Affordable housing on the way |

Affordable housing on the way

Matt Zalaznick

Construction is set to begin in Vail on a new batch of affordable apartments while, at the same time, the town has completed its purchase of another reduced-rent complex.

Crews this week are scheduled to begin building 142 apartments at Middle Creek, an employee-housing project across Interstate 70 from Vail Village that last year sparked a bitter fight among various Vail Village interests.

The town also has finalized its purchase of Timber Ridge, the North Frontage Road apartment complex that was built in 1981.

The $23 million Middle Creek complex, which will include a $1 million day-care center, should be finished by the 2004 holiday season, says Nina Timm, the Town of Vail’s housing coordinator.

“We’re extremely excited for construction to begin,” Timm says. “The Housing Authority, town of Vail and its boards, the developer and everyone

involved worked hard to make this project possible and provide Vail’s

work force with another affordable housing option.”

First “significant’ complex

Middle Creek is the first “significant” affordable apartment complex since Timber Ridge to be built in Vail, Timm says.

Rents at Middle Creek are expected to range in price from $540 for a studio to $1,750 for a three-bedroom unit.

Construction of Middle Creek will be partially paid for by an $850,000 grant from the state. Middle Creek developer Mike Coughlin, of Denver-based, Coughlin and Co., says the grant is the largest the Colorado Division Housing has ever given to an apartment complex. The additional $13.5 million in private activity bonds financing construction also should help keep rents down, Coughlin says.

“We were able to bring together almost every sort of subsidy program that is available to make the development of Middle Creek possible,” Coughlin says.

The 198 apartments at Timber Ridge also will remain “affordable” now that the town has finalized the acquisition and placed deed restrictions on the complex. Vail has 417 deed-restricted dwelling units and Timber Ridge, which is home to almost half of them, is the largest affordable-housing complex in Vail.

Timber Ridge, which houses many seasonal employees, is an important resource for Vail businesses, says Councilman DIck Cleveland.

“Long-term potential’

“We really preserved 198 units of affordable housing for Vail’s work force,” Cleveland says. “As the project is scoped right now, it will pay for itself while we continue to look at its long-term potential and move forward with the town’s commitment to affordable housing.”

The town acquired Timber Ridge for $20 million after a 20-year-old deed restriction requiring the property be used for employee housing expired. The complex is now officially owned by the Timber Ridge Affordable Housing Corporation, a nonprofit organization whose board of directors is the Vail Town Council.

Matt Zalaznick can be reached at 949-0555, ext. 606, or via e-mail at

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