Frisco contracts Studio Architecture for design of joint CDOT workforce housing project
Frisco continues to make progress on a joint workforce housing project with the Colorado Department of Transportation.
Last week, the Frisco Town Council awarded a $259,725 contract to Studio Architecture to provide architecture, engineering and site-planning services for the project, a proposed workforce housing development on Granite Street being pursued in partnership between Frisco and CDOT.
Last year, Frisco and CDOT entered into an agreement to collaboratively work toward a new development at 619 Granite St., a 0.58-acre parcel first acquired by CDOT in 1974 and previously used as a mobile home park to provide housing for the department’s employees in the area. The agreement stipulates an equal cost share on the project — aside from respective staffing costs — and a Dec. 31, 2021, deadline to have 80% of the final construction drawings and cost estimates in hand.
In November of last year, Frisco pushed out a request for proposals to provide the initial planning work and ultimately decided on Studio Architecture.
“The selection committee unanimously agreed that the Studio Architecture team was the most qualified and best team for the project because they will bring high-quality architecture design, have affordable housing project experience similar in scale to the Granite Street project, strong relationships with their consultant team, and proven collaboration and project management skills demonstrating their capability to deliver a project that is sustainably and affordably designed,” Frisco’s Housing Coordinator Eva Henson said in a news release. “Their method and approach inherently led to cost savings in design and, ultimately, construction.”
The town received 19 proposals, which were reviewed by a selection committee made up of Frisco and CDOT staff. The committee originally anticipated a $200,000 price tag for the design services but agreed on an increase up to $300,000 in January after determining the initial estimate wasn’t sufficient to address the goals outlined in the proposal.
Housing has been a major topic of conversation in Frisco as the town continues to seek solutions to increase the number of full-time residents in the community and expand the diversity of housing options to support the local workforce, both of which are major goals outlined in the town’s existing strategic plan. Officials also have identified the importance of diversified housing in more recent discussions surrounding the town’s community character.
The housing is vital for CDOT, as well, which employs more than 40 full-time maintenance workers in the Summit County area in addition to seasonal workers.
Once the design work and cost estimates are completed, both CDOT and the town will have to agree to move forward with the development together. If both parties agree to go ahead with construction, they’ll still need to negotiate the allocation of building costs and ownership of various residential units upon completion, according to Frisco.
But the contract with Studio Architecture represents a big step toward making the proposed development a reality.
“We are honored to be selected for the 619 Granite St. project,” Jeff Dawson, founder of Studio Architecture, said in the release. “Affordable housing is one of our driving passions. It’s truly rewarding to use our skills to positively impact people’s lives and to help communities achieve their housing goals.”
Stakeholders on the project held a meeting Thursday, Feb. 4, to begin discussing preliminary timelines, goals and next steps in the design and planning process.
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