Affordable housing project in the works

A Greenwood Village-based developer is planning a $17 million, 96-unit affordable housing project in east Fort Collins.

Hendricks Communities, which owns Fox Meadows apartments in Fort Collins and West Park Village in Greeley, will begin work on the second phase of its Caribou Apartments development near the end of March. The first phase of the development includes 97 units in almost 98,000 square feet and is fully leased, according to Marc Hendricks, principal of Hendricks Communities.

Hendricks is securing financing for the project, which he expects will come in the form of conventional financing, as well as tax credits, which are part of the reason he can offer lower rents.

“The tax credits allow for more equity, which allows for a lower term loan, which in turn allows for lower rents for eventual tenants,” Hendricks said.

The new development, dubbed Caribou Phase Two, will be constructed next to the first iteration of Caribou Apartments, near the intersection of Timberline Road and Caribou Drive.

Both Caribou developments are affordable housing projects, catering to those families whose incomes are 30 percent to 60 percent below the area median income for Fort Collins. In 2011, that figure, determined by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, was approximately $76,700 for a family of four.

The need for affordable housing in Fort Collins is apparent, as evidenced by a 2010 study by the city that showed a deficit of 5,009 affordable rental units for those in the zero-to-30 percent average median income range, and another 1,187 deficiency for those living in the 31-50 percent range.

Rents at Caribou vary, depending on the resident’s income and the size of the unit, said Hendricks. Average rent ranges between $375 and $825 per month.  The majority of residents in his developments are families, but some are occupied by seniors.

West Park Village is also an affordable housing project, as well as 50 percent of Fox Meadows. Hendricks Communities can also be found in Littleton and Colorado Springs.

Denver-based Shaw Construction will complete the three new buildings that will house the new units. Approximately $11 million of the total cost is attributable to construction costs, Hendricks said.

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