COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (KRDO) -- El Paso County commissioners have approved 25 years' worth of tax incentives for a Kansas City-area developer to build an affordable housing project on the city's southeast side.
The $35 million project, to be called Lofts at 1609, will be built at 1609 Zebulon Drive, near the intersection of South Academy Boulevard and Verde Drive.
Construction is scheduled to begin this fall and finish in the spring of 2023.
The Colorado Springs Urban Renewal Authority is overseeing the project, which will include one-, two- and three-bedroom apartments that will rent from between $460 and $1,485 per month.
Those rents are designed to be as much as 25% below market rates and be available to tenants earning up to $57,000 annually.
The four-story complex will be designed and built by Cohen-Esrey, a development firm in Merriam, Kansas -- just southwest of Kansas City -- that has been involved in nearly a dozen affordable housing projects across the country.
Commissioners voted unanimously for the developer's tax breaks, though member Longinos Gonzalez questioned the amount.
"It's a smaller project and we do have a dire need for housing," he said. "I'm just concerned about giving away future revenue streams to pay for services that we provide to our residents."
Longtime neighbor Manuel Martinez said that he's glad to see the project approved.
"I've seen a lot of changes," he said. "There's a Walmart here now, and we have a school and stores nearby. So I think this a good place for a new community like this."
The Lofts project is at least the third announced in the Colorado Springs area this year and continues a trend away from strong neighborhood opposition for such projects.
This spring, a local watchdog organization declared the area's lack of affordable housing to be a crisis, and demanded immediate action.
However, officials said that they've been successful during the past few years in meeting Mayor John Suthers' goal of building at least 1,000 new affordable housing units every year.