Denver firm buys Blue River Apartments in Silverthorne for $9.2 million

An affordable housing complex on the northern edge of Silverthorne recently sold for twice its assessed value, making it the largest real estate transaction in Summit County this year.

On March 6, the Blue River Apartments complex was purchased for $9.2 million by Tralee Affordable Bronco, an LLC registered to Tralee Capital Partners in Greenwood Village. During the last round of property assessment in 2013, the 78-unit complex was valued at $4.6 million, according to the Summit County assessor’s office.

The previous owner, CAH-IDA Blue River LLC of Delaware, purchased the property in 2008 for $5.25 million.

Despite the eye-catching sales price, Michael Kelly of Tralee Capital says his firm often spends more than other affordable housing owners to give residents peace of mind far into the future. The complex was built in 1994 and still relies on the same aging, inefficient lighting and plumbing fixtures it had on opening day.

“Our game plan on all of our assets is to be long-term owners,” Kelly said. “We spend a tremendous amount of money, more than 99 percent of affordable owners, to ensure the long-term viability of assets.”

As an affordable housing complex, the property is supported by low-income housing tax credits through the Colorado Housing and Finance Authority. CHFA officials say the assessed value of a property is used only to gauge tax liability, which doesn’t take into account the potential upgrades proposed by Tralee Capital. The $9.2 million purchase price is based more on rent potential than tax liability.

Blue River Apartments is one of three affordable housing properties in Silverthorne, along with the nearby Villa Sierra Madre complexes overseen by Archdiocesan Housing of Denver. Units at all three properties are available only to households that earn 60 percent or less of the average median income, known as AMI.

The AMI in Summit County is $36,420 for a one-person household and $41,580 for a two-person household. Blue River Apartments has a mix of 48 two-bedroom units and 30 three-bedroom units, which are currently available for $945 per month and $1,150 per month, respectively. All of the 78 units are set aside for low-income households.