Developer offers up to 204 apartments along Florida Road – The Durango Herald

City of Durango calls for 16% of rental units to be affordable

A new apartment complex on Florida Road comprising between 194 and 204 units has been proposed by Dallas-based developer J Street Companies. The proposal is still in its preliminary stages with the city and some details on the number of units and other design aspects may change, but the city is asking for 16% of units to be affordable, said Mark Williams. , town planner. A public hearing with the Durango Planning Commission is scheduled for April 24, followed by another public hearing with the Durango City Council on June 20. (Courtesy of the City of Durango)

A Dallas developer is offering up to 204 apartments stacked in three- and four-story buildings in the 800 and 900 blocks of Florida Road, about half a mile northeast of Chapman Hill.

The apartments would be rented at market price, with the exception of 16% of the units whose price would be affordable. The city would need to annex approximately 16 acres on the east side of Florida Road where the development is proposed.

If approved, the development would be the largest multi-family rental project in Durango that incorporates affordable long-term rental housing, said urban planner Mark Williams.

The city hosted a virtual meeting this week with J Street businesses and about 40 area residents to provide details on the proposal and answer questions from residents. Several public hearings are scheduled for later this spring and summer.

Williams said residents’ concerns focus on traffic impacts and the protection of the Animas City Cemetery which is near the site. The city is working with several organizations on possible solutions to limit impacts to the cemetery, including possible fencing so the cemetery does not become an unofficial playground or open space for potential apartment residents.

Although the developer is asking for 194 to 204 apartments in three- and four-story buildings, some of those details could change as the city goes through pre-development and approval processes, Williams said.

Shea Byers, director of real estate at J Street Companies, did not respond to a request for comment on the number of units planned to be one- and two-bedroom units and studios.

Placing buildings on a hill will complicate construction, Williams said. A soil study is planned to ensure that there are no disturbances – subsidence or landslides – for close neighbors.

“It’s a tricky site because there are slopes and shale, so we’re doing a soil report to analyze the soil so we don’t affect neighbors with the development,” he said.

Planned facilities include a swimming pool, gym, connections to existing nearby trails and open space with picnic tables and a playground, he said.

The city is also exploring potential pedestrian and transit connections to the site, he said.

A proposed apartment complex in the 800 and 900 blocks of Florida Road would bring up to 204 units at market price to the area northeast of Chapman Hill. Public hearings are scheduled for April 24 and June 20. (Courtesy of the City of Durango)

The city is asking J Street Companies to price 16% of units at affordable rates, the same percentage the city requires for units in its fair housing program. The city does not yet have a fair share program for rentals, although details of such a program are expected to be unveiled in September or October. The city is expected to annex properties in the 800 and 900 blocks of Florida Road, giving the city an opportunity to apply for affordable housing.

“Any time the city annexes a property, they have a lot of discretion to ask for certain things in a development that we wouldn’t have if it was already within city limits,” Williams said. “And so, we’re asking for 16% of the units to be affordable, (to) be affordable in the long run.”

He said the development would be the largest multi-family rental project in Durango that features affordable long-term units. The next closest project would be the Gauge Apartments, which are under construction and include a 16% affordability component over 10 years, he said.

The first of several public hearings on the proposal is scheduled with the Durango Planning Commission for April 24. On June 20, the project will be presented to Durango City Council in another public hearing. And two more hearings are scheduled for later in the year but have not yet been put on the city’s schedule, Williams said.

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