Lake Creek sale clears hurdle in Eagle County
Eagle County, CO Colorado
EAGLE COUNTY, Colorado ” Eagle County is one step closer to selling the Lake Creek Village apartments in Edwards, Colorado.
The county commissioners approved a non-binding letter of intent to sell the apartment complex Tuesday for $45 million to Morningstar Mountain Properties. Officials hope to close the deal in July.
The county signed a similar agreement last year with Corum Real Estate Group. The Denver-based company offered $53 million for the apartments, but the deal fell through and county officials decided to solicit new bids.
Morningstar’s $45 million was the highest offer. And although the price is 15 percent lower, it still makes more sense to sell the property now, officials said.
“It can’t be emphasized too strongly that this is just like an investment portfolio,” Commissioner Peter Runyon said. “We’re diversifying and everyone says that’s the smart thing to do it. The community benefit of having this pool of money to reinvest ” I think it’s terrific.”
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After paying the outstanding bond debt, the county will net about $22 million from the sale and plans to reinvest the money in affordable housing or assisted living. The county will get more bang for its buck by reinvesting the money now because prices in the valley have dropped, officials said.
“This creates a war chest to fund development of affordable housing projects,” County Housing Director Alex Potente said.
There is a big need for affordable rentals in Eagle County, particularly upvalley, Potente said. Only one affordable rental property has been built in the valley in the last five years, he said.
The deal between the county and Morningstar ensures Lake Creek will remain affordable rentals. Morningstar would have to keep rents affordable for people making 80 percent of the area median income for three years. If the company invests $1.5 million in the property, the rents could be raised to 85 percent of the area median income after three years, according to the agreement.
Gerry Flynn of Polar Star Properties, and Edwards-based company partnering with Morningstar on the deal, said Lake Creek will “look and act” like it has for the last 15 years, if the deal is finalized.
“There’s no potential for conversion (of the property) even in the event of a foreclosure,” Flynn said.
Flynn said Morningstar bid $45 million for the property because they didn’t think it made sense for the county to sell it for any less.
Morningstar has 45 days to get financing for the project.
“The time is right and the opportunities are there,” Commissioner Sara Fisher said. “It gives us the ability to look at partnerships with workforce housing and assisted-living solutions that we wouldn’t be able to otherwise.”
Staff Writer Chris Outcalt can be reached at 970-748-2931 or firstname.lastname@example.org.