Real Estate & Construction  April 22, 2024

16 multifamily units sold to Estes Park Housing Authority

ESTES PARK – The Estes Park Housing Authority has purchased a 16-unit apartment complex to help address the need for attainable worker housing in the tourist-dependent town at the gateway to Rocky Mountain National Park.

NC Holdings LLC closed on the $4.8 million sale of the complex at 507 Grand Estates on March 21. Jake Hallauer, Lauren Larsen and Ryan Schaefer of Fort Collins-based NAI Affinity represented the seller of the fully leased property just off of U.S. Highway 34.

Estes Park median home prices were nearly $804,000 for detached homes in March 2024, according to IRES statistics, and $507,500 for attached homes. The town’s rental vacancy rate is near zero, according to a housing report by Root Policy Research in the first quarter of 2023.

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“We originally built this property because we were aware of the shortage of affordable housing

in Estes Park,” said Trevor Kropp of NC Holdings. To that end, he added, “we were happy to work with Estes Park Housing Authority on the sale of our property. We believe that the Estes

Park Housing Authority is a great fit because it will continue to serve the people of Estes Park by providing quality housing at a more affordable price.”

Lauren Larsen, managing broker at NAI Affinity, said the transaction reflects the market trends and signals confidence in Northern Colorado’s economic outlook. Combined with the 4.18% assumable Freddie Mac loan that expires in 2030, the property garnered significant interest,” she said.

In the Estes Valley Housing Needs Assessment and Strategic Plan, prepared in 2023 by Root Policy Research for the Estes Park Housing Authority, it noted that its goal is to create and

preserve 550 to 700 dwelling units affordable to the local workforce over the next five to seven years so that the Estes Valley begins to improve availability and affordability of housing to the workforce.

EPHA executive director Scott Moulton said the transaction is an impactful step to meet goals outlined by the assessment. “Our local workforce is critical to the fabric of our community,” he said, and “providing a range of attainable housing options for our workforce is a primary goal of EPHA.”

As construction costs have proved more of a significant barrier, he said, “preservation is a key strategy. When the possibility of purchasing Grand Estates Apartments became a reality, EPHA moved quickly to leverage our Lodging Tax Extension funds to preserve and increase the number of workforce restricted homes in Estes Park.”

The purchase of Grand Estates Apartments achieves three main goals, Moulton said.

First, EPHA was able to assume the existing loan at less than market interest rates, which allows the housing authority to keep rents in an attainable range versus needing to raise monthly rents by around $200 or more to maintain the required debt coverage ratio a new loan would require.

Second, EPHA will be able to further restrict the eight unrestricted units to the local workforce.

Third, EPHA can also extend the original 20-year workforce restrictions to ensure these units remain reserved to serve the local workforce for the foreseeable future.

“If we lose restricted housing stock or naturally existing affordable housing, the task of ensuring our community has adequate access to a range of housing options becomes more difficult,” Moulton said. “This purchase was an important piece of the puzzle to preserve and increase housing options in the Estes Valley. The Estes Park Housing Authority and our board of directors are pleased we were able to complete this transaction on behalf of our community.”

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