Developer Trades Lower Rents for Tax Credits

Article excerpt

BOULDER--The Sinton Apartments to be built at the old Watts-Hardy Dairy site by Peak Properties and Development Corp. is an example of the public/private cooperation the city would like to see more of.

The 83-unit building at 26th and Walnut streets is to include one and two-bedroom low and moderate-income units. The 17 low-income units will cost about $330 per month for one-bedroom and about $400 per month for a two-bedroom. The 55 moderate-income units will rent for about $525 per month for one bedroom and about $700 for two bedrooms.

To secure the low-income units in perpetuity, the city paid Peak Properties about $20,000 out of CHAP funds toward the cost of each of the 17 units.

In exchange for a federal tax credit, the developer agreed keep 55 units at moderately priced levels for 15 years.

PLANS

The apartment building is to be built on the south end of the dairy property. The existing dairy building probably will be converted to a mixed-use building with about 40 low-to moderately-priced units on the top and possibly an art center owned by Flatirons Center for the Arts on the bottom, according to Amory Host, president of Peak Properties.

The Housing Authority of the City of Boulder probably will own the apartments in the dairy building, according to Host.

"The first building would be a private-sector project with public assistance, and the second building would be a public-sector project with private assistance," he said.

Host said much of the reason he went with public assistance is the difficulty finding financing for apartment projects, largely the result of savings and loan bankruptcies and over-building in the 1980s.

Scott Fisher, assistant vice president of Northland Financial Co., said banks shy away from apartment projects because of multiple risks that include whether the project will be built on time and within cost, how long it take to rent the units, and who will pay back the bank. …