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Jackson hospital ready to build 15 apartments for its employees

JACKSON (WNE) — St. John’s Health could break ground on a new 15-unit apartment building for hospital employees in Jackson this year.

The Jackson Town Council voted unanimously Tuesday to approve the hospital’s three-story Karns Apartment Building development plan. The modern gray and white building will sit on 0.34 acres of vacant land at the corner of South King Street and East Karns Avenue, catty-cornered from StillWest Brewery and Grill.

The 15 units are intended to be rented to hospital staff, St. John’s Chief Communications Officer Karen Connelly told the Jackson Hole Daily.

There will be five studio units and 10 2-bedroom units, with three apartments that will be deed-restricted for the Teton County workforce, meaning that even if the ownership changed hands, three apartments will still have to be occupied by people who work at least 30 hours a week in Teton County, among other restrictions.

The workforce units will include one studio and two 2-bedroom apartments.

The hospital will be able to build an extra 8,169 square feet beyond what’s typically allowed in the high density neighborhood zone because the plan includes the three workforce deed restrictions under a regulation that exchanges more density for restrictions intended to make housing more accessible to local workers.

The project also will generate $39,715 for affordable housing through a mitigation fee paid by the developer.

While the project got councilors’ approval, it also brought up bigger questions about the direction of development in Jackson. Of the three units deed restricted as workforce housing, Councilor Jessica Sell Chambers said, “Thank you, I just think we can do better.”

The units aren’t “capital ‘A’ affordable,” she said, meaning they’ll never be restricted to people making less money.

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