Vail Town Council approves deal to deed-restrict 65 new apartments in town
• Sonnenalp Properties will tear down and rebuild the Solar Vail apartments.
• The project will replace 24 units with 65 studio, one- and two-bedroom rentals.
• The town will buy deed restrictions on all 65 units for $4.225 million.
• The town has no liability in the construction or management of the project.
• Construction is expected to begin in the spring of 2018.
Source: Town of Vail
VAIL — The Vail 2027 Housing Plan envisions putting deed restrictions on 1,000 new or existing units in town over the next decade. That goal is already near a 100-unit milestone.
The Vail Town Council on Tuesday, Oct. 17, gave unanimous approval to spending $4.225 million to buy deed restrictions on 65 new units in a proposed reconstruction of the Solar Vail apartments, located to the east of Red Sandstone Elementary School. Sonnenalp Properties owns the current 24-unit structure. Nine of those units carry deed restrictions, which essentially limit use of those units to employees. Sonnenalp Properties will buy deed restrictions on another nine units in town if the larger project is ultimately approved in the town’s development process.
The deed restrictions to be put on the new units require apartment residents to work an annual average of at least 30 hours per week at a business in either Vail or elsewhere in the valley. Residents must certify every year they’re meeting that requirement.
While most of the units will be reserved for employees of the Sonnenalp’s various businesses in the valley, about 16 of the apartments will be available for lease to other individuals, or businesses that want to “master lease” the apartments for their employees.
As the proposal was opened for public comment, no one spoke against the plan. Vail Valley Partnership President Chris Romer praised the council and Sonnenalp owner Johannes Faessler for working together to make the deal work.
“This is a perfect example of a public-private partnership,” Romer said.
Vail Health Chief Administrative Officer Rick Smith also lauded the deal.
“This shows a lot of vision and a lot of courage,” Smith said.
Vail Local Housing Authority Chairman Steve Lindstrom also spoke in support of the deal, calling it a “template we can build on.”
But, Lindstrom added, this deal has also completely drained the town funds available for buying deed restriction — as well as roughly $500,000 from other town accounts.
Purchasing more deed restrictions will require more funding from the town, Lindstrom said.
Given the comments of some council members, finding a fresh funding source could become a priority.
“I hope this will encourage more (deed restriction purchases),” Council member Kim Langmaid said.
Vail Daily Business Editor Scott Miller can be reached at 970-748-2930, email@example.com and @scottnmiller.
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