Solar Vail proposal could add 65 deed-restricted apartments to town’s inventory

VAIL — The Vail 2027 Housing Plan envisioned the town purchasing deed restrictions on 1,000 new or existing units over the next decade. The plan seems to be paying some dividends.

The latest proposal is from Sonnenalp Properties. That firm has proposed rebuilding Solar Vail, a 24-unit building which the firm already owns. The replacement plan is for 65 studio, one- and two-bedroom apartments. Of those, 25 percent would be offered to individuals or other businesses in Vail. Sonnenalp Properties has proposed imposing deed restrictions on all 65 units and acquiring deed restrictions on another nine units, to replace the number of currently deed-restricted units there.

According to a release from the town, leasing preference would be given to renters who work in town. Limiting the rental pool to employees is seen as a way to keep prices down and keep the apartments out of the town’s short-term rental pool.

Sonnenalp Properties is asking the town to pay $65,000 each for the deed restrictions on the apartments, a total of $4.225 million. That’s a lot of money, but Vail Community Development Department Director George Ruther said the town’s contribution would be only about 20 percent of the project budget.

There’s $3.7 million in the deed-restriction purchase program, called Vail InDEED. That fund was established to buy deed restrictions for both existing units and new projects, limiting occupancy largely to people who work either in town or in Eagle County.

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