Vail: 5 stories, 619 beds in Timber Ridge plans | VailDaily.com

Vail: 5 stories, 619 beds in Timber Ridge plans

Melanie Wongmwong@vaildaily.comVail, CO Colorado

VAIL, Colorado Vails renovated employee apartments may be modeled after military barracks or student housing, with 619 employee beds in a five-story complex.Timber Ridge, LLC, a firm made up of partners from El Paso, Dallas and Atlanta, said it has plans to rebuild Vails Timber Ridge based on a tried and tested design copyrighted by the company and which has worked on other projects, said Darren Woody, CEO of one of the firms partner companies.The key is that its a very innovative and efficient design, which allows us to keep our costs down, Woody said. The plan eliminates a lot of unnecessary corridors but still provides livable, spacious units.Timber Ridge, LLC, is made up of two partners, El Paso-based C.F. Jordan and Atlanta-based Place Properties. The firm is also working with Humphreys and Partners Architects, a nationwide design and planning firm.The group also plans to work with local lawyers, engineers and architects on the project, including Victor Mark Donaldson Architects of Avon.

While neither company has worked in resort communities or in Colorado, both C.F. Jordan and Place Properties have built a number military and student housing complexes.C.F. Jordans projects include student housing at Texas A&M University and the University of Texas at San Antonio, as well as military housing in Hawaii and around Texas.Place Properties projects include student housing at the University of California Berkeley, and the University of Texas Austin, and military housing in Texas and Georgia.Woody said that the company is interested in making workforce housing work in Vail and is familiar with the town, despite being an out-of-state developer.We like the challenge of trying to build something affordable in a resort community, he said. If we can figure out how to solve that puzzle, maybe it can be replicated in other resort and mountain areas.Woody said he has been skiing in Vail since the 1970s, and another member of the construction team lived in Timber Ridge in the 1980s while working as a lift operator.

While both town officials and the firm said it was too early to pinpoint what Timber Ridge rents would be, Woody said the company plans to keep them competitive and about the same price as Vails other major employee housing complex, Middle Creek Village. Middle Creek rents run from $730 for a studio to $2,000 for a 3-bedroom apartment.Vail Town Manager Stan Zemler said that Timber Ridge, LLCs proposals had the most reasonable rent estimates among the redevelopment candidates.Some were charging very high rents to close the gap, Zemler said. And well be trying to protect the affordability. Theres a lot of infrastructure that will have to be built, such as pipes, bus stops and parking, but we wont let that all get loaded on the rent.Timber Ridge, LLC proposed to pay for the project using a financing plan through the Department of Housing and Urban Development. The agency offers a voucher, or guarantee for the project, then the developers use that federal backing to get traditional financing through a bank.That has real pluses for the town, Zemler said. It takes away the fear that halfway through the project it will go belly up. This guarantees it will go up.Zemler also pointed out that Timber Ridge, LLC was the only company of the 11 applicants for the project that met all the towns goals. The goals included maintaining affordable rental housing, relieving the town of its $11 million debt on the property, and providing at least 600 beds on the property.Staff Writer Melanie Wong can be reached at 970-748-2928 or mwong@vaildaily.com.




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