On Tuesday, Winter Park Housing Manager, John Crone, posted a Request for Proposal (RFP) in search of a qualified developer/development team with the capacity and expertise to develop a workforce housing neighborhood called “Fireside Creek.”
The Fireside Creek parcel is comprised of 1.9 acres (actually two contiguous parcels) adjacent to Wolf Park/Playground. The parcel lies between King’s Crossing Road and the railroad right-of-way, sloping down towards the railroad, causing the loss of about 25-30 feet in elevation over approximately 400 feet of distance. The Town has an access easement through the entry for the Silverado II Condominiums.
The RFP explains, “As in almost all mountain resort towns, Winter Park is experiencing rising housing costs, a limited long-term rental market, and a conversion of existing housing stock to second-homes and short-term rentals. This has put significant pressure on the workforce housing market”. It goes on to say, “In order to address the housing problem, the Town has undertaken several initiatives, including the purchase of several parcels, among which are the two parcels that make up Fireside Creek”.
The Town is seeking a development partner to design and build housing priced for occupancy by members of the workforce earning between 60% and 120% of the Area Median Income (AMI). In Grand County, the 2018 median family income estimate is $75,900, according to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).
The selected developer/team would enter into a contract and work closely with the Town to create a development program for the property, including a financing plan for the development. They would also prepare a site plan, interior and exterior architectural plans, civil and drainage plans, process necessary applications and provide construction and construction management of the project.
While it would be several years before the Fireside Creek development is completed, with over 200 on the town’s Affordable Housing wait list, the town’s pursuit of solutions to the housing dilemma is certainly a step in the right direction.