Town of Frisco purchases Galena Street property for workforce housing |

Town of Frisco purchases Galena Street property for workforce housing

The Colorado Workforce Center on Galena Street is pictured on April 2, 2020 in Frisco. The town has approved the purchase of the property to turn it into more local workforce housing.
Liz Copan/Summit Daily News archive

The town of Frisco has approved the purchase of 602 Galena St. to turn it into more local workforce housing. The property in the past has been the Colorado Workforce Center. 

The town has eyed the property for several months, and during that time, Frisco staff have negotiated with state staff on terms of the sale agreement, which include property purchase, lease back to Department of Labor and Employment during project development design, temporary office space for the department during construction and a permanent department office the new development. 

“This is actually a fairly momentous step on a long road to get to this point. But it’s also just the very start of another really long process,” Frisco Community Development Director Don Reimer said. “But the result will be (that) we’ll have a great workforce housing product project at the location where we currently have an underutilized building in downtown Frisco.”

In October 2021, the property — which is about 0.72 acres and includes a 4,153-square-foot building that currently houses 11 employees — was appraised at $3 million and, according to the contract, the cost was finalized at just over $2.49 million. The purchase contract includes provisions that deed-restrict the availability of future units to individuals or households whose gross annual household income does not exceed 125% of the area median income for Summit County.

As of April, the current area median income for one person was a salary of $91,625 and the income is $117,875 annually for a three-person household. Rental rates for one-, two- and three-bedroom units at that range would respectively max out at $2,454; $2,946 and $3,403. 

“The state also has a desire to include some future workforce housing (and) Workforce Center offices on this site, so the contract represents that and acknowledges that as well, and also provides consideration for reduced future lease rates, which is why the purchase price rather than the appraised value of $3 million is $2.5 million dollars — because there’s some consideration with that,” Reimer said. “So we save half a million dollars in future revenues.”

In August of this year, Summit County entered an intergovernmental agreement with the town to provide $1.5 million for the purchase. Council members voted unanimously to approve the purchase. Staff estimates that the space could create several dozen housing units for the town’s housing stock once a project is completed.

“At this time, a potential development program for the property has not been created, however, with a parcel of this size, up to 40 dwelling units could be constructed by utilizing bonus density,” a memo from Reimer and housing program manager Danelle Cook reads. 

Preliminary costs to create 28-36 units at $400 to $550 per square foot would be on the low end at $13.44 million and on the high end at $21.03 million. 

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