By Molly Priddy, 1-28-13
||Caption: Construction continues on Depot Place, a 40-unit affordable housing complex for seniors on East Center Street in Kalispell. - Lido Vizzutti | Flathead Beacon
The bulk of the work on the skeleton of a three-story apartment complex for low-income seniors in Kalispell is finished, and the inside work transforming these shells into homes is getting underway.
And according to Alex Burkhalter, vice president of Missoula-based company Housing Solutions, more than 50 people have already expressed interest in applying to live in the apartments.
Housing Solutions and The Sparrow Group are responsible for the complex located on the corner of East Center Street and Third Avenue EN. The Sparrow Group built subsidized housing for families – Spring Creek Apartments – in 2009, and there was every indication that the Flathead had a major need for such housing at that point.
“All of our market studies had always indicated for both family and senior properties,” Burkhalter said. “When Spring Creek was done, we started looking for a possible location for a senior property.”
That search led to the new building site, which Burkhalter said was too good to pass up because of its proximity to downtown and Depot Park.
“It was one of those things when we saw the ground we were like, ‘This is it, we’ve got to go after this one,’” Burkhalter said.
The resulting property includes 40 apartments, with one- and two-bedroom options. There will be a community room with a kitchen and two multi-purpose rooms as well.
Residents must be at least 55 years old and have a maximum income of 60 percent of the area’s medium income rate as published by the Department of Housing and Urban Development, he said.
In Flathead County, that would mean the most a one-person household could make each year is $23,280, and a two-person household would have a maximum income of $26,640.
Depot Place was built using housing tax credits from the federal government, which are then administered through the state, Burkhalter said. This helped with construction costs – around $4 million – but will not subsidize operation costs.
There will be an onsite manager, Burkhalter said, and monthly rent, which includes all utilities, will range from $415 to $575 for one-bedroom apartments and $495 to $650 for two-bedroom apartments.
The complex hopes to open its doors for tenants in late May or early June, Burkhalter said. So far, 54 people have called, Burkhalter said, though some of them may have already found housing. Still, he noted that the complex has not advertised yet, and the level of interest indicates a need for low-income housing in the Flathead.
Depot Place is not yet taking applications because the applications are time-sensitive, Burkhalter said, but interested parties can call 406-756-1204 and have their name added to a list.
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