Partners in Housing purchase Christy Lynn Apartments

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The Christy Lynn Apartments will provide homes for 14 families trying to get back on their feet.

The Christy Lynn Apartments will provide homes for 14 families trying to get back on their feet.

Partners in Housing has purchased the 14-unit Christy Lynn Apartments at 4335 N. Chestnut Street for $755,000.

The sale represents the third in a series of affordable or homeless housing purchases by area nonprofit groups. Previous acquisitions included the Bentley Commons and Citadel Arms complexes which sold last year.

The local nonprofit helps homeless and at-risk families stabilize and become self-sufficient — often working in collaboration with Greccio Housing and the Rocky Mountain Community Trust.

The latest acquisition, facilitated by broker Thayer Thomas and the organization’s board, represents the third phase in a “capacity-building” initiative begun during 2003, said executive director Frank Stampf. PIH previously bought two duplexes on Yampa Street, near Uintah and 19th streets during 2003 and six additional transitional units for homeless families on Whitman Drive, about one mile south of Memorial Park.

A majority of funding for PIH’s latest purchase came from its own reserves.

While Stampf said the group had looked at larger apartment communities that were bank-owned or in foreclosure, many of the properties — especially those built prior to 1978 — required expensive renovation or had lead issues.

“While Christy Lynn was built in 1960, it was in excellent shape, required very little fix-up and is well-located to the bus line, schools and shopping,” he said, adding that several units are currently vacant and awaiting new families who will be assigned case managers through Greccio Housing to begin learning how to get back on their feet.

HBA recognizes leaders, looks to 2010

At its annual dinner and awards meeting on Jan. 30, the Housing and Building Association of Colorado Springs celebrated leadership, past and present.

One of the evening’s highlights was presentation of the HBA’s presitigious Founder’s Award to long time developer and builder, Lew Christensen. An original partner with John Venezia in the Briargate Development Co., he led the way in assembling, designing and developing today’s successful 10,000-acre master-planned community that is home today to more than 35,000 residents.

“The Founder’s Award is not given out every year — and it is only awarded to those who show extraordinary vision and commitment that benefits the community as a whole. Lew ismost deserving, and we wanted him to know how much we valued his many contributions,” said HBA 2010 chair woman Michelle Grove-Reiland.

In addition, Brian Olson of Wells Fargo Bank was named Associate Member of the Year; Kenton Pass of Kenton Pass and Co. received Remodeler of the Year honors; past president and developer Bobby Ingels of the Ingels Co. was named Builder of the Year and the Industry Person of the Year award went to Kevin Walker of Nor’Wood Ltd., Inc.

Grove-Reiland also took the occasion to look briefly back at 2009 and offered a few pronouncements for 2010.

“In 2009 we met our budget … a big accomplishment in this environment,” she said, crediting the organization’s “forward thinking”board of directors. As the home building climate began to change during 2007, the HBA had to rethink its reliance on dues only. As a result, in addition to popular annual events such as the Parade of Homes and the Home and Garden Show, new features were added last year including a Web site, Ready New Homes.com, affinity programs and this year’s very successful Parade of Holiday Homes and Remodeled Home Tour.

HBA membership stands at 515, with 55 remodeler members added to the rolls during the past six months, she said.

Among the organization’s 2010 prognoses were the following:

  • The Great Recession is over
  • GDP growth has resumed
  • Job losses are tapering off
  • Unemployment will decline, but slowly
  • Inflation is not a threat with so much slack in the economy
  • Interest rates will remain low
  • A properly functioning financial sector is critical to a recovery economy
  • Availability of credit to home buyers and builders is critical to a housing recovery.

Becky Hurley covers real estate for the Colorado Springs Business Journal.