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137-unit affordable housing project approved for southeast Colorado Springs

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.

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Scott Harrison

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



  1. The southeast portion of ColoFornia Springs does not need more apartments, the Broadmoor area definitely does.

  2. The city officials want to keep their financial segregation intact. Can’t have the poor see how well the wealthy live because it is like a whole different country with a different set of rules, policies, and rewards. I will bet this will be built before the apartment to be built in mountain shadows area.

  3. It’s crazy that the city council wants affordable housing in the southern part of the city, but they leave the northern part alone. I guess they need to satisfy the HOAs up north and keep the minorities south. Anyone who claims there is not a disparity when it come to rental properties in el Paso county is in denial and ignorant. What they should require is that for every new housing development they allow there should be built a affordable housing next door. But we know it won’t happen cause the politicians dont want to lose thier donors during election years. And the racist HOAs want to keep the riff raff out and living far enough away yet close enough to clean thier yards and homes.

  4. Crime is the new normal in our society. It’s everywhere. Some areas of the city are “built out” which means there is very little space left to develop large housing tracks, unless you want to plough up some parkland or “open space”. A lot of the Broadmoor area is built out. Ultimately it’s the developers that build. The city can provide incentives(tax breaks etc)and btw,I do believe there are some poor non minorities around here that need affordable housing too. Qualifying should be based on income.

  5. The next one needs to be in the Southwest part of town – near the Mayor’s home.

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