LARNED — Meadow-Brooks LLC, a senior housing project, has been dedicated to the memory of local contractor Michael Bartz.
Vicky Dayton, Housing Opportunities Inc. executive director, said MeadowBrooks uses Michael Bartz’s initials M and B.
The name was chosen to pay tribute to the Larned plumbing contractor who had worked on several projects with HOI, including several in Great Bend.
Bartz’s family, including his widow Sandi and his sons Jeromy, Brandon and Trevor, were special guests at the groundbreaking ceremony.
“It was a very nice honor for our family, but still a little bit heartbreaking,” Sandi said. “We were surprised that Vicky did that.”
Bartz passed away in July 2013, but left a legacy of professionalism shared by all members of the HOI family, Dayton said.
“Michael was on board as an HOI subcontractor through several of our projects and he is dearly missed,” Dayton said. “Naming MeadowBrooks for him is our way of honoring his life and work.”
MeadowBrooks consisted of six duplexes with 12 two-bedroom, 1,200 square-foot apartments. They are constructed as senior citizen/handicapped accessible. The duplexes are income-based and generally are filled by the time they are available, according to Dayton.
The duplexes will be completed in phases and will be available in July. August, September and October.
MeadowBrooks is the fourth rental property in Larned. HOI has previously developed Prairie Villas (2001), HearthStone (2010) and a one-family rent-to-own project, Street of Dreams (2007).
Including MeadowBrooks, HOI will have built 36 senior/handicapped rental units and 10 family units in Larned.
The $2 million project is the 14th affordable-income-based rental project completed by HOI since 2000.
HOI also built three single-family homes in 2003, part of the 57 homes built between 2000-2006 as a participant of the USDA Rural Development Self-Help Housing Program.
Members of its board, staff and honored guests gathered recently at the 400 block of 18th Street in Larned for a ground-breaking ceremony introducing HOI board members and local officials.
“We were fortunate to be able to have many of our partners join us, including Kansas Housing Resources Corporation, HOI board members, MeadowBrooks Subcontractors, and the HOI staff,” Dayton said.
Each of MeadowBrooks’ 12 apartments includes an attached garage, storm shelter and all-electric appliances. Maintenance, snow removal and lawn care are provided. All of the apartments are one level with wide doorways and halls, but one apartment is designed specifically to accommodate a wheelchair.
HOI has developed housing projects in Ellinwood, Larned, Great Bend, Hoisington, Lyons and Sterling.
HOI has awarded more than $26 million in funding since 1999 for the construction of safe, affordable-income housing in the area. HOI owns, manages and maintains all of its 14 area properties.