Homes being trucked in to fill out Broadway Bluffs subdivision
The roughly 4-acre subdivision going in west of Westend Avenue and Broadway Street in the Midland area is called Broadway
A name just as appropriate - though perhaps not as marketable - could have been “Hermit Crab.”
That's because half of the 14 homes are being relocated from their original foundations on the Westside, while another four or five are being built on the east side of town and then trucked over.
The project is chiefly a collaboration between the Rocky Mountain Community Land Trust, a nonprofit organization; and Peak and Prairie Homes, which specializes in building and moving homes.
For the Land Trust, Broadway Bluffs is another chance to provide affordable housing through a unique method in which the Trust retains partial ownership of the homes, according to Bob Koenig, executive director. For example, the typical list price for a Broadway Bluff home (two to three bedrooms with a garage) is around $140,000. If a home sold for that price, the Land Trust would keep 26 percent - thus reducing the buyer's cost to $104,000.
Through the Trust's “investment in the property,” he said, “we create permanent affordability. And it stays affordable for the next family moving in.”
The Rocky Mountain Community Land Trust is one of 105 nationwide and the only one in Colorado Springs.
Koenig said the project could not have been successful without support from other entities. Forty plaques have been posted on a retaining wall at the back of the subdivision listing individuals and entities (such as banks, merchants, schools, city government and contractors) that provided extra effort to make Broadway Bluffs happen.
One individual named on a plaque is Ron Hall, owner of Peak and Prairie Homes.
The seven relocated homes had been at King and 19th streets. “They were on unstable soil, so instead of demolishing them, we moved them,” Hall said. “They're better quality than regular stick-built houses.”
His company also built the new ones (not modulars) that are being brought to the subdivision. To do that kind of moving, “You need special equipment and a whole lot of knowledge,” said Hall, who's been relocating houses for 20 years. “And you need a lot of respect for the weight of the house. You have to be careful and don't get in a hurry.”
His crews' moves generally occur late at night when there's little traffic. That's because the houses are such a wide load.
It gets even more interesting on the narrower streets of the subdivision. A Peak and Prairie crew, photographed at work Feb. 12, needed numerous maneuvers to position their semi crossways on 30-foot-wide Broadway Bluffs Lane so it could finally back up and set its house “payload” correctly over a waiting foundation.
Broadway Bluffs, about eight acres in all, was purchased from Fairview Cemetery, located west of 26th Street. “They were never going to use it because it was up against a residential neighborhood,” Koenig said.
Some people have been living in the subdivision now for several months, while the other houses are still being marketed.
No plans have been finalized yet for the remaining acreage that was not included in Broadway Bluffs, Koenig said.
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