Groundbreaking: Attainable Rental Housing Project in Buena Vista

The Midland Apartments

On April 1, The Town of Buena Vista, Fading West Development, and its senior lender, Collegiate Peaks Bank, will celebrate the groundbreaking of The Midland Apartments, an attainable rental housing project in Chaffee County. This public/private venture is the culmination of more than two years of dedicated work by multiple stakeholders. It will include 60 apartments with affordable rental rates that will help to address the housing crisis that exists for the local workforce.  The project will also include a childcare center that will provide an additional critical service to the community.  

Fading West has partnered with Weave Social Finance’s Colorado Housing Accelerator Initiative fund, Archway Communities, and the Saturn Five Opportunity Fund to provide the equity for the project.  It also entered into a Special Limited Partnership with the Chaffee Housing Authority (CHA) to help reduce project costs and keep rents lower, supporting affordability goals consistent with CHA’s mission.

Along with Collegiate Peaks Bank’s senior loan, additional debt financing is being provided by the Colorado Division of Housing through its Transformational Affordable Housing Loan Fund as well as through the Colorado Housing and Finance Authority and its Middle-income Access Program. The project will also benefit from $3.4 million in grant and public funding secured by the Town through the IHOI and TAHG state programs as well as the Town’s use of ARPA funds.  Important pre-development financing was obtained with the Colorado Clean Energy Fund and Sharing Connexion, both of whom support affordable housing organizations throughout the state. The combined financing sources all contribute to being able to deliver units at attainable rates for the local workforce.    

The project will be located within walking distance of Buena Vista’s Main Street, the South Main Neighborhood, both town schools and the Arkansas River recreation area offering residents a broad range of nearby amenities. 

“These types of projects truly take a village when it comes to financial support. The Town of BV, along with multiple people, organizations, and agencies stepped-up to help address an undeniable need for affordable housing in Chaffee County,” said Bleecker Seaman, President of Fading West Capital Partners.  “The typical home price in Buena Vista is approaching $600,000 and home price appreciation has risen at a 12.6 percent compounded annual rate.  Rental inventory is also extremely limited meaning that almost no affordable long-term rentals are available, making projects like Midland Apartments all the more important to our community.”

Located at 360 Carbonate Street in Buena Vista, The Midland Apartments will consist of 60 deed-restricted units, with income restrictions guaranteeing long-term affordability for Chaffee County residents. Deed restriction terms have been finalized with the Town. Units will be leased at no more than 80-120% of area median income (AMI) with half the units at 80% AMI. In addition to providing affordable housing, The Midland will be highly energy efficient, being all-electric, solar-ready ready and wired for EV charging stations. A Mitsubishi heat pump heating system will reduce tenant utility costs and its installation is supported by rebates from Tri-State Generation and Transmission and its local member, Sangre de Cristo Electric Association.  

In addition to the need for more affordable housing, childcare has also been identified as a critical community need. To help address this challenge, in return for the Town of Buena Vista providing the apartment land for the project, Fading West will build a 4,600-square-foot childcare facility. The Town plans to select an operator for the facility who will complete the tenant fit-out before operation and has secured a $45,000 grant from the Gates Foundation to further support the childcare construction and operation.

“I’m excited and appreciative that Collegiate Peaks Bank is involved in The Midland Apartments project as the senior lender,” stated Joe Smith, SVP-Mountain Regional President of Collegiate Peaks Bank, Division of Glacier Bank. “The public/private partnership demonstrated with The Midland Apartments can continue to guide our local communities in finding creative ways to solve local housing needs. This project has been an all-out effort between various private and public entities, and I’m thrilled to be a part of it.” 

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