Lone Tree's first affordable housing development is planned to begin construction in March, pending approval from the city's planning commission and city council in the coming months.
The Koelbel & Co. affordable housing development at RidgeGate Station will be built adjacent to the newly opened light rail station east of I-25 and south of RidgeGate Parkway. A second RidgeGate Station apartment complex of 540 market-rate units is expected to break ground before the end of the year, catty-corner from the affordable development site.
Jennifer Drybread, the city's planning manager, called the project a milestone accomplishment for Lone Tree. The city has invested heavily in the growth of the region. In May 2019, the city cut the ribbon on three new light rail stations extending south to serve RidgeGate East before any new housing was built in RidgeGate East.
Drybread said providing mobility alternatives was “integral to the whole design of the east side.”
“We're just starting to see the fruits of all that planning and forethought,” Drybread said.
The complex is scheduled to open July 1, 2022, according to a site plan submitted by Coventry Development, the master developer of RidgeGate.
The four-story building will contain 67 one-, two-, and three-bedroom apartments available at prorated rents based on an applicant's household income.
The building will be steps from the RidgeGate Light Rail Station, the southernmost stop on the E, F and R routes for the Regional Transportation District light rail system.
The RidgeGate Station affordable housing building will have 39 one-bedroom apartments, 18 two-bedroom apartments and 10 three-bedroom apartments. There will be no studio apartments.
To qualify for funding assistance from the state, developers must provide a percentage of units in a proposed housing complex at rental rates determined on area median income (AMI) by county. Maximum rent rates for 2020 Section 8 Housing projects are provided in a price table provided from the Colorado Housing and Finance Authority (CHFA) on its website, www.chfainfo.com/arh/asset/rent-income-limits.
More than half the RidgeGate affordable apartments will be available for a two-person household income making $40,000 per year or less, including 21 one-bedroom units ranging in rent from $562-$937 per month. An additional 11 two-bedroom apartments will be available between $675-$1,125 per month. Five three-bedroom apartments will be available for $780-$1,300 per month.
Close to 40% of the apartments (26) will be eligible for a two-person household income between $56,000-$64,000, or a four-person household making $70,000-$80,000 per year. Maximum rates for those units range from $1,200-$1,400 per month for a one-bedroom; $1,600-$1,800 for a two-bedroom; and $1,800-$2,000 for a three-bedroom apartment.
The five-building RidgeGate Apartments development a stone's throw away from the site of the affordable housing site received the green light from city council this fall. Both facilities are expected to welcome their first residents in 2022.
“It really is a quality development, and it will fit in well the community,” Drybread said. “I think it's a good fit for Lone Tree.”
Coventry Development agreed to provide 350 total affordable housing units in RidgeGate East, and Drybread expects the developer will exceed that number.
“It's a start,” Drybread said.
The 3,500-acre, master-planned RidgeGate East community was designed around the promise of light rail expansion through Lone Tree. The Southwest Village subdivision, a 2,200 single-family home development south of RidgeGate Station, is also currently in the planning process.
The city and Coventry Development made mobility a priority in their conjunctive planning, aiming to give residents alternative transportation options, Drybread said. The city introduced the Link On Demand shuttle service, hired a new mobility manager, installed electric vehicle charging stations and cut the ribbon on the Leaf Pedestrian Bridge all within the past two years. RidgeGate East has intricate plans for trail systems leading to the East-West Trail, which connects Chatfield Reservoir with the Town of Parker.
“It began with a vision for this area that I think was shared by the developer, Ridgegate, and Lone Tree in the comprehensive plan, which is to have compact, pedestrian-friendly, transit-friendly development,” Drybread said.
The Lone Tree City Center is planned to develop north of the RidgeGate apartments. No formalized plans for that area have been submitted to city council yet.
For information or documents about development projects in the city, visit cityoflonetree.com/projects.
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