Breckenridge, county celebrate groundbreaking for workforce housing

Elected officials dig into the future site of Huron Landing, a planned workforce housing development. From left to right: Summit County Commissioner Thomas Davidson, Breckenridge Mayor Pro-Tem Wendy Wolfe, Commissioner Karn Stiegelmeier, Councilman Mark Burke and Commissioner Dan Gibbs.
Elise Reuter / |

Breckenridge and Summit County are hauling a lot of dirt. The two government entities have several affordable-housing projects coming down the pike, with groundbreakings on two developments in just the last week.

Local officials plunged their shovels into the ground on Tuesday to celebrate the start of construction for Huron Landing, a planned 26-unit workforce housing development. Work to the 1.7-acre lot began earlier this month.

The parcel was originally the site of the county’s road and bridge and ambulance operations, a recycle drop-off center and sheriff’s office storage prior to discussions about its use for housing. It was annexed into the town last December.

“Now, it looks very large and spectacular,” Summit County Commissioner Karn Stiegelmeier said as she admired the view from the empty lot.

The county and the town are going in 50-50 on the $8.5 million project, with the county contributing land and Breckenridge offering a new space for road and bridge operations, and the recycling center off of Coyne Valley Road. The 26 rental units will also be split, with half available to employees in the Upper Blue River Basin and half available to those holding jobs in any part of the county.

“You would want to work in Breck if you live in Breck, but it doesn’t always work that way,” Stiegelmeier said. “People change jobs.”

In addition, the county and the town will each have two apartments dedicated to their employees. Each unit will have two bedrooms, a washer and dryer in-unit and adjacent storage. Breckenridge long-range planner Laurie Best said while income requirements have not yet been set, the idea was to offer rates around the 80 percent AMI (Area Median Income) range, or about $1,800 per month.

“I think we might have a lot of roommate situations,” Best said. “We’re hoping to serve some of the young professionals.”

She added the location, just across from the 7-Eleven on County Road 450, would allow easy access to downtown by bike or bus.

With a quick construction, the project is set for completion by June of 2017. Best said by that timeframe, they would open a waitlist next spring, a few months in advance of opening.

Local firm Norris Design will assist with landscaping, while Matthew Stais Architects and Civil Insight will contribute architecture and engineering.

“Thank you to the town of Breckenridge for being such a good partner on this,” Summit County Commissioner Thomas Davidson said. “I’m excited to see these go up.”

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