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Rare, but needed affordable housing coming to Breckenridge

breck affordable housing.jpg
Posted at 6:48 PM, Jan 25, 2024
and last updated 2024-01-25 20:48:42-05

BRECKENRIDGE, Colo. — Just north of Main Street, about a five minute walk from the gondola in Breckenridge, you’d probably expect the price of housing to be in the millions. Yet, an apartment complex is currently under construction where rents will start at around $1,300 a month.

“There’s nothing that's not in the millions of dollars in Breckenridge anymore,” Breck Mayor Pro Tem Kelly Owens said, highlighting the issue.

That is mostly true, except for this project. It’s called The Larkspur, a 52-unit complex of workforce housing. Summit County Commissioner Tamara Pogue told Denver7 who these apartments will be for.

“Our nurses, our folks that work at the resorts, our folks that support the tourism industry,” she said, adding that the units will be deed-restricted to Summit County residents.

The complex includes studios up to two bedroom units. Rents range from $1,358 a month to $2,495 a month.

“Is that affordable? No, I think that's still expensive. But is it affordable for Summit County? Yes,” Pogue added.

There are income restrictions, which can be found on the town’s website. It’s set to open in May, just one year after construction began on site. The relatively quick timeline is thanks to the fact that construction of the apartments actually started, and took place, sixty miles south.

“We’re thinking LEGO, right? This is LEGO for grownups,” Pogue explained.

The type of construction is called modular housing. Roughly 60 pre-built ‘box’ units from a factory in Buena Vista were combined to make up the two buildings.

“There are a lot of benefits to modular. We obviously have a very difficult building and construction season,” Mayor Pro Tem Owens said.

That season usually means that projects take multiple years to complete. But that isn’t the case for The Larkspur, that one project leader called “a jigsaw puzzle of Tetris all put together to create living units.”

Earlier this month, Winter Park Resort cut the ribbon on their affordable workforce housing project. That was also completed using the modular housing model.

The lottery is open in Breckenridge for the 52 units of The Larkspur, with more than 300 applicants already filed. That is a microcosm of the need for this price-range of housing in the mountains. Summit County leaders say they currently have roughly 1,000 units of affordable housing in some stage of planning or construction, but added that recent studies show they are in need of three thousand additional units on top of that.

Rare, but needed affordable housing coming to Breckenridge