John Gardner
Post Independent Staff
Glenwood Springs, CO Colorado

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September 16, 2009
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Glenwood Meadows Apartments on hold

GLENWOOD SPRINGS, Colorado - Developers for the Glenwood Meadows Apartments are requesting, for a second time this year, a three-year extension of the vested period to give them time to secure financing.

The extension would allow the developers to retain associated zoning and design variances for the planned 120 unit apartment complex, which received approval in November 2005 but has struggled to secure financing.

The project would likely be nearing completion today had the approval come just a few months earlier. The project lost a Colorado Housing and Finance Authority (CHAFA) Award as the primary financing, by the time the approvals came in 2005. The developers, Glenwood Meadows LLC, were denied an application for the CHAFA award again in spring 2006.

After losing financing, the Glenwood Meadows LLC project partner, Spruce Realty Group, pulled out of the project in 2007.

Developers first requested a three-year extension of the project's vested period in November 2008 to "utilize the existing entitlements until financing and partners could be found," according to January 15 City Council meeting minutes. The request was denied by City Council. However, council did approve a six-month extension, which gave developers until July 15 to secure financing and find a new partner.

A letter from Balcomb and Green attorney Thomas Hartert dated December 2008 stated, "Without the public financing components requisite to such an affordable, income restricted project, the apartments development is not in a position to proceed.

"In the event that a public financing award could be obtained from CHAFA or a related agency, it is essential that the project's basic approvals remain intact and identifiable," the letter continued.

Another letter dated July 14, 2009, from Hartert stated, "[Glenwood Meadows LLC] is hopeful that our obvious inclusive efforts to provide background and context to this second application for extension of [Apartment] Land Use Approvals, is evidence of the serious and committed position of Glenwood Meadows to find the appropriate financing, development partner, and related components necessary to complete this important rental housing project."

The project would be a six-building apartment complex on a lot near the Municipal Operations Center.

In November 2006, council agreed to defer payments of development fees - including building permits fees, school land fees, and water and sewer system improvement fees - for a 40-year period. That deferment would likely not be extended, according to Community Development Director Andrew McGregor.

"The fee deferral is not an element of this request. The fee deferral is specific to the original developer and their specific financing and rental program and is not likely transferable," McGregor stated in a memo to City Council.

However, he stated that granting the extension is a way to preserve the work that is complete and will ultimately aid in securing financing in the future.

"To reapply would take an additional one to two years and would likely jeopardize the viability of the project," McGregor stated.

Staff's recommendation is that council grant the extension. Council will discuss and possibly make a decision on the issue at its Thursday meeting.

jgardner@postindependent.com


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The Post Independent Updated Sep 16, 2009 01:23AM Published Sep 16, 2009 01:22AM Copyright 2009 The Post Independent. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.