the terms of the tax credits and is well cared for.

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