Workforce Housing Project in Eagle County Receives Funding
Spring Creek Village, an affordable housing project in Gypsum, Colorado, has received funding for the next phase of development, a series of apartments primarily developed by Gerry Flynn of Polar Star Properties. Sharing Connexion Inc, a Denver-based nonprofit, provided a $1.75 million bridge loan under their Real Estate Impact Investments program, which provides financing support to affordable housing and nonprofit spaces.
Phase I of Spring Creek Apartments is currently under construction; it will provide 150 low-income housing tax credit units targeted at households earning up to 60 percent of area median income. Phase II of Spring Creek Apartments will produce 132 units of ‘workforce housing,’ defined as households with area median incomes of 80 to 120 percent of population. 72 of the 132 units will be two- or three-bedroom apartments, which will help serve cost-burdened families.
The loan will be used during the current Phase I construction for the planning and pre-development expenses of Phase II. The Phase II workforce housing is often referred by affordable housing advocates as the “Missing Middle” on the housing continuum, because moderate-income housing projects can be particularly difficult to develop due to lack of subsidies for this income bracket and high land valuations and construction costs. This type of project is particularly important in Colorado’s mountain resort regions to support local workers’ ability to live.
“Gypsum is an ideal community for affordable housing in the lower Eagle River valley. We were able to acquire a 31-acre site in the existing community of Stratton Flats at a much lower price point than anything available in the neighborhoods closer to the resort communities of Vail and Beaver Creek. This allows for extensive open space and active amenities for the families we hope to attract that would not be possible in the upper Eagle River Valley communities,” says Gerry Flynn of the Spring Creek Village development team. Gerry collaborated with Jeff Spanel, owner of Inter-Mountain Engineering in Avon to develop Spring Creek Village. Both are owners of Polar Star Properties, the dominant multifamily management company in Eagle County. Patriacca Construction of Eagle, Colorado is the general contractor for Spring Creek.
As with all affordable housing projects, Spring Creek Village has been collaboratively supported by many organizations including The Town of Gypsum, CHFA, DOLA, Bellwether Enterprise, FirstBank, Colorado Housing and Finance Authority, Eagle County Housing Authority, Impact Development Fund, and now Sharing Connexion Inc. “We are proud to join these organizations and help meet an important housing need on the Western Slope,” comments Emily Nilsen, operations director for Sharing Connexion.
In 2019, Sharing Connexion announced a partnership with FirstBank, which provided Sharing Connexion with a $30 million credit facility. FirstBank is a true supporter of affordable housing, and Sharing Connexion is proud to initiate this partnership for such an important and necessary project in Eagle County,” states Ed Anderson, Sharing Connexion’s founder. “We look forward to continued opportunities to serve Colorado’s affordable housing developments and preservation projects.”\
Photo courtesy of Sharing Connexion