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New Eagle senior homes may open in spring

Connie Steiert
Eagle Correspondent
Vail, CO Colorado
Theo Stroomer/Vail DailyBrothers Adrian, right, and Daniel Rodriguez work on a new unit at the Golden Eagle Senior Apartments on Friday.
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EAGLE, Colorado ” It may be a little late for Christmas, but a number of senior citizens will be delighted by the gift that is on the way.

The Seniors on Broadway project, an expansion of current senior housing in Eagle, is about half finished. And, just about the time the robins begin making an appearance on the yards around it, the first residents may well be moving into their apartments.

The roughly $2.7 million project is financed in part by Eagle County, which kicked in $800,000; and in larger part by tax credits, to the tune of $1.9 million.

“The goal of the county is housing, one of the greatest needs of the community,” says Rick Ullom, construction manager for Eagle County’s Facilities Management Department.

The county currently operates the Golden Eagle Apartments, a 32 unit-complex geared for senior citizens. The new units are adjacent to the homes there.

The new, 10,675-square-foot complex has a total of 14 apartments in three buildings. The two end buildings hold five attached apartments each, and the middle one contains four. Two of the apartments are two-bedroom, while the rest are single-bedroom apartments.

Both the one-bedroom and two-bedroom apartments are 731 square feet.

“They are cute little units,” says John Fitzgerald, superintendent for the project for Evans Chaffee, the general contractor.

The entry of each home opens directly on a small living area, with a picture window to the front of the complex. In an open design, the living room flows into a kitchen and dining area.

Cabinets were acquired from Habitat for Humanity.

Habitat receives the cabinetry on an ongoing basis from the Crowley County Correctional Facility in Olney Springs, Colo. It is made by inmates in trade classes, and then sold to Habitat for modest prices. All of the cabinets in the entire project will cost just $17,000, notes Ullom. And, he adds, “they do good work.”

Through the kitchen, a door with a glass window opens onto a private patio with a stretch of green lawn beyond.

The two-bedroom units are the same size as the one-bedroom, but the dining area has been converted into a bedroom, with an additional doorway added to close if off. The storage closet becomes the bedroom closet.

Each apartment will display a little individuality. The seniors, explains Ullom, can pick different color schemes, “so they can say, ‘I live in the brown home, or I live in the tan one.'”

Right now, the first building is being drywalled, while insulation is being installed in the second building.

All Seniors on Broadway residents can use dining, exercise and other facilities at the Golden Eagle Complex.

Although the town of Eagle has no Eco Build building requirements at present, the county has followed ” and exceeded ” its own Eco Build standards.

At the county’s behest, Evans Chaffee has installed high-efficiency heating units and water heaters and avoided using toxic chemicals, such as formaldehyde in glue compounds.

Where the county’s Eco Build guidelines require builders to strive for 40 points on its point system, Seniors on Broadway will garner at least 50 points, says Ullom.

Claudia Alexander, property manager for the Golden Eagle Senior Apartments, is currently awaiting the applications for the new apartments. The units will be leased under federal low-income housing tax credit rules and regulations.

Anyone that applies for the new apartments must have his or her income certified annually, and then verified by a third party.

The new apartment leases will be based on 30, 40, 50 and 60 percent of the current median income, which is adjusted annually. There will be no subsidies as there are in the existing senior apartments. Medical deductions, which are allowed at Golden Eagle, will not be allowed under the low-income tax credit program of Seniors on Broadway.

Alexander will establish a separate waiting list for the Seniors on Broadway apartments. But she will distribute applications to existing Golden Eagle residents, so they will have a chance to move to the new apartments.

Assistant on the job for Evans Chaffee, John French, says the seniors from Golden Eagle are frequently on the job site, checking out the new digs. “They like coming over.”


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