Vail Resorts moves forward with $440,000 workforce housing project in Silverthorne
September 6, 2017
SILVERTHORNE — Colorado Mountain Express, a subsidiary of Vail Resorts, has been granted a permit to convert a mixed-use property the company now owns in Silverthorne into workforce housing.
The two-story building at 224 Annie Road, north of Interstate 70 off the Blue River Parkway, was originally zoned as a commercial property with residential units on the second floor. It is split about 50/50, with 3,000 square feet of office space on the first floor and three apartments at roughly 2,900 square feet combined on the second. Two of them are four-bedroom units, and the other is a two-bedroom.
The plan to remodel the building calls for converting much of the downstairs office space into living quarters by adding two more four-bedroom apartments — or another eight to 10 beds — in a similar layout as the existing upstairs apartments.
A small commercial space on the first floor will be preserved "as required under the zoning," according to the permit application.
In a Tuesday news release, Vail Resorts said the $440,000 it's spending through its subsidiary on the Silverthorne project is part of the company's $30 million commitment to workforce housing, first announced in 2015.
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Since that announcement, Vail Resorts has started building a $6 million workforce housing project in Keystone, and the company has applied to rezone land it owns for a housing project off the East Vail exit of Interstate 70. The $30 million workforce-housing commitment applies to Vail Resorts' properties in Colorado, California and Utah, the company has stated.
According to the company, it now owns or leases about 3,000 beds across Eagle and Summit counties.
The Silverthorne site seems like a good fit for the small-scale housing project, aside from a few niggling points, such as it being two parking spaces short of the required minimum and not all of the existing 15 parking spaces that are currently there have the required curbs, bumpers or wheel stops.
Next to the property are large retail, wholesale, office and second-floor residential units, and town staff do not expect the shift to first-floor apartments to have any adverse effects on the existing businesses and homes.
As such, town staff determined the site plan is in line with Silverthorne's comprehensive plan and should help the town meet its goal of providing affordable housing near local transportation systems because the building sits within walking distance of the closest bus stop.
The town approved the permit Aug. 23. It is nontransferable and hinges on the 15 parking spaces being marked with curbs, bumpers or wheel stops. The town is granting a variance for the two missing spaces, the lack of which isn't expected to cause problems. Additionally, per the permit, none of those parking spots may be used for trailers, boats, campers or anything else that could render them unavailable for vehicles.
The town is also requiring CME to put out bike racks with enough space for at least seven bicycles. Historically, CME has found that about a quarter of its employees don't have vehicles and utilize other modes of transportation, according to its permit application.
CME also must run a shuttle to and from the building at 224 Annie Road for workers going to the operations center at 273 Warren Ave.
Vail Resorts is currently completing design plans for the Silverthorne project and intends to submit a building permit application this month.
"We're pleased to have been able to work with the town of Silverthorne to create an innovative workforce-housing option for what's otherwise been an underutilized space," said John Dawsey, vice president and general manager of Colorado Mountain Express, in a statement. "The transformation of the space makes sense for our operations in Summit County, for our employees and in relieving some of the pressure on workforce housing elsewhere in the community."