Development that could bring 66 workforce housing units receives further approval
A housing development on the Entrada parcel has been given the go-ahead to continue moving forward and, when finished, the project could bring at least 60 new affordable workforce housing units in Breckenridge.
Mike Dudick, CEO of Breckenridge Grand Vacations, said he does not want to use area median income to determine the price of rent for each unit because he does not find it reliable. Yet, he said he is committed to a live-work deed restriction as part of the development to ensure that the units are for the local workforce. He said, conceptually, he feels that about half of the units will be for Breckenridge Grand Vacations employees and the other half would go to other community workers, but those numbers are not finalized.
“My commitment is to a rent cap that was roughly $1,000 per month for a unit,” Dudick told Breckenridge Town Council Tuesday, April 12. “Which, the way I looked at it, it specifically was $2.50 per month per foot. Each unit is going to vary slightly in size, but if there were 400 square-foot units, that is $1,000 a month. That’s with an annual 3% increase on that per-foot range. I’m committed to that.”
Currently, the Entrada development would be north of Summit County Road 450, also called Huron Road, across from the 7-Eleven just outside of downtown Breckenridge and adjacent to Colorado Highway 9. Each unit would be a studio apartment.
The town’s planning commission conducted a fit test on the plans April 5 to make sure that 66 units could be supported in the area. In general, the commission was in favor of the project. According to meeting minutes from the commission, four supported the proposed density, while three had some concerns.
Some members of Town Council were concerned about traffic impacts as a result of the project. Julia Puester, assistant community development director, said that town staff is waiting for a traffic study to come in that will help determine exact impacts on local traffic. It will be a multimodal traffic study, so it will include the vehicles, the bus and the pedestrians that use that area. The narrative submitted with the development plans says that there is a goal to eventually build the sidewalk to the nearest bus stop, which should improve circulation.
Council members discussed aspects of the development’s public good to temporarily waive some fees that will go along with the construction.
“Every single one of these units have negative cash flows between $200 to $300 a month, so in my checkbook, that’s a massive public benefit,” Dudick added. “We’re setting these up for the sub-$20 per hour employees.”
Dudick met with the Town Council in January to discuss the potential project before pursuing development agreements, which is when the project got the initial greenlight. Dudick needed the council’s word of approval on Tuesday, because he planned on signing the check officially buying the property within the next few days. At the next meeting for the development, Town Council will approve or deny the annexation agreement and the development agreement needed to continue further.
“I’m supportive of the project, especially when you take the alternative which could be more commercial. I mean, housing is a huge public benefit,” Town Council member Erin Gigliello said. “I really like hearing that a large portion will be open to the town and other employers because a lot of employers can’t build their own housing, and it’s great that you are.”
Mayor Eric Mamula echoed similar positive points about the development.
“I’ve been intimately involved with at least six really bad ideas on this site over the last 25 years that have come before us … and this is by far the best,” Mamula said. “The fact that we have a developer that will build housing without us putting any skin in the game, long term, other than density and water that we will then get the money back, (makes this) an easy decision.”
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