The bidding period for the second of three new affordable rental developments, created by the Aspen Housing Partners, opens for eager residents today — 517 Park Circle, located at the base of Smuggler Mountain, contains 11 units and a total of 15 bedrooms.
The project consists of seven one-bedroom units in category 2 and 3, with monthly rents of $1,112 and $1,576 respectively. Four additional two-bedroom units are set aside for those in category 3 or 4, each commanding $1,742 and $2,227 rents, respectively. To qualify, bidders must prove full-time employment within Pitkin County — with income caps at $100,600 a year for singles and $181,250 for two occupants.
Interested applicants must submit a pre-application form that will get their name into the proverbial fishbowl for the drawing. Forms must be submitted to the Aspen Pitkin County Housing Authority by next Wednesday. The drawing will be held at noon on that Friday, Oct. 23, via a live Zoom meeting. All winners must then fill out the more extensive APCHA qualifying application to ensure they meet the housing requirements.
The building is the second of three projects meant to meet the demand for more subsidized rental offerings for the local workforce. The lottery for the first building, at 802 W. Main St., was held in July, for which 170 people put their name in for the 10 available spots.
“That just speaks to the pent-up demand and the need for more of this type of housing,” said Jason Bradshaw, partner with Aspen Housing Partners.
The three projects, which include a 24-unit building on Castle Creek Road, have been in the works for four years. Bradshaw said the need for local housing far outpaces the rate of municipal development.
“It's a process that is longer than you would normally find, and that is impacting the supply demand characteristics of affordable housing,” he said. “The balance is never going to be met at that velocity.”
Each unit in all three projects boasts a mud room, washer-dryer and private patio or deck. The Park Circle property includes a parking lot that allots one car per unit. Residents will also be allowed one pet, with an additional damage deposit.
The three-story building faces toward Smuggler and Mollie Gibson Park, with southeast-facing views out the back.
“The views from this project are phenomenal. You are looking right at Aspen Mountain, and you can see out to [Mount] Sopris,” Bradshaw said. “This one is top notch.”
Singles can only put their name in for the one-bedroom units. Couples can decide to place their name into the one bedroom lottery or the two bedroom lottery but may not apply for both.
“Hopefully, what that results in is couples with no dependents going for the one bedrooms, and the two bedrooms will be more available for people with families,” Bradshaw said.
Of the 10 one-bedroom units on Main Street, only three are single occupancy, and one includes a couple with a young child. If similar demographics shake out for Park Circle, the new development will likely provide housing for about 20 locals.
This time around, the project team has worked to better coordinate the final stages of approvals for the certificate of occupancy with the release of the lottery. In an attempt to give residents ample time to arrange a move, the lottery for the Main Street location was held before the buildings were given the green light for occupancy, which results in the winners scrambling for housing in the gap between getting out of current leases and getting the keys to the new apartment.
“It put people in a bad spot,” Bradshaw said.
For similar scheduling concerns, the dates of the Castle Creek lottery are not set yet, but the drawing will likely be held sometime mid-November.