As the “burro bar”– a donkey carrying cold drinks in his satchel– walked around the construction site, those gathered to celebrate 44 new homes at Lazy K in West Gunnison were having a great time. The ribbon cutting ceremony for the homes, built by local developer High Mountain Concepts and the City of Gunnison, was a true celebration of community. The donkey drew kids, adults and dogs alike, curious to pet him and grab a drink, and the taco truck served up delicious food. New neighbors chatted with each other, and with the people that made this neighborhood possible. As the party got under way, the construction crew wrapped up their day, eager to grab a beer and a taco.
Lazy K is a housing success story. The City of Gunnison purchased the land in 2018 and worked with a private contractor to build the project, which was completed in five years. Forty four of the homes are deed restricted based on income, and another 21 will be sold on the free market. The combination of affordable housing and market rate homes signals a new way of developing these types of projects- seamlessly combining the types of housing, rather than segregating the affordable housing. By selling some of the homes at market prices, the developer is able to help pay for the affordable homes, as the material and labor costs are the same regardless of if the home is sold at a lower price.