The Teton County Board of County Commissioners, Jackson Town Council, and Jackson/Teton County Housing Authority are excited to announce that the Housing Authority is under contract to acquire the land beneath the Virginian Recreational Vehicle (RV) Park for a future affordable workforce housing development. Waterton, a national real estate investor based in Chicago and Orion, a developer based locally in Jackson, bought the iconic hotel and adjacent RV Park in August 2020.
The Housing Authority has agreed to purchase the 5-acre parcel of land adjacent to the hotel, currently occupied by a 100-stall RV Park, to help ensure that community members and people in our local workforce can make their home here in Jackson. Now, about 40% of local employees commute to work. In addition, one-quarter of Town Police, School District Staff, and Fire/EMS employees and more than half of all Sheriff and Lower Valley Energy employees commute from outside the County to work daily. Developing more opportunities for local people to live locally is critical to maintaining a lights-on community.
Mayor Hailey Morton Levinson says, “This is an ideal property for community housing. Its location directly in the center of town will provide easy access to food, transportation, and other amenities. Considering our Comp Plan’s goal to continue making Town the Heart of the Region and create complete neighborhoods, the Town is thrilled to acquire this land to build more housing for our community.”
Teton County Board of County Commissioners Chair Luther Propst adds, “The Virginian RV Park is an ideal location for affordable workforce housing. At just over 5 acres, the parcel is large enough to provide housing at a scale that is meaningful to mitigating our local housing crisis. With Housing Authority ownership, we have an opportunity to create a partnership to provide 100% deed restricted housing for first responders, critical service providers, and other members of the local workforce. What a great use of SPET housing funds. Kudos to everyone who has made this happen.”
The Jackson / Teton County Housing Authority will utilize Housing Supply funds to purchase the land. These funds include mitigation fees from private developers, General Fund contributions from the Town and County, and recently approved Specific Purpose Excise Tax funds, knowing that our community voted for more housing projects as recently as November of 2022. Town and County leaders will collaborate on a community-focused vision for the site before releasing a Request for Proposals for development partners. This new neighborhood will go a long way toward achieving the need for 2,000 deed restricted homes in the next five years to meet the current and future needs for housing our workforce locally.
“We are pleased to have worked alongside the Town, County and their staff to enter into this contract for affordable housing for our valley,” said Ted Staryk, a partner in the Virginian Lodge. “The zoning on this property, the surrounding amenities such as the library and pathways, and its proximity to START make this the perfect location for future community housing.”