Frisco chooses local group for Peak One housing |

Frisco chooses local group for Peak One housing

summit daily news
Ten Mile Partners

FRISCO – Based on the recommendation of town staff working with a citizen advisory group, the Frisco Town Council gave the go-ahead Tuesday to begin contract negotiations with Ten Mile Partners for an affordable-housing unit on the Peak One parcel.

The partnership includes David O’Neil, developer of the Wellington Neighborhood in Breckenridge, as well as Breckenridge architect Matt Stais and Frisco builder Dan McCrerey.

As presented in response to the town’s request for proposals, the preliminary $19 million plan for developing the 12.8 Peak One parcel includes about 71 units in a mix of duplexes and single-family homes.

The average size of the units would be about 1,115-square-feet, and the average cost would be about $276,670 per unit. The homes are aimed at people making between 80 percent and 160 percent of the area median income, broadly described at a town council work session as ranging between $55,000 and $90,000 annually.

The Ten Mile Partners proposal was picked over four other finalists because the vision meshed most closely with the town’s master plan for the parcel, panel members said.

Members of the advisory panel said the Ten Mile group had the best overall handle on costs. Responding to questions from council members, housing expert Jane Harrington said there is financing available for the project, based on recent experience with another affordable-housing development in the works in Breckenridge.

Frisco town manager Michael Penny said the long-term goal is to have an excavation permit for the Peak One project in place by April 15, 2010. The short-term goal is to finalize a contract with Ten Mile Partners and bring it to the town council for approval. Then the plan will go through the normal planning commission reviews with opportunity for public comment.

Part of the process will include some updated market studies to pinpoint what potential buyers really want, Penny said.

The road to this stage in the Peak One project was at times bumpy with controversy. Early on, a neighborhood group sought to force another vote on development of the town-owned parcel. Frisco voters rejected that bid last spring, clearing the way for the development process to begin.

Dick Malmgren, representing the nearby Mountainside homeowners association on the advisory group, said that, for the most part, concerns have been addressed by maintaining landscaped buffers and trail connections between Mountainside and the Peak One parcel.

The Peak One parcel has served as an informal open space for residents of adjacent neighborhoods.

Similarly, at the west end of the parcel, the scale of the planned new homes fits in with existing cabins along Second Avenue.

Overall, the Ten Mile proposal seemed harmonious with the character of the surrounding neighborhoods and the town, council members said.

What the town doesn’t want is another Wellington Neighborhood, at least from a design standpoint, Penny said, adding that the advisory group encouraged O’Neil and his partners to make sure the plan veered away from cookie-cutter architecture.

“We asked for follow-up, and said show us some differentiation with different floor plans … We got more comfortable, that these were going to be unique homes,” Penny said adding that there’s a balance between design and cost.

“Not only did they get it, their numbers were the most realistic,” Harrington said.

“What a lot of us liked was, they were paying a lot of attention to what Frisco is and what Frisco has,” said housing authority director Jennifer Kermode.

“That’s good, because we would like it to blend in with the community,” said Mayor Bill Pelham.

Council member Bruce Fleet said it’s important, going forward, to show the public how all the public comments heard during the process were incorporated into the plan and design up to now.

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