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A Transit Accessible Senior Housing Development in Thornton, Colorado

Four-story residential building with balconies on each floor and a side entrance and garage door.
Aerial view of a four-story residential building with a lawn and sidewalk on one side and parking spaces on two sides.
Four-story residential building with balconies and a landscaped courtyard in the foreground.
Four-story residential building with a lawn and children's play equipment in the foreground.


Home > Case Studies > A Transit Accessible Senior Housing Development in Thornton, Colorado


A Transit Accessible Senior Housing Development in Thornton, Colorado


Crossing Pointe North is an affordable senior apartment building in Thornton, Colorado, a midsized suburb approximately 10 miles north of downtown Denver. Developed in 2019 by the county's public housing authority, the apartments are near a new commuter rail station offering direct service to downtown Denver and beyond. Crossing Pointe North was the first phase of a multigenerational apartment community; the second phase, Crossing Pointe South, opened next door in 2023. Crossing Pointe North received a 2022 Award of Excellence from the National Association of Housing and Redevelopment Officials.

Planning a Transit-Oriented Development

Since the mid-2000s, Maiker Housing Partners, the public housing authority for Adams County, Colorado, has been acquiring available land to develop new housing. "We can't compete with the investment groups out there who can move quickly and have a lot of cash, so focusing on new construction has given us the ability to add additional affordable units," explained Steven Kunshier, Maiker's vice president of real estate development. In the 2010s, as the Regional Transportation District (RTD) undertook a major expansion of light and commuter rail throughout the Denver region, Maiker began focusing on acquiring land near planned stations. In 2014, the authority purchased one of the few remaining vacant parcels near the proposed Thornton Crossroads/104th station to develop a multigenerational affordable rental community. Like many cities in the Denver metropolitan area, Thornton has a housing shortage, and housing prices have increased significantly over the past several years.

The city of Thornton identified the area surrounding the Thornton Crossroads/104th station as an ideal location for high-density housing in its comprehensive plan and actively supported Maiker's proposal. In addition to rezoning the property for residential use, the city waived most water and sewer tap fees, resulting in a savings of nearly $1 million. The city also provided an easement over adjoining open space to ease pedestrian access to the train station. In addition, the developer worked with both the city and RTD to connect the development to a neighboring drainage pond that was being constructed for the station. Eliminating the need for a large detention system onsite created more space for parking and residents, allowing Maiker to develop more than 200 units on the 5-acre site.

Funding Crossing Pointe North

Maiker initially planned to develop all three buildings as a single project but found that dividing the development into two phases simplified the process of applying for tax credits and other funding sources. The first phase, Crossing Pointe North, cost $21 million (table 1), more than half of which was funded through low-income housing tax credit equity. The state also provided funds through its Housing Development Grant. Additional support came from a HOME Investment Partnerships program loan awarded by the county and a loan from the city's community development block grant program. Furthermore, by state law, this development is exempt from local property taxes. A quarter of the units in Crossing Pointe North are supported with HUD project-based vouchers.

Table 1: Funding Sources for Crossing Pointe North

Low-income housing tax credit equity $12,624,000
Maiker Housing Partners loan 1,755,000
State of Colorado Housing Development Grant 640,000
Adams County HOME Investment Partnerships loan 830,000
City of Thornton community development block grant loan 103,000
First mortgage 4,920,000
Deferred developer fee 442,000
Total $21,314,000

The Apartments

Crossing Pointe North is a 4-story building with 64 apartments, of which 14 have two bedrooms and 50 have one bedroom. All the apartments are income restricted: 7 for households earning up to 30 percent of the area median income (AMI), 9 for those earning up to 40 percent of AMI, 33 for those earning up to 50 percent of AMI, and 15 for those earning up to 60 percent of AMI. The building also features laundry facilities, a clubhouse, and a multipurpose room that can be used for activities such as arts and crafts, fitness classes, and movie nights. The courtyard, which offers seating areas and vegetable gardens, was designed to encourage healthy lifestyles and community building. Several of the ground-level units have patios and walkup entrances that face the courtyard.

Crossing Pointe North and its sister property are Enterprise Green Communities. The building's tight envelope, light-reflecting roof, and strongly insulated windows significantly reduce energy use, and all units are equipped with ENERGY STAR® appliances. In addition, most of the courtyard's landscaping is drought tolerant.

The apartments are across the street from a commercial corridor and the RTD station, and residents can walk to restaurants, banks, pharmacies, and a grocery store. Crossing Pointe is also near a large park and trail network. From the RTD station, residents can commute to downtown Denver in approximately 20 minutes and connect to other regional rail lines from there.

A Multigenerational Community

The complex was completed in October 2023 with the opening of Crossing Pointe South. This second phase consists of two 4-story buildings that are adjacent to Crossing Pointe North. Families occupy many of Crossing Pointe South's 142 apartments, which serve households earning between 30 and 70 percent of AMI. Crossing Pointe South has a computer room, fitness center, and community kitchen that also are available to the senior residents next door. Seniors continue to have exclusive access to the amenities in Crossing Pointe North. Residents of all three buildings can congregate in the courtyards, a design decision that Kunshier believes will foster interaction between residents of different generations. "We're hoping this spurs some really good connections, especially as we try to tackle some of the loneliness issues that people face in the post-COVID era," he said. Kunshier notes that many of the senior residents seemed excited by the prospect of sharing their community with younger households. "It's yet to be seen, but we hope mixing both families and seniors could be a model for future communities." Maiker continues to develop affordable housing throughout the area and, as of early 2024, is working on another project replicating the design of Crossing Pointe North.

This article was written by Sage Computing, Inc, under contract with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. The contents of this article are the views of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views or policies of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development or the U.S. Government.