Glenwood housing plans stall

Lehman Brothers bankruptcy at root of problem, officials say

GLENWOOD SPRINGS — Winners of an affordable housing lottery have not been able to buy their homes, and a second lottery is awaiting rescheduling because the Lehman Brothers Holdings bankruptcy has held up construction south of Glenwood Springs.

The investment bank’s financial problems have hampered work on lower-priced homes that Garfield County required developers to build as part of the Ironbridge golf course and residential development.

The Garfield County Housing Authority held a lottery earlier this year to determine the buyers of 10 homes, but work stopped on those units after LB Rose Ranch, a Lehman Brothers subsidiary, failed to make a timely payment to Ironbridge Homes, a separate company overseeing the construction.

The payment eventually arrived. But Cindy Sadlowski, the real estate agent handling the sales of the affordable housing units, said she was told Wednesday another payment was due, and work would resume once it arrived.

“I don’t think it will be long, but I don’t know,” she said.

Ironbridge Homes officials did not return calls for comment last week.

The previous week, the company’s vice president of construction, Mike Woelke, said another payment was due.

“We’re a little worried. We just don’t know what’s going to happen. I don’t think anybody does. I don’t think anybody working for Lehman does,” he said.

Housing Authority Director Geneva Powell said the agency took applications for the second lottery but decided to postpone holding it. She hopes it can be held by the end of the year.

“I guess I’m just waiting on a timeline and everybody else is still in limbo, too,” she said.

Completion of the homes isn’t the only holdup.

County building and planning director Fred Jarman said LB Rose Ranch promised several months ago to pursue a zoning text amendment to address the fact that setbacks in the final plat don’t match those approved for the development.

It has yet to do that or sign off on deed restrictions pertaining to the affordable housing units. Until it addresses those matters, the county can’t issue certificates of occupancy for the units, he said.

Powell said the first 10 units could be finished in a matter of weeks if work resumes.

Jarman said the county holds letters of credit based on a subdivision agreement, and it could use that money to finish units. It also could vacate portions of the final plat, he said.


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