Greccio to buy 2 foreclosed apartment buildings

Greccio Housing is preparing to close on two apartment buildings that will increase their inventory of affordable housing by more than 30 percent.

Lee Patke, Greccio executive director, said he couldn’t discuss specifics about the buildings or the bank that owns them until the closings on Feb. 6 and March 6.

But the two buildings, which are located about a mile and a half from each other and about a mile and a half east of downtown Colorado Springs, will be sold in a package deal by the bank that acquired them through foreclosure.

Together the buildings include 72 apartment units.

“We currently own 213 units, so this is a 33 percent increase in our inventory,” Patke said. “This is a big win for us. This is a big win for affordable housing in our community.”

He said Greccio is paying a little more than $3 million for the 72 units. The funding comes from a blend of financing sources, Patke said. Some comes from a private lending, some from El Paso County and the City of Colorado Springs housing authorities and some from the state’s Neighborhood Stabilization Program funding for vacant and foreclosed properties.

Patke said Greccio began working with the state on getting Neighborhood Stabilization Program funds last spring when they learned one of the properties would be going into foreclosure. The bank wanted to package the two buildings, Patke said. And there was a lot of negotiating before Greccio and the bank came to an agreement.

The new inventory will be welcome. Greccio has been working with a near-100 percent occupancy for the last few years and has a tremendous list of people interested in its affordable properties.

“It was kind of the perfect storm,” Patke said.

The economy, joblessness and foreclosure rates sent people out seeking affordable housing.

Patke said Greccio will host events after closing on the properties to welcome them into the company. The group will then begin rehabilitation work on the buildings.