LAKEWOOD, Colo. (CBS4) – Construction crews are breaking ground Thursday afternoon on a new affordable housing complex in Lakewood that was once an abandoned office building.

(credit: Metro West Housing Solutions)

The renderings may look like the latest upscale high-rise coming to the Denver metro area, but the 150-unit complex is secured for families making $50,000 or less. Located at 5800 West Alameda Avenue, it offers residents breathtaking views of the Rocky Mountains and downtown Denver.

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(credit: Metro West Housing Solutions)

“We started walking up the stairs, as we got further up, the views just became more and more apparent how incredible this building was,” said Ryan Lunsford, the principal at WJL Affordable Housing Consultants. “By the time we got down, we were already scheming on how we could make a deal work.”

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(credit: Metro West Housing Solutions)

Crews will have to demolish parts of a tower and then construct a new building on top of an empty parking lot that is part of the property. Designers say the layout of an office building will actually help to create more common spaces, areas that all residents can share and gather in as a community.

“This is people’s homes,” said Brendalee Connors, director of development for Metro West Housing Solutions. “We really believe that affordable housing should be beautiful housing.”

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Applications will be available in early to mid-2018 with the building set to open in the fall of the same year.