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492-unit apartment complex proposed for Three Springs area

Developer sets aside 25 units for affordable housing
BLD of Fort Lauderdale, Florida, has proposed a 492-unit apartment complex for development in the Southfork subdivision directly west of Mercy Hospital, according to Durango Planning Commission documents. The project will be the subject of a public hearing during Durango City Council’s regular meeting on Oct. 18. (Courtesy of Durango Planning Commission)

A developer is proposing a 492-unit apartment complex in the Three Springs area southeast of downtown Durango.

City Council is expected to review plans for the complex on Oct. 18.

The project proposed by BLD Group of Fort Lauderdale, Florida, and represented by SEH, is expected to take five years to develop in two phases with a projected end date of 2028, according to Durango Planning Commission documents.

Mark Williams, city planner for Durango, said the project is more than double the size of any other multifamily housing project approved in the city, excluding Three Springs and Twin Buttes developments.

The complex would consist of 12 apartment buildings with 41 units per building and a footprint of 19.5 acres. Units would range from 360-square-foot studio apartments to over 1,000-square-foot two- and three-bedroom units, according to documents. Three-bedroom units could be as large as 1,287 square feet. About 660 parking spaces would be required to accommodate residents and 30 bicycle parking spaces are planned.

A maintenance building and amenities, such as a gym, lounge, game room, swimming pool, and parks and trails are also planned, documents say. Thirteen garages and eight storage spaces per building are included in the proposal.

Of the 492 units planned, 25 units are to be reserved for affordable housing with pricing at 80% and 100% area median income, planning documents say.

Williams said the city could pay for some permitting and development fees to incentivize building the 25 affordable workforce housing units.

Funds could come from the Housing Innovation Fund or other sources such as the lodgers tax or a dedicated sales tax.

Should Proposition 123, which would create a state affordable housing fund, pass this November, that would be another funding option.

Durango City Council is expected to review plans for a huge 492-unit apartment complex in the Southfork subdivision just west of Mercy Hospital at a public hearing scheduled for Oct. 18. (Courtesy of Durango Planning Commission)

Fourteen of the affordable housing units are planned for Phase 1 of the project, which calls for 287 units while the 11 other affordable units are scheduled for Phase 2, according to documents. Construction would begin under the first phase in summer 2023, which could last up to two years.

Williams couldn’t speak to the cost of units outside 80% to 120% area median income and SEH, BLD Group’s local stand-in, was not immediately available for comment.

The Southfork subdivision just west of Mercy Hospital where the apartments are planned could be the site of other projects in coming years, Williams said.

Southfork was annexed into the city in 2011. Since then, not much development has occurred on the sparsely populated property, he said. A Subaru dealership and a Maverick gas station, a relatively new installment, were the only buildings that came to Williams’ mind. But an assisted living facility, a car dealership and a church are being planned for the area in addition to the new apartments.

“Wilson Gulch Drive, when that was built, it was around the same time that national trends were sort of moving away from brick and mortar and more physical sites,” he said. “So I think it’s taken longer to fill those lots than was anticipated, but it seems like it’s starting to happen right now.”

The public hearing scheduled for Oct. 18 is among several other development proposals to be heard by City Council, including a project by developer Reynolds Ash & Associates for mixed commercial and residential use at Mercury Village.

The proposed project includes 199 residential units, a medical clinic in the old Mercury Payment Systems building and dividing the whole lot into three smaller lots for additional development, according to project documents.

cburney@durangoherald.com

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