FORT COLLINS, Colo. (March 20, 2014) Community leaders, development partners and new residents celebrated the grand opening of Legacy Senior Residences of Fort Collins during a ribbon-cutting and open house today.
The 72-unit independent-living, affordable-housing community was developed by Cornerstone Associates in collaboration with the Fort Collins Housing Authority. A number of organizations participated in helping bring this new community to Fort Collins, addressing a critical need for affordable housing for seniors in the area.
UnitedHealth Group (NYSE: UNH), including its Optum and UnitedHealthcare businesses, provided $13 million in Low-Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC) equity for the $14.7 million project through a partnership with U.S. Bank. The Colorado Housing and Finance Authority approved the use of tax credits for the development. Additional funding was provided by the City of Fort Collins, and U.S. Bank also provided a $7.6 million construction loan and a first mortgage.
"Legacy Senior Residences is an excellent example of private-sector partners and government agencies working together to bring affordable, vibrant and accessible housing to seniors in our community," said Fort Collins Mayor Karen Weitkunat. "We are appreciative to all the partners involved and for their commitment to the residents of Fort Collins."
Legacy Senior Residences is a Green Communities Development. Green Communities Criteria was established from the design stage through construction. Design elements also focus on accessibility and ease of use, with multiple elevators, wide hallways for easy access and handrails in the common areas. The community accommodates people 55 and older, with 35 one-bedroom and 37 two-bedroom units. Amenities include fully equipped kitchens, energy-efficient appliances, a washer and dryer in each unit, and onsite management and services.
The community also boasts many common areas where residents can visit and enjoy the company of neighbors, including a community room, dining room, library, fitness center and craft room. There are also large covered patios and walking paths that will be beautifully landscaped beginning this spring.
"Today's celebration is the culmination of many years of hard work and planning," said Bobbi Jo Lucas, president of Cornerstone Associates. "We are extremely grateful for the support and assistance we have received from so many in the community, with particular appreciation to Julie Brewen and the Fort Collins Housing Authority, whose passion and teamwork helped produce this beautiful new community."
The $13 million investment by UnitedHealth Group is part of its Affordable Housing Investment Program, which has provided more than $150 million in financing for community development projects throughout the United States, $35 million of which is in partnership with U.S. Bank.
UnitedHealth Group's Optum and UnitedHealthcare businesses employ 1,350 people in five offices throughout the state, and serve the health care needs of more than 1.1 million Coloradans, including people enrolled in employer-sponsored plans, Medicare and Medicaid beneficiaries, as well as military service members, military retirees and their families.
"This project is an example of many partners coming together to help address an important need for affordable housing and creating new opportunities for seniors to live independently in a safe, accessible environment," said Jan Eyer, senior vice president of Optum, which offers senior care services to older Coloradans. "We are grateful for the opportunity to be a major supporter of this important community development for seniors."
From January 2012 through June 2013, U.S. Bank extended $125 million in community development loans and investments throughout Colorado. The company operates 158 branches and employs more than 2,600 people in the state.
"Our shared commitment to affordable, quality housing is increasing housing options available for seniors living in the Fort Collins area," said Kate Ferguson, senior vice president of Commercial Real Estate for U.S. Bank. "We're proud to partner with UnitedHealth Group to help ensure that seniors in need of affordable housing have a place to call home."
Legacy Senior Residences is located on 1.97 acres of land in the northern portion of Fort Collins with good visibility and accessibility. The neighborhood features a variety of uses such as office, retail, commercial and industrial. To the east of the property is the Cache La Poudre River, and to the north is a nature preserve with a walking trail along the north side of the Poudre River.
Bobbi Jo Lucas
Fort Collins Housing Authority