Construction defects reform (House Bill 1279) is headed to the governor’s desk for a signature after passing both houses at the Legislature. It reforms the current law, which made it too expensive for builders and developers to build condos and town homes because it was ridiculously easy for HOA’s to sue builders. Therefore, builder liability insurance was crazy expensive, and that cost was passed along to the buyer, driving up prices. Therefore, no one was building this critical type of housing, exaserbating our housing affordability problem.
Multi-family housing will help our housing affordability problem because it will add housing priced below the median and average homes. Unfortunately, help won’t be available immediately. After the defects reform bill is signed, projects must be envisioned, designed, priced, and approved. It will take one or two years before shovels can start breaking ground.
When construction ramps up, Midtown Fort Collins has many locations ideal for multi-family housing. The Mason Street Corridor, for instance, has several large, unused parking lots, some near MAX stations, that would be great for multi-use developments. There are several apartment buildings already planned along Mason that could be converted to condos, if the developer wants to pursue it. Several vacant lots exist around Midtown, and multi-family housing is a sensible, profitable use of that land. And there are places where old, underperforming buildings could be scrapped and replaced by multi-family projects.
Midtown Fort Collins, with it’s proximity to CSU, Old Town, and the south end, will eventually have many condos and town homes that appeal to millennials and baby boomers looking for affordable housing in a central location to live the Fort Collins lifestyle.