Affordable Housing Meets FasTracks

Jan 22, 2014

No one expected the boom of apartment development around the redevelopment site of Denver’s Union Station to happen as quickly as it did.

This year, prepare to see a new 108-unit affordable-housing rental development in a sea of costlier apartments, amid some of the most expensive office space in Colorado, and on land that draws some of the highest prices per acre in metro Denver.

Atlanta developer Integral Group LLC, which specializes in urban residential developments, plans to build the workforce housing development at 18th Street and Chestnut Place, north of Union Station.

Under the deal with the city, 34 units at the complex will be set aside for households with income at, or below, 50% of the area median income (AMI), and 34 more for those with income less than 60% of the AMI.

“Integral has a strong commitment to embracing mixed income communities across the country and Denver’s Union Station neighborhood creates the perfect environment for a sustainable and healthy community that is connected to jobs, has access to transit and provides integrated economic options for families,” said Integral development chairman and CEO Egbert Perry.

Affordable housing built with low-income housing tax credits not only helps people in need, but pumps millions of dollars into the Denver-area economy and creates hundreds of jobs.

As far as the real estate market goes, affordable housing can actually have a positive impact on surrounding property values.

In addition, mixed-income buildings can boost the residential real estate market in many areas by replacing the blighted buildings that keep real estate values low. Numerous studies over time from around the country support the general notion that affordable housing has no negative impact on surrounding property values – especially if it is thoroughly integrated into the neighborhood.

There will be more opportunities for affordable housing along FasTracks, the $6.5 billion, 119-mile light rail and rapid bus transit system. This will allow transit-oriented developments to ultimately be built around many of the planned 60 stations. In fact, 92% of the apartments in the study data were taken from developments within a half mile of light rail or a quarter-mile of rapid bus transit.

Interested in Transit Oriented Development and Denver’s FasTracks project? Check out our Tumblr and read more about the project here.

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