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Cottage project in SE Colorado Springs to create more affordable housing

The accumulation of dozens of housing units at the corner of Chelton Road and Murray Boulevard in southeast Colorado Springs looks like a tiny homes village to some, and a mobile home park to others.

But the developer and builder, Goodwin Knight, describes it as the start of a cottage community that will increase the city's inventory of affordable housing.

"I choose to call it more available housing," said Bryan Kniep, the company's vice president of planning and community development. "Affordable housing carries a stigma, that it's for low income people. This is housing that fills a need and covers several different markets."

Goodwin Knight will place 68 cottages at the site of the future community a block farther east on Chelton. They will be studio, one- and two-bedroom units.

"They'll be available to people who want a smaller home and for people who want to move up to a larger unit," Kniep said. "Monthly rents will start at $800 for the studio and $1,000 to $1,100 for the larger units."

The homes are built in Pueblo, transported to Colorado Springs and will gradually be placed on concrete foundations. Work began late last summer and is scheduled for completion this summer.

Many builders and developers are reluctant or unwilling to build affordable housing because the profit margins are less than that offered by the traditional and continually booming homebuilding market, and because of strong community opposition often expressed to it.

The project, called The Cottages at Sand Creek, is believed to be the first of its kind in the city -- one that isn't using government funding, is supported by private investors and is expected to generate enough profit to make it worthwhile.

"By using modular construction, it allows us to control costs in a lot of cases," Kniep said. "We're purchasing in a large-discount bulk. Our purchasing power goes way up in these cases and we're able to pass those savings on, I think, to the consumer."

He also explained how the project received approval from city officials and surrounding neighbors.

"Our density's a little bit lower than you would get out of an apartment project on a site like this, but at the same time it's a little bit more palatable to a neighborhood that's all single-family homes," he said. "So we saw this as a nice compromise."

The project is bordered by traditional homes to the east, apartments and condominiums to the south, and industrial business to the north and west.

Many neighbors said they like the project. Among them is Melissa Jones, who has been homeless, unemployed and renting a room at a friend's house for more than a year.

"The last time I looked at apartments, they were so expensive," she said. "I think these cottages are cute. A studio would be good for me because I've lived in one before. I don't need much. Just a safe place to call home that I can afford."

Kniep said nearly a third of the 68 units are already spoken for.

Goodwin Knight is working on two similar projects -- a $20 million cottage village on North Cascade Avenue expected to have 168 units and open by the end of the year, and a $13 million cottage community near the Sand Creek project, providing 116 units and expected to open this fall.

The company goes before the city council next week to seek approval for an apartment building in the 500 block of West Colorado Avenue.

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Scott Harrison

Scott is a reporter for KRDO. Learn more about Scott here.

Comments

10 Comments

  1. “The accumulation of dozens of housing units at the corner of Chelton Road and Murray Boulevard in southeast Colorado Springs looks like a tiny homes village to some, and a mobile home park to others.”
    .
    Tiny Homes are generally built on-site, and are more expensive because they’re custom-built, while Mobile Homes are manufactured off-site in factories equipped to reduce costs. Manufactured Homes, whether mobile or not, are the least expensive option for affordable housing.

    1. Tiny homes are NOT built on site. This is why they are on trailers. There are several tiny house manufacturers around town. Buy one Hitch up and your are gone.

  2. This is not low income housing for the people. Let me break it down Sesame Street style. If you work 40 hours a week getting Colorado’s minimum wage pay at $11.10 you will receive a check before taxes at $444.00. Once they take taxes out you might be lucky to get $300 Then you take $300 × 4weeks=$1200
    If you rent a 2bd cottage at $1100 How are you suppose to make it to work next week or feed your family. Wait I am not done yet pay your utilities. So please its’ not hard to figure this out. I am a single parent of 3 children and i give it all and then some just to provide a roof for my family. The homeless families i have seen out there when riding on the bike trails with my kids totally blew my mind. The silence and the stares of young children living in tents was disturbing. So we the people say lets be fair for the average working person and help us with affordable housing that we can actually afford.

    1. You are not supposed to be able to own a home and live comfortably on minimum wage. That is a socialists lie. I had room mates until I could afford a place of my own.

      You have seen young children living in tents? I highly doubt that. If so it is their parents fault and should be/is child abuse.

      I admire people like you who do whatever it takes. The homeless population would be far less if they had the same attitude. BUT they don’t. They feel like they should be given/have things without working for it. I have seen the same guy begging for 3 years now with a sign he just needs a leg up. I did see him go into a dispensary and come out with a brown bag, put it in his shopping cart and disappear under the bridge as always. One time he had a sign saying he was a Vet. My friend in Vet services stopped to talk with him and he admitted he never served and that he learned that from another bum as a way to get more handouts on the side of the road. He had to tall him that it was illegal to claim you are a vet and actually not be one. He said, “then arrest me” and walked off. Same with the people who have a dog with them.
      Sad yet very true

    1. I’m looking for a place we have been over here up South about it for 13 years and they sold the property to the contractors down here so they can rebuilds down here downtown and we have to move out and we’re trying to look for a place we’re on at 6 income of 1794.00 and apt. Ppl say my dad and I don’t meet the 2.5 times or three time amount of rent .. is there really frustrating for the last 4 months and not getting anywhere and I only have till March 31st to moves out of Aspen Mobile Homes parks
      My name is Jennifer Rodriguez and I would love if you can get back to me and let me know how I can go about and get me one of these the number is 719 308 8081 I appreciate it thank you so much my name is Jennifer Rodriguez

  3. The rents are not low and these rentals do nothing for people who want to buy affordable houses….They do help in keeping S.E. ColoMexiFornia Springs ghetto.

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