Summit County plans to renovate property on Little Beaver Trail that will house Summit Stage employees
The property was purchased for $1.325 million
Summit County is currently looking for a vendor to renovate its newly purchased property at 780 Little Beaver Trail. The complex was bought in August, and once the renovation is complete, it could have up to 10 bedrooms.
Summit County Housing Director Jason Dietz said the property first came on his radar a couple of years ago, when the county was working on developing Dillon Valley Vistas.
“I drove by (780 Little Beaver Trail) every day,” Dietz said. “(The sellers) had put it on the market sometime in the fall of 2020, so I had seen it sitting there and thought it could potentially be a good buy down for workforce housing.”
Dietz is referring to the Buy-Down Program, where the county purchases a piece of property, which then gets a deed restriction placed on it, therefore limiting occupants to members of the local workforce. At the time, the Summit Stage was having difficulty attracting and retaining staff, so after months of meetings, it was decided that the project would be set aside for employees in that department.
The property is two adjoined buildings that have four units, which range in how many bedrooms they have. All but one unit was livable: Dietz said the bottom unit needed to be brought up to code — and Summit Stage Transit Director Chris Lubbers said three of his employees are living at the property now.
In total, there are about eight bedrooms in the entire property, but once the renovation is complete, the goal is to have a total of 10 bedrooms available to Summit Stage employees. Not only is the goal to make the floor plan more efficient and the living quarters more comfortable, but the team also wants to tweak the kind of energy it uses, too.
“First and foremost, (there needs to be) better use of energy through either an all-electric design or an electric combined with solar (design),” Lubbers said. “I think we’ll have better use of the energy going through the building, which is currently on propane and electric.”
The county is looking for a vendor to make these changes, and since it’s waiting on a proposal, it doesn’t yet have an estimate for how much the renovation could cost. Regardless, the project is getting funded through the transit department’s budget and will not take funding away from the county’s 5A workforce housing budget.
“We don’t use workforce funds to create employee housing for the county,” Dietz said. “That’s a separate bucket. Any of our housing funds, our 5A funds, we use that to create workforce housing that’s available to everyone.”
Lubbers said that it’s likely the employees living at the property will get to remain there as renovation work is completed. The soonest this would be wrapped up is early fall.
Regardless of when it’s finished, he said the project will have a dramatic impact on his department. At the beginning of the Summit Stage’s winter route schedule, the department had to cut back its services because it was struggling to find enough drivers.
“Through this project, we’ll be able to attract quality talent for the transit service,” Lubbers said. “Through all of our other offerings — total rewards, wage, bonuses, etc. — we really need the housing. The housing is a huge part of that offering and a huge part of making us an attractive employer, so we can attract that talent.”
According to the project’s bid posting, this property will be available to new, existing and long-term employees of Summit Stage.
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