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Sapling Green Development To Address Two Community Needs Attainable Housing and Youth Services


It is well known that affordable housing in Estes Park is hard to come by. According to the recently published 2008 Estes Valley Housing Needs Assessment: as demand for housing by non-residents increases, prices will be driven upwards and it will become increasingly difficult for locals to afford a home. Recent efforts by the Housing Authority with projects such as Vista Ridge have helped alleviate some of the problem. However these offer assistance to those who make 80% AMI (Area Median Income) or less and do not meet the needs of those whose incomes are too high to qualify for assistance, yet can’t afford what is currently on the market. The Housing Needs Assessment states that 42% of Estes Park households earn between 80-120% AMI yet only 10% of housing units available would be affordable for this income range. This middle income salary range encompasses young professionals, teachers, police officers and other town employees, medical workers and some of our local business owners.

Estes Park is also in need of services for preschool aged and young children. Lifelong Learning of Estes Valley School (LLEV) has been addressing this need since 2001 with a school program for preschool and early primary aged children. LLEV currently has 52 children enrolled in three separate preschool programs for children aged 2 1⁄2 to 5. Ten students are currently enrolled in the kindergarten and primary program for a total enrollment of 62 children and growing. The mission of the school is to provide quality, early childhood learning at an affordable price for all income levels. LLEV also offers scholarships and tuition assistance for families who would not otherwise be able to afford it. Because of increasing demand the school has been forced to hold their programs at two separate locations and has been searching for a new home to have all the children under one roof.

In an attempt to address these important community needs, local private developer Equinox Community Investments, LLC is in the concept phase of a project designed to provide home ownership opportunities for middle income individuals and families as well as a new home for the school. Sapling Green, to be located at 507 Grand Estates Drive, will be a mixed use development with the Lifelong Learning of Estes Valley School and a total of nine attainable condominiums. Four condominiums will be deed restricted and priced to address those who fall within 100%-115% AMI with the remainder priced slightly higher. The residential units are a mix of two and three bedrooms with two baths ranging from 1,050 to 1,175 square feet each.
The project was designed to take advantage of both its ideal location in terms of views and proximity to town and its dual use as a school and residential units. All units will have views of Longs Peak and some will have a view of Lake Estes as well.

Sapling Green residents have easy access to town and Lake Estes and its bike paths and will have use of the playground while school is not in session.  “We believe the mix of residential and school uses are complimentary. The school becomes part of the micro-community -  residents with children have access to the school and playground.

We are excited about a project of this kind: helping to fill a gap in our community.” project Architect, Steve Lane said.

Sapling Green is slated for completion in 2009. If you would like more information about the project or an information package please call Amy Lane at (970)231-9921 or contact her by email at  Presale incentives are available for both the deed restricted and non-deed restricted units. Broker inquires are welcome.

Estes Park News – Estes Park, Colorado

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