Breckenridge council supportive of plan for Alta Verde II workforce housing project
The town hopes to bring 172 low area median income rental units online
The Breckenridge Town Council was given a better idea at its Dec. 14 meeting of what the McCain property’s new workforce housing site, called Alta Verde II, could entail.
Kimball Crangle from Gorman & Co. and Elena Scott from Norris Design came back to present a second layout concept to the council after getting some feedback in November. While council had several qualms with the initial presentation, members were all impressed by how quickly the development team turned around a new plan that took council feedback into account.
After seeing the first concept, council told the team of developers that the buildings were too massive, parking was too in-your-face and the building design was not in alignment with town character.
According to the latest proposal, Alta Verde II — which is on the McCain property directly south of where Alta Verde broke ground this summer — would have a total of 172 units: 14 studios, 38 one-bedroom units, 78 two-bedroom units and 42 three-bedroom units.
The complex would include 150 to 200 units of mostly lower area median income rentals, but it would also include some flexibility for higher area median income rentals, business leases and seasonal housing, according to a memo.
Crangle explained the many elements the development team is working to balance on the site, including affordability, community character and ability to move toward net zero energy in addition to meeting needs identified in the latest version of the Housing Needs Assessment.
The Housing Needs Assessment — released in March 2020, right before the pandemic changed the housing market again — showed a strong need for rental units between one and three bedrooms in the community. Many folks are also looking for rentals that allow pets and are in close proximity to public transportation.
Guiding principles for the development plan’s updates also include livability, maintaining views of the mountains and building materials, shapes and sizes that are compatible with the surrounding area.
“At the end of the day, what we’re really trying to create is a community where people love to live,” Crangle said. “It’s something that we do as a company, and we’re very proud of the work that we do.”
The new housing complex would be right next door to the nonprofit campus anticipated to be built on the McCain property, as well. To serve what the town hopes to see as a community hub, a new bus stop would be added in the community in addition to some family parks and other amenities.
The development team also highlighted changes to circulation along the site, which aim to minimize pedestrian, bike and vehicle conflicts.
“We’re really excited about how we were able to improve the site flow and functionality for future residents,” Crangle said.
Crangle said her company retains 70% to 80% of its tenants every year because of the quality amenities and living experience they have. The tentative plans also include community storage lockers and a small bike garage. Trash, recycling and composting will be on-site, too.
“We create an amenity package that is really wonderful for folks,” Crangle said. “You can have pets. We often include dog parks. We have the in-unit washers and dryers.”
Mayor Eric Mamula joked that it can sometimes take multiple meetings for council and developers to come up with a plan everyone supports, but the development team took council’s feedback and quickly turned it around into a plan they support.
“I feel like you heard all of our comments,” council member Kelly Owens said. “And I really, really appreciate all the work you guys did because I feel super comfortable with this, and I wasn’t very comfortable with the other project. And I really appreciate you guys being so open to all the suggestions.”
Now that the town has a conceptual layout, it can move on to planning finances and permits with a target of going vertical next year, housing manager Laurie Best said in May.
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