Construction underway for Fall River Apartments, Longmont senior affordable housing project

60-unit complex to help fill giant need for county’s aging population
Francesco Garcia takes a measurement while working at the Fall River Apartments construction site on Wednesday. (

Lewis Geyer / Staff Photographer)

Fall River Apartments funding

Riverside Capital: $7.71 million

Citi Bank public activity bond loan: $4.14 million

City of Longmont: $2.22 million

Longmont Housing Development Corporation: $1 million

Colorado Division of Housing: $1 million

General Partner Loan & Capital: $402,000

Total: $17 million

Projected rental rates were made publicly known Wednesday for the $17 million Fall River Apartments senior affordable housing project now under construction in northeast Longmont.

The 60-unit apartment complex for residents 55 and older who make 50 percent or less than the area median income — $38,050 for a household of one, according to the city of Longmont website — will help meet a growing need in Boulder County.

"This development is a great public-private partnership ensuring our older residents get the housing they need," Longmont Housing and Community Investment Manager Kathy Fedler said.

LOADING…

But officials acknowledge it is only making a dent in the overall demand, especially since Age Well Boulder County anticipates 26 percent of the county’s population will be 60 or older by 2040, which would represent about a 15 percent increase in the demographic from 2012 levels.

"In one perspective (Fall River) is going to make a great dent, because it’s going to affect 60 households. The reality is we need to add a couple hundred affordable housing units in the county per year for seniors," Kurt Firnhaber, director of Housing and Human Services for Boulder, said.

With expected monthly rents between $600 and $1,067 for one and two-bedroom units of about 675 and 930-square feet, respectively, Fall River will begin pre-leasing in spring 2019, said Wendell Pickett, board member of Longmont Housing Development Corporation, the nonprofit that led the project.

The building — which will have 52 one-bedroom and eight two-bedroom apartments — should be completed by late summer 2019, Pickett said. Rent prices will slide between the projected range depending on a resident’s income level.

Affordable housing in general, but especially for seniors, is in high enough demand that residents are lining up to wait years for an opening.

The Fall River Apartments construction site on Wednesday. (

Dinah Pollard, resource coordinator for Lafayette Senior Services, said there is a three-year waitlist for seniors wanting to get into Boulder County’s affordable housing units in the Lafayette area, and she expects Fall River to quickly be fully leased.

"People are left with really no place to go other than family or out of the area," Pollard said.

She is starting a class through Lafayette Senior Services this winter that encourages the use of creative solutions to housing seniors, such as finding seniors roommates to reduce per-person rents within a household.

"It’s helping people learn how to access other ways of making ends meet housing-wise until something else becomes available," Pollard said.

Leaders of the nonprofit housing agencies Longmont Housing Development Corporation and Longmont Housing Authority, their financing partners and state affordable housing officials are hosting a celebration of Fall River’s arrival to the building stage 4 p.m. Thursday at the building’s site, 321 Homestead Parkway, near 21st Avenue and Alpine Street.

Such a celebration is in due order since plans for Fall River were nearly postponed indefinitely by funding snafus, according to Mark Teplitsky, pre-construction manager for Krische Construction, the contractor building for Fall River.

A need for additional financing for the project was driven by congressional tax cuts signed into law by President Donald Trump late last year, which caused low income housing tax credits secured for Fall River to plummet in value.

Fall River’s cost was estimated at $15.6 million in 2016. The loans secured for the project are on varying payback and interest rate schedules.

"The city of Longmont stepped up to help bridge some of those gaps, and so did our partners at Citi Bank and Riverside (Capital)," Pickett, with the Longmont Economic Development Corporation, said.

"Construction costs also rose. (The tax cuts) were another headwind. But I appreciate that all our partners worked on a daily basis to figure out ways to make this work."

Sam Lounsberry: 303-473-1322, slounsberry@prairiemountainmedia.com and twitter.com/samlounz.

Work continues at the Fall River Apartments construction site Wednesday.. (

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