Meadows wins tax credits for apartments |

Meadows wins tax credits for apartments

John StroudPost Independent StaffGlenwood Springs, CO, Colorado

GLENWOOD SPRINGS, Colo. – Glenwood Meadows at long last might be able to proceed with at least the first 60 units of residential development that is to be part of the larger mixed-use project.Steele Properties, which is under contract to buy a piece of property for the first set of housing units at the Meadows, was successful in winning its recent bid for Colorado Housing and Finance Authority (CHFA) tax credits to build the 60 apartments.The rental units are to be made available to households earning 40 percent to 60 percent of the area median income (AMI). They would be part of the 120-unit first phase in what could eventually entail 475 houses included with the original Glenwood Meadows approvals.”We’re excited that they (Steele) have been successful in getting the tax credits awarded,” said Mike Maple, chief operating officer for the Aspen-based Dunrene Group, which manages the Glenwood Meadows project.”We look forward to the very real possibility of finally having some apartments built above the shopping center on Wulfsohn Road,” he said.The award of the tax credits for the Meadows project does come at the expense of another affordable rental housing project that had been in the works for West Glenwood.Also applying for the credits in the most recent CHFA cycle was Archdiocesan Housing Inc. of Denver, which was planning to build a 64 affordable rental units at the former First Choice and Budget Host hotel sites on Highway 6 & 24.Archdiocesan Housing, which is an arm of Catholic Charities, was before Glenwood Springs City Council in April with a conceptual plan for the project. At the time, Archdiocesan Housing executive director Josh Russell said that pursuing the project at this time depended on receiving the tax credits.”Unfortunately for us we will not be able to go forward, but fortunately for Glenwood Springs there will be some more affordable rental housing built in the community,” Russell said Monday.”CHFA typically will not fund two projects in such a small market,” he explained. “We do view this as more of a shorter-term setback. The studies we commissioned would indicate a demand for more than just one affordable housing project in that market.”Archdiocesan Housing currently operates the 55-unit Machebeuf Apartments in West Glenwood, which it built in the early 1990s. The organization has been looking for a new site to develop in Glenwood Springs for the past few years.At the same time, the Meadows has been trying to jump start the residential portion of its development. Last fall, Glenwood Meadows LLC won approval from Glenwood Springs City Council to apply some income-restricted rental units toward a portion of its overall affordable housing requirement.The original Meadows approvals required that 15 percent of all for-sale housing be deed-restricted and marketed to certain income categories.Even though the Meadows already has development approvals for the initial 120 residential units, the actual development plan for the first 60 units will be subject to city review, Glenwood Springs community development director Andrew McGregor said.”We are in the early stages of planning, so we don’t have a specific time frame at this point,” said Jennifer Cloud, community relations associate for Steele Properties.Earlier this year, the Garfield County commissioners declined to offer financial assistance to Steele Properties to develop the project. Commissioners were reluctant to support a project that would compete with free-market development at a time when there is a housing glut.The city of Glenwood Springs, on the other hand, has already said it would waive development fees valued around $600,000 in its effort to support affordable housing

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