Final open house draws potential buyers for Vail affordable housing | VailDaily.com

Final open house draws potential buyers for Vail affordable housing

VAIL — Tuesday's final information session on the new Chamonix at Vail affordable housing development was the craziest, Vail Housing Coordinator Lynne Campbell said.

About 160 people have shown interest in entering a lottery to purchase one of the 32 townhomes, the first of which may be finished by the end of this year. More than one-eighth of the interested group was at Tuesday's prospective homebuyer information session.

"We've been fielding quite a few last minute questions from serious buyers," Campbell said. "They're ironing out their last bits of information, with the deadline (to enter the lottery) being Friday at 5 p.m."

The lottery is set slated for May 3.

Tuesday's homebuyer session was the fourth and final open house before Friday's deadline. Vail Community Development Department Director George Ruther said the high turnout at the meeting showcased a good level of homebuyer interest.

"We saw a lot of new faces that we have not seen, but then we saw a fair number of folks that we saw at previous meetings who came back just to get some of their questions answered," Ruther said.

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Among the first timers at the meeting was Jen Abramson, who lives in an apartment in Avon with her husband.

"It sounds like there's a lot of competition, which is great for the town," she said.

Abramson is currently qualified to enter the lottery and said it was nice to have a chance to talk to the project's architect, 359 Design.

359 Design owner Will Hentschel said projects such as the Chamonix townhomes are an evolution of what companies like his have learned from designing both resort properties and affordable housing.

"We've learned to take the things that made mountain resort living, and the things that made affordable housing tick, and meld them," Hentschel said.

About the Townhomes

The Chamnoix townhomes will have two- and three-bedroom options. They will be assembled off-site, at a factory in Nebraska, then brought to West Vail on trucks.

"We wouldn't get this project done if it isn't systems-built," Hentschel said. "The approach here is, we're not going to sell it at a profit."

Vail will subsidize a cost of $200,000 or more per unit before the townhomes reach a final cost to the buyer of somewhere between $400,000 and $700,000. That subsidy includes the initial cost of the land — purchased by the town in 2002 — as well as infrastructure work on the site. The Vail Town Council earlier this year declined to put more money toward direct subsidies.

"Every square inch has been analyzed for efficiency," Hentschel said. "You can't point to one square foot that we did just because that's how you do it."

Hentschel said efficiency in the development will not only apply to costs for the builder, but also to recurring costs for owners.

"The town has decided to use their leverage regarding efficiency," Hentschel said. "They've made these decisions that will directly save in energy bills."

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