Delays at Wintergreen housing project in Keystone put future residents in limbo
KEYSTONE — Representatives from Gorman & Co., the Summit Board of County Commissioners and Vail Resorts gathered in mid-December to present Village at Wintergreen, a new affordable housing project in Keystone. Vail Resorts employees had moved into the first round of open buildings that were designated as workforce housing for the ski resort company.
The second phase of apartment buildings includes 40 units that are income restricted by tax credits, and the third phase includes 120 units that are rent capped for people making 100% of area median income.
Briana George, a local hospitality employee, applied for an income-restricted unit in October 2019 and paid a $500 deposit. George said she was told she could move into Wintergreen on Dec. 14. Then on Dec. 9, she said she was notified of construction delays and was told she would not be able to move into her apartment until Jan. 16. George said the next update she received Jan. 1 is that the new move-in date is now slated for Feb. 19.
George said her current lease is up, so she has nowhere in the county to live while she waits for the project to be finished. She took a leave of absence from her two jobs and went to stay with family in Indiana for the time being.
“I feel slighted, and I feel like everyone else that’s involved in this should,” George said. “This is unacceptable.”
Cody Murphy, a Vail Resorts employee, applied for the same phase two housing units. When his lease ended before he was able to move in, he stayed on friends’ couches. Murphy said the Wintergreen property management team helped him, and several of his co-workers who were experiencing the same issue, by finding a temporarily place to stay in Vail Resorts employee housing.
Murphy said he feels confident the project will be done by the projected date in February as he has heard from the leasing office and sees people working in the new units daily.
Developer Gorman & Co. Colorado Market President Kimball Crangle said the project is still on track to be completed.
“The project has always been targeted for the end of January,” Crangle said. “December was an early projection, and quite honestly, we had to get the seasonal housing done.”
Crangle said the problem of housing is one the project hopes to solve by allowing people to live in the county despite a lower income.
Summit County Manager Scott Vargo said inspections are being done next week and that he expects the current delay will be short-term.
“We know the challenge that exists for folks trying to find housing, and when you’re counting on something like this, it puts people in a difficult position,” Vargo said.
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