Rent plus utilities: $600 per month? |

Rent plus utilities: $600 per month?

Studio apartments including utilities for rent at Kimball Junction with mountain views and close to shopping and bus lines: $600 per month.

Sound good?

Developers say next December those earning less than half the Snyderville Basin’s area annual median income of nearly $85,000 could qualify to rent the roughly 400 square-foot units.

"We’re really excited to see the affordable housing piece at Newpark move forward," Summit County Planning Director Michael Barille said. "It’s a need that we’ve had a real crunch that’s been expressed recently by the community."

The average monthly rent for affordable units at Newpark Town Center will be less than 40 percent of the area’s median income, Newpark spokesman Chris Retzer said.

He doesn’t expect the cost for rent with utilities even for the most expensive units to exceed $584, while some may pay around $438 to live near the edge of the Swaner Nature Preserve at the intersection of Ute Boulevard and Highland Drive.

"You’re going to have rent at $300 a month, basically," Newpark partner Marc Wangsgard said. "It will be December at the absolute latest that these units will be fully occupied."

A final plan for the affordable housing was approved by the Summit County Commission in January.

Wangsgard insists several of the building’s tenants will be those "who live and work in the Junction."

"Because of that, we think it’s appropriate to ask for some help," the builder said before requesting the Summit County Commission waive development fees for the project totaling around $80,000.

"That’s less than $2,000 per unit," said Wangsgard who added that Newpark will also ask the Snyderville Basin Special Recreation District to waive impact fees that total nearly $4,000 for each of the 38 apartments.

Federal tax credits, which control rents at the units for 99 years, provided by Utah Housing Corporation, allowed Newpark to go beyond requirements of its development agreement, which set rents for the units based on 80 percent of the area median income, he said.

"This will be for-rent housing restricted at a couple different rates, but [it] will truly be housing that works for people who are working on an hourly wage within the resort projects or retail part of Newpark," Wangsgard said. "You’re not going to find another project that’s worthy of a fee-waiver program like this one in a long, long time."

But workers in Summit County must have first dibs on the apartments, stressed commissioners, who did not make a decision on whether to waive Newpark’s building fees.

"You’re getting some benefit (from the federal government)," observed County Commissioner Ken Woolstenhulme during a recent discussion with Wangsgard.

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