Development—Aspen, Colorado

Benedict Commons

Benedict Commons, a 27-unit green affordable housing community, is a model solution to the housing affordability crisis faced in gateway resort communities like Aspen, Colorado where the average home price is over $3 million. As seen in many resort destinations, the livelihood of entire communities is compromised when local employees cannot afford to live in town are forced to suffer long and often costprohibitive commutes.

Jonathan Rose Companies and its Aspen affiliate, Curtis/AHDC, developed Benedict Commons on behalf of the City of Aspen to bring the areas employees home to Aspen. Only three blocks from the famed Ajax Ski Mountain, these downtown homes were sold to local employees earning approximately $17,000 to $38,000 per year and are deed restricted so as to remain permanently affordable.

Although unit resale prices only rise with the CPI, purchasers enjoy the benefits of excellent returns on equity. For example, if an employee purchases a unit for $100,000 with $5,000 down, and the CPI is 2.5%, in one year the unit price will rise to $102,500 and the resident will have made a 50% return on their investment.

Living downtown not only improves the lives of the residents but also prevents the environmental impact of employee commutation into the city. Other green features include super insulation, Low-E glass, cross-ventilation, and recycled building materials. The units are gathered around a south-facing interior courtyard providing passive solar heat and community gathering space.

Selected Awards

  • Ahwahnee Community Livability Award
  • American Institute of Architects – Colorado Chapter, Merit Award
  • Aspen Historical Preservation Commission Honor Award
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Project Profile

A 27-unit affordable housing community model living solution for local employees in Aspen

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Project Team
Harry Teague Architects
Project Status

Completion: 1996

Total Project Size / Budget
20,000 SF
$5 million
Total Units
27 Affordable Units