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USA Real Estate Blog

This affordable housing complex is a model for pricey ski towns

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The idyllic Colorado mountain town of Telluride has a current average price per square foot of $717. That’s higher than cities like Los Angeles and Austin, Texas, (though still significantly lower than Manhattan).


The Virginia Placer complex
Photo via CCA

It shouldn’t come as a surprise—ski towns are notorious for their steep real estate prices. Blame it on the beauty that brings wealthy tourists—and the lack of available land on which to build.


Living room with high ceilings
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Photo via CCA

A recent project from Aspen-based architecture firm CCA is looking to change that with a newly opened mixed-use affordable housing project that combines communal living, below-market rate apartment units, and tiny homes. The Virginia Placer development is designed for the Telluride residents who are the backbone of the town’s booming tourism economy. The town recently held a lottery for applicants looking to live there.


Dinging room with hanging pendant lamps
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The communal dining room
Photo via CCA

The complex is comprised of 18 apartment that have soaring ceilings and large windows that look out onto Telluride’s mountains. There’s also 46 single and double-occupancy boarding room-style bedrooms that access communal bathrooms and living spaces.


Loft bed in tiny house
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The tiny house
Photo via CCA

Perhaps more unexpectedly, the complex includes three tiny homes, all with high, angled ceilings, large windows, and a spacious lofted bedroom. It’s a savvy solution that’s growing in popularity across ski towns, as they try to combat rising housing prices and ever-growing demand for affordable housing.

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