A Steamboat Springs private real estate investment firm has surpassed its first equity goal of $21.5 million to pursue development of its first five Colorado Opportunity Zone projects, including one adjacent to Las Colonias Park in Grand Junction.
The company, Four Points Funding, is taking advantage of the state’s opportunity zones, a Colorado Office of Economic Development and International Trade program that aims to get companies to invest in low-income urban and rural communities for such things as health, education and infrastructure projects.
The company, which also has offices in Denver, has identified five projects on the Western Slope, including a plan to build 96 units of multi-family homes for middle-class residents and 55 units of glamping, camping and van spots on a 12-acre site near the Riverfront at Dos Rios project. That’s a proposed 58-acre mixed-use development that borders the Las Colonias Park. (Glamping is a combination of the words “glamour” and “camping,” meaning glamorous camping.)
Four Points is looking to construct a similar glamping site in Naturita, an affordable housing project in Glenwood Springs, an RV park in Meeker and a retail center in Craig.
The company says it’s focused on rural Colorado, in part, because of the rising costs of housing and the need for affordable homes for middle- and lower-income people. Because of its fundraising successes for Opportunity Zone projects, the company is launching another fund, a $50 million equity plan that likewise would focus on rural Colorado communities.
“Most investors and developers continue to focus on the urban centers in Colorado,” said Stephanie Copeland, a former executive director of the economic development office under former Gov. John Hickenlooper. “While there are plenty of people moving to Colorado’s metro areas, Colorado’s gateway towns have even larger population growth, unrivaled outdoor recreation, urban amenities and a combination of local startups, companies relocating and remote work.”
The company has been involved in rural Colorado projects since 2013, and launched its first Opportunity Zone Fund last year. It’s plan was to raise at least $20 million every six months. The program provides tax credits to companies that invest in opportunity zones.
In western Colorado, zones have been identified for much of the eastern half of Mesa County from Grand Junction to De Beque and Grand Mesa, and parts of Delta, Montrose, Garfield and Rio Blanco counties.