Eagle-Vail: Low-income apartments will be rebuilt | VailDaily.com

Eagle-Vail: Low-income apartments will be rebuilt

Melanie Wong
Vail, CO Colorado

EAGLE-VAIL, Colorado ” The brown, peeling facade of the Riverview Apartments may blend in on U.S. Highway 6, but the county has big plans for the complex.

The apartments need to be dramatically renovated, which would cost several million dollars, or scrapped and rebuilt, said Alex Potente, managing director for the county’s housing and development department.

“It’s an older project. It definitely needs some help,” he said.

The 72-unit, low-income rental apartments are Section 8 Housing and Urban Development property, meaning they are subsidized by the federal government.

The complex is 32-years old, but still in pretty good shape, said property manager Nick Barbella. The original design and insulation could be improved and the exterior is an eyesore, but the interiors have been remodeled in the last five years, he said.

“The biggest reason (to rebuild) is to increase the number of units and improve the quality of the entire place,” he said. “We don’t want to keep throwing money at an old property.”

The county wants to rebuild and expand the project, with a mix of more middle-income housing, Potente said.

Plans also call for a more innovative design for the U.S. Highway 6 location ” right now all the buildings surround a large parking lot.

Barbella stressed that all the current tenants will be provided with temporary housing and be able to return to the new apartments for the same rent prices ” federal guidelines have very specific rules about the entire process, he said.

“The tenants are very well taken care of. Except for the minor inconvenience of moving, it’s a pretty good deal. They get to come back after a year to a new apartment,” he said.

Potente said the rebuilding process would take about a year, and tenants would be moved to equal or better housing in the meantime.

Barbella said the new buildings would probably have more green areas for children to play, and might have a parking garage.

Planning is scheduled for this summer, contracts would be made in the fall, and the county would break ground on the project in spring 2009.

Staff Writer Melanie Wong can be reached at 748-2928 or mwong@vaildaily.com.

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