Frisco seeks designs for new workforce housing project in partnership with CDOT
FRISCO — Town officials are pushing forward in partnership with the Colorado Department of Transportation to bring more affordable workforce housing units to the area.
Frisco and CDOT are currently in agreement to pursue a potential workforce housing development on a 0.58-acre plot at 619 Granite St. The project could serve as a small steppingstone for Frisco officials as they dive into more comprehensive discussions around building full-time residency and affordable housing options in town.
“For a number of years, the town has been discussing the opportunity to enter into a partnership with CDOT on that lot,” said Eva Henson, Frisco’s housing coordinator. “… Obviously, any project of this kind in the central core of the town will propel us into getting some of the much-needed housing we’re after.”
Henson said officials are envisioning the project being entirely affordable workforce housing. With deed-restricted density bonuses, the project could include 20-25 units, primarily rentals.
Earlier this week, CDOT and Frisco pushed out a request for proposals seeking competitive bids for the architectural, engineering and site planning services. Officials hope to have nearly completed construction drawings and cost estimates in hand by the end of next year, at which point both entities will have a say in whether to push forward. Until then, CDOT and the town are splitting costs down the middle.
CDOT is in need of additional housing, as well. The department has 41 full-time maintenance employees in the Summit County area, plus an additional 19 employees who travel to the area during the winter for snow plowing and other winter operations.
CDOT policy requires maintenance workers to live within 30 miles of their job so they can respond to snow or emergency events, and most employees begin their careers at just above minimum wage. Those variables have created broad problems with staffing maintenance and operations positions, particularly in high-cost areas like Summit County, according to the department.
CDOT is also in discussions with Vail, Eagle County, the U.S. Forest Service and other entities facing similar housing problems, and is actively partnering with a developer in Glenwood Springs to construct new offices with attached affordable housing.
Once the initial concept designs for the Frisco site are in place, Henson said officials on both sides would get to work breaking them down and deciding on cost shares. If things go well, construction could begin as early as 2022.
“We would probably be looking later into 2022 if everything comes together well and both parties agree to that construction,” Henson said. “We’re already getting a lot of interest for the (request for proposal), and council is thrilled this is coming off the ground.”
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