On August 25, 2020, Frisco Town Council approved the Workforce Housing Planning Agreement (Agreement) between the Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) and the Town of Frisco (Town) to develop a workforce housing project on the low owned by CDOT located at 619 Granite Street, Lots 18-24, Block 12 in the Town of Frisco. The Agreement lays the foundation to jointly undertake all necessary actions to design and develop workforce housing units by requiring CDOT and the Town to share all costs 50/50 (excluding each agency’s staffing and personnel costs) not to exceed $200,000 to develop 80% construction drawings and final construction cost estimates to design the project by December 31, 2021. The agreement also sets forth the parameters regarding selection and engagement of professional consultants and contractors, and does not bind CDOT or the Town to final construction of a project.
After a thorough review of the 619 Granite Street Workforce Housing proposals, staff recommended a contract with Studio Architecture. While all of the proposals offered the requisite selection of architecture, engineering, and site planning services, the Selection Committee unanimously felt that the Studio Architecture team is the most qualified and best team for this project because of their high-quality architectural design and affordable housing project experience, and an approach that inherently led to cost savings in design, and ultimately construction.
On September 2, 2021 the Frisco Planning Commission unanimously approved the Major Site Plan Application for this proposed multi-family project.
Frisco Town Council approved the second reading of Ordinance 23-03, which authorizes the approval of the documents required to issue the 2023 Certificates of Participation (COPs), which in turn will finance the construction of Granite Park. The ordinance created a “lease-lease back” mechanism of funding by leasing the underlying property (Granite Park) to the Trustee (typically a large bank) for 30 years. The Trustee will remit to the Town the entire lease payment up front, an amount approximating $7.2M at which point the Town will use a portion of revenues received through unit rentals to repay the estimated $7.2M, plus interest, over 20 years, paid in semi-annual payments. Once the Town has paid the trustee all of the original amount borrowed plus the agreed interest, the lease- lease back arrangement is terminated, and the municipality gets its property back free from any encumbrance caused by the COPs.
In 2022, the Town of Frisco and CDOT were joined in this unique partnership by the Colorado Department of Local Affairs (DOLA), which awarded $1.5 million to the Town of Frisco to help bring Granite Park to reality through their Innovative Housing Opportunities Incentive grants. The DOLA, through the Division of Local Government, awarded more than $18 million in funding across 13 counties in Colorado through this program. These 14 Innovative Housing Opportunities Incentive (IHOI) grants will provide 1,872 additional housing units, providing housing for approximately 4,867 people across Colorado.
On January 24, 2023, Frisco Town Council approved Resolution 23-07 to move forward with MW Golden Constructors for construction of Granite Park. MW Golden Constructors presented the Town with a guaranteed maximum price (GMP) of $12,279,678 for this project. The updated construction schedule submitted with the GMP included a construction start date of April 17, 2023, with completion by November 1, 2024.
On Tuesday, May 16, 2023, the Colorado Department of Transportation, the Town of Frisco, DOLA, and elected officials came together to celebrate the groundbreaking of the new Granite Park Employee Housing Site in Frisco. While extensive excavation had already been done on the site starting in April, this was a chance to celebrate this unique partnership between the Town of Frisco and CDOT.
While Granite Park is currently under construction, details regarding the 11 units, which will be available to employees in the Frisco area, are not yet available for application or rent, as the project completion is not expected until fall 2024.
The project, once constructed, will consist of 22 apartment-style units split among two 3-story buildings. The unit mix will include five (5) studio, eleven one-bedroom and six two-bedroom units. While rental rates are not set at this point, the current modeling is based on approximately half having a rental rate at or below 80% AMI, and the remaining rates being up to 100% AMI. Half of the units will be reserved for CDOT employees, to ensure that CDOT has housing opportunities for those that maintain the critical transportation infrastructure in the community. The remainder of the units will be reserved for those who work for businesses in the Frisco area.