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AVON, CO-Denver-based Corum Real Estate Group and Wintergreen Homes of Avon have broken ground on the Buffalo Ridge Apartments, a 244-unit affordable multifamily rental complex in the Vail Valley. The apartments are on the north side of I-70 and are part of the 1,790-acre Village of Avon, a mixed-use development that will stretch forfour miles along the Eagle River Valley.

Buffalo Ridge Apartments is designated for Eagle County residents earning up to 80% of the county’s median income, with half of the units further restricted to those making 60% of median income.

Local, state and other agencies are providing substantial financial assistance to develop Buffalo Ridge into a community of affordable apartments. The $31-million development has received $11.1 million in private activity bonds from the state; 63-20 sponsorship and bond issuance by the town of Avon; $495,000 from the Colorado Division of Housing; a $300,000 grant from EagleBend Affordable Housing Corp; $4.6 million in Low Income Housing Tax Credits; fee waivers from Traer Creek Metro District; tap fee deferrals from the metro district, Eagle Valley Metropolitan District and Eagle River Water and Sanitation District; land contribution by Village at Avon developer Traer Creek LLC; and development fee deferral by Corum Real Estate and Wintergreen Homes.

Sun America is a tax-credit partner and the bond issues are backed by US Department of Housing and Urban Development mortgage guarantees.

“There is a huge demand here for more affordable housing from middle-income earners–police, teachers and others–who have salaries that make much of the market-priced housing out of reach,” says Corum executive vice president Jamie Fitzpatrick. “Every project we have built in the Vail Valley continues to maintain very high occupancy levels year round and we expect Buffalo Ridge to follow this trend.”

The first units at Buffalo Ridge will open in April 2003, with completion of the complex scheduled for September 2003. A collection of 15 three-story buildings with walk-out basements, Buffalo Ridge will include 44 studio, 44 one-bedroom, 116 two-bedroom and 40 three-bedroom apartments.

Designed by Eric Smith Associated in Boulder, the development will be similar to two other affordable housing complexes that Corum and Wintergreen developed and manage in Eagle County–Lake Creek Village in Edwards and Eagle Bend Apartments in Avon–with the exception that Buffalo Ridge includes studio apartments.

Rents at Buffalo Ridge will range from $525 per month for a studio to $1,390for a three-bedroom unit.

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