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Wednesday, May 4, 2016

East Ward Village housing project makes progress

Friday, November 9, 2012

From left, Construction Manager Dave Dreifurst with EAD Constructors of Omaha, Nebraska, and McCook Housing Agency Executive Director Rebecca Dutcher visit on the back porch of Eastward Village "Unit 1," Thursday morning. The unit is on track to be ready for move-in by the end of the year.
(Bruce Baker/McCook Daily Gazette)
McCOOK, Nebraska -- The first of several duplexes being built as part of the East Ward Village senior housing project is nearing completion. The McCook Housing Agency anticipates it will be ready for move-in by the end of the year and will begin advertising for tenants next week.

Although advertising efforts have yet to begin, interest in the housing project has already been good. Executive Director Rebecca Dutcher said the housing agency had been contacted by 63 interested parties, resulting in 43 applicants by Thursday.

The project will provide tenants with an exceptional level of energy efficiency, according to the project's Construction Manager, Dave Dreifurst with EAD Constructors of Omaha, Nebraska. Dreifurst said the geothermal heating and cooling system the duplexes use, combined with R-44 and R-30 insulation ratings, make the units very economical.

Bruce Baker/McCook Daily Gazette
The duplexes on the former playground will rent for approximately $500 per month plus electricity, including heat. The geothermal electric furnaces installed in them use the earth's core temperatures for more efficiently heating and cooling.

The duplexes are approximately 1,026 square feet, including an attached one-car garage. Each unit's garage has a door leading into the kitchen, so residents won't have to go outside to enter their homes.

According to Dutcher the one bedroom apartments are 726 square feet and will rent for approximately $400 per month. As with all units at Eas Ward Village, they include appliances such as washer and dryer, refrigerator, stove and dishwasher. All units have big walk-in showers.

The one bedroom units are all located on both the first and second floors of the former school building, which is equipped with an elevator.

The project's two-bedroom apartments, which will rent for about $475 per month, are 929 square feet, and according to Dutcher, have the same roomy feel of the one-bedroom apartments. They also include appliances and are on both the first and second floors of the former school building.

The Actual rent will vary according to the size and amenities of each unit and will include water, sewer and trash expenses. All maintenance is provided by the McCook Housing Agency, which will also serve as the property manager. Rent for apartments in the former school building will include hot water expenses, as there are central water heaters.

Upon completion, the project will provide 12 housing units via six duplexes in addition to 15 apartment units within the former school building. All of the duplex units will be two bedroom units. The school building will have one- and two-bedroom units and contain an indoor community room in the southwest corner of the building.

Two units in the school building and one duplex unit are specifically designed for handicapped tenants, but all of the units are ADA-accessible.

Dutcher said the project is on a slow lease schedule, anticipating to lease only four units per month the first eight months, primarily due to NIFA and purchase agreement requirements.

Applicants must meet income and age guidelines and Dutcher said the housing agency is anticipating new income guidelines to be released by the Nebraska Investment Finance Authority. NIFA is the distributor of tax credits used to build the property and the project must follow their guidelines.

Residents will be allowed one pet, either a cat or a dog, which requires a security deposit and compliance with the city's immunization and vaccination requirements.

The housing project is being constructed on property northeast of the intersection of East Fifth and East E Streets, the former home of East Ward Elementary.

For more information, or to apply, stop by the McCook Housing Agency at 502 Missouri Ave. Circle or call 308-345-3605.

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