COLORADO SPRINGS – A new trend may help Colorado’s affordable housing crisis, and it involves converting hotels and motels to apartments.
âI think that’s a great idea. We have a lot of hotels, motels and a lot of new ones online. So some of the old ones, this might be a new focus for them because we are really in desperate need of housing. said Richard Skorman of Colorado Springs City Council.
As Colorado Springs continues to grow, the city’s affordable housing crisis is deepening.
âOur rents are sky-high and the prices for our homes. A lot of people who work in the city cannot afford to live here,â Skorman said.
That’s why the developers are getting creative by converting buildings like The Hotel Elegante and Motel 6 on Voyager Pkwy into apartments.
“We’ve heard from others but I’m not going to say their names because I don’t know if they’re going to happen. There are some, especially in the city center, that people are talking about,” he said. Skorman said.
He says there are a number of conversions underway and some have already been completed.
âI think there will be a lot more coming online, and the other one that’s kinda over there is office buildings. There are a lot of office buildings that don’t have back from workers. A lot of people are happy to work from home and office owners realize it’s an expense they don’t have to have, so there could be apartments in office buildings, ” Skorman said.
âI have had conversations with a number of development teams and investors interested in purchasing these properties and turning them into housing. This ranges from small hotels as well. From thirty to forty units, up to 600 units, âsaid Steve Posey, community development manager, City of Colorado Springs.
Posey says there are a number of advantages to converting hotels and motels, but the most important is the cost.
âThe cost of a new development here in Colorado Springs and in our area has increased very rapidly. It wasn’t that long ago that it was $ 250,000 a door for a new apartment building, and we’re at $ 300,000 a door these days. If these hotel and motel conversions can come in at a good price and a good price per door, then that will definitely be a plus, âsaid Posey.
Since they’re typically found in urban areas, Posey says it could help provide transportation and employment services as well.
âOther types of public facilities, trail systems that are not too far from this area and schools,â Posey said.
âThere are two types of problems that we solve. One is you have hotels and motels that have been abandoned and are no longer in use, and then you have homeless people who need housing. We solve these two problems once when we convert these old properties into housing for the homeless, âsaid Brett McPherson, Colorado Department of Local Affairs.
With federal and state funds expected soon, McPherson says he can help with conversions and the construction of more homes.
âThe state legislature has passed HB-242, which will use up to $ 30 million in state stimulus funding to convert underutilized properties like hotels and motels that have been vacated. of this, the American Rescue Plan Act has provided an additional $ 24.7 million that can be used to convert underutilized properties. Thus, in total, there will be over $ 50 million that will go into the state. of Colorado to convert dilapidated properties that can help house our homeless neighbors, âMcPherson said.
âWe have a long way to go, we have a lot of money to decide how best to spend for the best use of that money,â Skorman said.