Officials from multiple organizations turned out on a cool, cloudy Wednesday afternoon to help Housing Opportunities Inc celebrate the official groundbreaking of the new Quail Cove senior housing development on the west side of Great Bend.
“This is an exciting occasion,” Great Bend Chamber of Commerce Director Megan Barfield told those gathered. “There’s been a lot of work and a lot of partnerships going into play to make this happen.”
HOI is set to begin construction on the new 24-unit duplex project adjacent to Cherry Village near Eisenhower Avenue and Parrish Court early next week. With a waiting list of over 200 individuals, HOI Executive Director Callie Miller is pleased to get the new 24-unit project started.
“We’re so excited to be able to create more living areas for all of our (applicants) that are anxiously waiting for somewhere to go,” Miller said.
Miller, who has been with the organization for nearly seven years, said she’s proud to see the project that has been in the works for nearly a year and a half come to fruition.
“I’m so excited I was able to be a part of the organization, from the time that we started this, being able to see it come from just a hope to ‘we’re not sure if we can do this,’ to ‘we can do this’, and here we are now we are doing it,” she said.
Miller said she is grateful for the tireless work of her staff, and that of many community partners who helped see this project through.
Proud community partnership
Many of those partners were on hand to help HOI break ground on the senior housing development Wednesday afternoon.
Among those in attendance was Great Bend City Administrator Kendal Francis, who said the city is proud to be able to partner with HOI on a project he sees as meeting a pressing need in the city with the current housing shortage.
“(The project) allows people to step into maintenance-free housing, which then has a ripple effect,” he said. “Some of those houses that they’re currently in become available for young professionals and those looking for their first-time home purchases.”
Miller said she was grateful for the efforts of Francis and other Great Bend city officials in addressing rezoning efforts, as well as the development of a maintenance plan to address drainage concerns from neighborhood residents.
In February, the Great Bend City Council, at the recommendation of the Planning Commission, approved the rezoning of the land where the development will sit from multi-family residential to Planned Unit Development (PUD) at the request of HOI. The PUD rezoning will allow for the homes to be built closer together and for smaller lots, which was necessary to make the project possible.
The city also enlisted KAW Valley Engineering of Salina to develop a water drainage plan to help address potential flooding concerns in the neighborhood.
Miller also thanked representatives from Keller Real Estate for their assistance in the sale of the land to HOI, as well as Kansas Housing Resources Corporation for their financial support, as well as project developer Mesner Development.
Construction specifics and timeline
The income-qualified Quail Cove units will be limited to individuals 55 years and older.
Miller said work on the project will begin next week with the construction of a northbound extension of Parrish Road north of Eisenhower Avenue into a cul-de-sac, which will, at this time, be the only entrance into the complex. There are currently no plans to extend the street through north to Broadway.
The duplex units will be built with HOI’s standard two-bedroom, one-bathroom floor plan, with a single attached garage, Miller said. They plan to use different color palettes for elements such as siding, counter tops, flooring and cabinets. Appliances will be furnished, along with trash pickup, lawn care and snow removal.
Currently, Miller said, the goal is to have the first four units constructed by January 2022, with the rental process for the units beginning in February. After that, she said, the goal is to construct an additional four units per month for the six subsequent months until the 24-unit complex is complete