Block 11 Apartments to provide 27 affordable units in Breckenridge
Breckenridge will soon have another affordable housing complex for members of the local workforce to call home.
The Breckenridge Town Council unanimously approved plans for the town’s Block 11 workforce housing project at its meeting Tuesday, June 8. The project will bring 27 deed-restricted, one-bedroom rental units across three buildings on Dredge Drive, which is off of Floradora Drive near Breckenridge Distillery.
During the council meeting last week, Town Manager Rick Holman estimated each unit would cost between $1,000 and $1,100 a month.
The Block 11 Apartments are being built by Coburn Architecture, the same firm that worked on the COTO Flats workforce housing project. Housing manager Laurie Best said the Block 11 Apartments are modeled after the COTO Flats apartments, with slight modifications to make it a net-zero energy project.
“Instead of having to go back to the drawing board and go through a whole other design process to create a new building, it made a lot of sense for us to kind of start with that existing building, which has worked really well and just make minor modifications to it,” Best said.
Best said the project should take 10-12 months to complete, and the buildings should start going vertical sometime in August. She said she expects the apartments to be occupied by next summer as the complex is finished.
While Breckenridge owns the property, the town will likely hire a property management company to run the apartments, similar to how the COTO Flats operate, according to Best.
The development will also include 62 parking spaces, 27 of which will be within carports. During the Town Council meeting, council members expressed concern over a high parking ration. There are more than two spots per unit, and Best said the goal was to make sure the development isn’t underparked. If there is any excess parking, she expects it to be minimal.
To keep the apartments net-zero, the three Block 11 buildings will have solar-panel roofing, and units will be oriented south to maximize sun intake, Best said.
Best said the town had pursued other housing projects at the Block 11 site in the past, but it hadn’t prioritized the property until revisiting it in December 2020.
“What we’re doing is we’re looking at all of the properties that we owned or controlled and where we could actually add apartments in the quickest way possible, just because the need is so significant coming out of COVID for long-term rentals,” Best said.
She said when the town built the Blue 52 townhomes, they put in infrastructure around the area, including utilities such as water and sewer, which would allow the Block 11 project to progress even faster.
Best said another highlight of the property is its location. The apartments are right across the street from River Park, and it has access to public transit as well as several bike paths. She also said the cost of maintenance for the property will be low, as seen from COTO Flats, and the property will include low-water landscaping.
Breckenridge uses a point system to analyze whether or not building projects meet town goals. Best said the goal is to come out with a point analysis of zero or higher. The town’s planning commission unanimously approved the plan for Block 11 with a point analysis of 10.
The Block 11 Apartments had 12 negative points for the project’s use of nonnatural materials and for exceeding the recommended building height. It received 22 positive points for supplying deed-restricted affordable housing, addressing community needs for housing and for being a net-zero energy project.
Best said this point system is unique as it enables flexibility and allows the town to prioritize what is most important and impactful for the community.
“We’re excited to get this one underway,” Best said. “I think it’s going to provide some help right away, even though a year still seems like a long way off, but it’s fairly quick for a development project.”
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