After opening its new Main Street development to tenants last month, Aspen Housing Partners is moving along with its next two affordable rental properties at Castle Creek and Park Circle — the latter of which is slated for completion within the next few weeks.
The lottery for the 11-unit complex at 517 Park Circle, located just below Smuggler Mountain Road with views of Aspen Mountain, will open up between the end of the month and early October, Jason Bradshaw of Aspen Housing Partners said Friday afternoon. He expects the bidding process for the 24-unit development at 488 Castle Creek Road to commence late November.
Developing affordable, workforce housing solutions is the sole focus of Aspen Housing Partners, which worked in conjunction with the city and Aspen-Pitkin County Housing Authority on the three new rental complexes.
“Whether it is in partnership with the city or just through investment of private capital,” Bradshaw said, “we just feel like it’s important to address the lack of affordable options in any market that we participate in.”
Bradshaw, who works on low-income housing projects in metropolitan areas, has been part of the project locally since 2014.
The project is significant in that it represents the first major addition to APCHA’s rental inventory in two decades.
Upon conducting extensive public outreach, the city provided Aspen Housing Partners with specific voids to fill — down to how many bedrooms per category — as part of the project development.
One of the overarching goals of the project is to offer housing to local workerbees on the lower end of the socioeconomic spectrum, Bradshaw said.
Another guiding principle, he said, is to provide housing opportunities to newcomers who lack local work history and therefore cannot apply to rent through APCHA.
“When someone shows up in town, they don’t have any tenure in the county that is applicable to the APCHA lotteries, but they still need a place to live,” Bradshaw said. “A point of this housing project is to provide that level of entry.”
For this reason, the lotteries for the Park Circle and Castle Creek complexes — unlike those of APCHA — do not prioritize applicants based on the amount of time they have worked in Pitkin County. In other words, “everyone has an equal shot,” Bradshaw said. APCHA deputy director Cindy Christensen could not be reached Friday for comment.
In July, the lottery for the first of the three rental developments, a 10-unit complex at 802 W. Main St., saw 168 total applicants. Of those, 122 people applied for the building’s five highly contested Category 2 units, while 46 people vied for the five Category 3 units.
All told, the Park Circle property will house two Category 4 two-bedrooms, two Category 3 two-bedrooms, five Category 3 one-bedrooms and two Category 2 one-bedrooms. The income thresholds for all of the Park Circle units are consistent with those of APCHA’s rental categories, Bradshaw said.
The 24-unit Castle Creek apartment will be a mix of Category 1 and 2 units, Bradshaw said, ideally consisting of 12 per category. The income threshold for the Category 1 units is the same as APCHA’s standards; however, the limit for the Category 2 units is lower than that of APCHA because of the project’s financing, Bradshaw said.
The Castle Creek development was financed with federal and state tax credits aimed at housing the lowest income residents in Pitkin County.
Rent for both new rental complexes, Park Circle and Castle Creek, will also mirror APCHA’s standards. This ranges from $658 per month for a Category 1 one-bedroom unit to $2,227 for a Category 4 two-bedroom. More information on each category’s income limits and rent can be found at apcha.org. Bradshaw said he and APCHA officials would reveal more detail about the preapplication process for Park Circle within the next few weeks.
At both Park Circle and Castle Creek, the one-bedroom units are 700 square feet, while the two-bedrooms span 900 square feet, Brian Beazley, a principal architect on the project, said Friday.
All of the units boast a mudroom, a high efficiency, in-unit washer and dryer, a private patio, exterior storage, parking, mountain vistas and a lot of natural light, he said.
“For each of the three different projects, architecturally and contextually, we wanted to create something that belonged to that neighborhood,” Beazley said. “It was really important to get the quality of living incorporated into all of these units.”