Letter: Oasis apartments needed

Glenwood Springs is being presented with the opportunity for a very financially capable private developer to provide a solution for a dire need in our community. Richmark, which has already purchased and greatly improved the Antlers Best Western Hotel in Glenwood, is now offering to build a 116-unit apartment building comprising one- and two-bedroom units specifically designed to meet the needs of our workforce. As you are all aware, the extreme lack of housing for our workforce since the recession has placed our community in a difficult position.

My firm employs several dozen administrative staff and maintenance personnel to whom we pay in some cases high wages to offset the distance these folks often times must travel to get to our offices. Many of these folks and other employees in our market in similar roles come from Parachute, Dotsero and Gypsum because they can’t find housing in Glenwood or Carbondale. This is difficult for them and drives up the cost of living here for everyone as these higher wages are simply passed on to the consumers in market. You are all aware of the problems for all employers that this is causing and how limiting this is to our economic stability.

While the density of the proposed Oasis Creek project may be greater than City Council members may have initially envisioned for this site, this complex is desperately needed by our business community as well as by teachers, police, fireman and all manner of critical services employees in our community. I urge you to allow this project to go forward and to encourage Richmark to go as quickly as possible to bring this needed housing to our workforce, who will be deeply grateful for a place to live that is so centrally located, on a bus route and close to great schools and fine churches.

I know councilors are keenly aware of the housing crisis in our community and I know all of them want to solve this problem. They are presented with a private developer who can offer significant help solving this challenge and I know they all will do what they can to make this work for all of us.

Craig R. Rathbun

President and managing broker, Fleisher Real Estate

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