ULC Forging New Frontiers: Poudre Commons in Fort Collins
As communities across the Front Range become increasingly desirable places to live, price increases, gentrification, and displacement have worsened. ULC recognizes the importance of creating and protecting affordable real estate that responds to these communities’ specific needs, which is why we’re so excited to announce our acquisition of Poudre Commons, a 23-acre developable site in Northwest Fort Collins, Colorado.
In 2020, Bohemian Foundation donated the land to ULC. The master site, which will be developed with long-time partner, Elevation Community Land Trust, will have approximately 460 mixed-income units, including for-rent apartments and for-sale permanently affordable townhomes. Once the townhomes are built, Elevation Community Land Trust will keep the homes under a 99-year ground lease in their community land trust to ensure permanent affordability for generations to come.
ULC prides itself on partnering with developers that are committed to building attractive affordable housing with no visible difference between market-rate developments, and ULC is also committed to sustainable construction and design, so the result will be a diversity of beautiful, well-designed housing options. The site will also include community amenities, commercial space, and green space to foster education and community building.
A unique and exciting feature of Poudre Commons is that it’s almost entirely surrounded by lush, biodiverse City of Fort Collins Natural Areas. This provides ULC with an important opportunity for placemaking; by integrating the surrounding landscape into the development, the community will be engaged in land stewardship and outdoor activity, increasing physical and mental wellness. There will be multiple, easily accessible green spaces in the development, as well as new trails that connect to existing ones within the Natural Areas, and opportunities for using community spaces to facilitate environmental education. The attention to sustainable development at the site, including using renewable energy resources and energy-efficient heating and cooling systems, are especially important with respect to the surrounding natural resources.
According to the City of Fort Collins’ 2021 Housing Strategic Plan, nearly 60% of their renters and 20% of their homeowners are cost-burdened. This speaks to a deep need for affordable housing that the development at Poudre Commons will mitigate, while providing responsive, place-based infrastructure for education, economic development, and community engagement.