DENVER — For Yelena Krokhina, her home in Denver’s Central Park neighborhood has been life-changing.
“I came from Moscow,” Krokhina said. “I’m so happy. I’m so lucky that I got it.”
She and others were able to buy-in to the affordable housing complex they now call home at well-below market value.
“I worked so hard to get my brand new, two bedroom, two bath condominium,” Krokhina said. “For people who make $40,000 to $60,000 a year.”
The vast amount of developable space in Denver’s Central Park is ground zero for several of the city’s latest affordable housing projects. The latest one? Northfield Flats, located just behind the Shops at Northfield in Central Park, near the new In-and-Out Burger and Raising Canes on Central Park Blvd.
Northfield Flats will provide income-restricted units for individuals at a range of low to moderate income levels from 30% to 80% of the area median income (AMI).
“This is 100% affordable in this really great location with Northfield right there,” said George Thorn, CEO of Mile High Development, the owner of the project. “It provides great access to shopping, and to jobs, and transportation with the Central Park Station."
The project addresses the so-called "missing middle" — middle-income wage earners who still have trouble buying property in Denver proper.
“You would think someone making $70,000 a year could afford a new apartment, but if they cost $3 a foot or $3,000 a month to rent for a 1,500-square foot apartment, those economics are really tough,” Thorn said.
As for the City of Denver’s nearly $5 million subsidy to get the project off the ground, advocates say that’s partnership worth supporting.
“In that $40 million project that this is – when we’ve gotten up to $35, $36, $37 million, and we need that final $2 or $3 or $4 million; the city and state provide that gap funding, and they’ve done a phenomenal job."
For Krokhina, it’s a win-win.
“This program helps people a lot,” she said. “Especially old people and we have a lot of young students. It will be my home for the next 30 years, I think.”