Boulder County Pursues Tax Credit Funding for Downtown Longmont Housing Project
The Boulder County Housing Authority has applied for state and federal tax credits funding to help finance construction of a 73-unit affordable-housing project in downtown Longmont.
What the county is calling the Coffman Street Development is a mixed-use project being planned for a 1.2-acre site on the east side of the 500 block of Coffman.
The “workforce housing” is intended to provide affordable rental units for people who work in Longmont — 73 units the county housing agency staff said would be “homes for people seeking to remain in their community as housing costs continue to rise.”
The building also is to include a 260-space parking garage and about 10,000 square feet of office space. It is to be built on what is now a surface parking lot used by county employees and an adjacent city-owned property that lies across the street from Boulder County’s St. Vrain Community Hub office building at 515 Coffman St.
“The Boulder County Housing Authority creates beautiful, much-needed communities that keep housing affordable for all,” Kimberlee McKee, executive director of the Longmont Downtown Development Authority, said in a statement. “We are excited to partner with BCHA on this new neighborhood of workforce housing options that will become home to new residents and employees who will enjoy everything that downtown Longmont has to offer.”
Staff said the county housing authority applied for Colorado Housing and Finance Authority approval of tax credits private investors could purchase, with proceeds from those purchases being used for the Coffman Street affordable housing project.
If the state agency approves the application this year, work could begin at the Coffman site by summer 2020, with move-ins possible as early as 2021, staff said.
The Boulder County Housing Authority also is seeking federal Low Income Housing Tax Credits for the Coffman Street project.
County housing officials said federal approval of that application would mean income-qualified residents would be able to rent units “at well below the market rate.”
The federal tax credits would allow the county to offer the rental units to families with household earnings ranging from 30 percent to 60 percent of the area median income.
For a three-person household, 30 percent of the AMI would currently equal an annual income of just under $30,000 a year. At 60 percent AMI, a three-person household could earn just under $60,000 a year to be eligible to rent one of the units.
County housing authority staff said it has been working closely with several partners on the Coffman Street housing plan for more than two years. In addition to the Longmont Downtown Development Authority, those partners have included the city of Longmont, Boulder County’s Building Services Division and Cotton Burden, a private commercial developer.
Norrie Boyd, Boulder County Housing Authority’s deputy director and the authority’s manager of the Coffman Street project, said Monday that under the planned arrangement Burden, who owns a building immediately south of the proposed housing and parking garage facility, would lease some of the parking spaces for occupants of his property.
Boyd said the total cost of the development has been estimated at “roughly $20 million.”
“This redevelopment is in the heart of downtown Longmont, which is an ideal site for affordable workforce housing,” Boyd said. “This is an opportunity to create a new, beautiful neighborhood just one block off Main Street, near shops and businesses and transportation.”
County housing authority staff in a news release said the new rental units “will be extremely energy-efficient, with walk-out patios on the ground level” and decorative balconies above.
“There will be interior courtyards with seating, integrated play features for children, and a community room with kitchen and gathering space.”
The development proposal will be presented to the Colorado Housing and Finance Authority board in late April, and the housing authority is likely to hear back from the state agency’s board about its recommendation in late May, Boyd said.
If the Colorado Housing and Finance Authority does not award the tax credits this year, “then we will need to go back to the drawing board and apply again in 2020 during the next tax credit application round,” Boyd said.
The Coffman Street Development might not be the project’s final name. As it has with its other housing developments, the Boulder County Housing Authority “will reach out to the local community to help name the new neighborhood of homes in downtown Longmont,” staff said.
Contact Staff Writer John Fryar at 303-684-5211 or email@example.com or twitter.com/jfryartc