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June 3, 2010
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Construction begins on low-income senior apartments

The developer of an apartment complex for low-income seniors broke ground Wednesday on the $6.5 million project.

Construction on the planned 42-unit building is expected to start June 14 with a completion date in 12 to 18 months, said Bill Truax, senior vice president of Community Development Inc.

The Sierra Ridge Apartment Community, 1870 Russell Way, will have 23 one-bedroom and 19 two-bedroom units from $348 to $709 per month.

"We're trying to quench some of the need that we see in that market," Truax said.

Hilary Lopez, the chief of federal programs for the Nevada Housing Division, said there is high demand for low-income housing among the senior population in Carson City.

"We've seen the occupancy rates remain strong at our senior properties," Lopez said. "So we feel there is still a substantial, unmet need for affordable senior housing."

Lopez said about half of the funding for the project comes from federal stimulus funds and a collection of tax credit programs. The other half comes from private investors and lending from First Independent Bank in Carson City.

CDI, based in Caldwell, Idaho, also developed the Autumn Village senior housing complexes that were completed in 2006 near the Carson City Senior Center. CDI, a non-profit organization, has developed similar housing projects in 15 others states.

Plans for the Sierra Ridge apartments started in May 2009, but were delayed as a result of a turbulent lending market, Truax said.

The project will sit on 3.5 acres behind the Boys & Girls Clubs of Western Nevada.

"It's an interesting mix, and we all hope it will work," said Gary Sheerin, who sits on the board of directors for the senior center. "This is truly a Carson City community project."

Sheerin said when the Autumn Village apartments were completed, more than 100 people applied to live there. He said he expects the Sierra Ridge apartment complex to generate the same level of interest.

Washington-based Ebenal General, Inc., was selected as the project's general contractor. Truax said only local subcontractors will be hired to work on the project.

"The intent of the stimulus funds is to affect the local market economy and that's what we're really trying to do here," he said.

He said the project is expected to generate about 50 jobs, adding all suppliers will be Nevada based.

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The Nevada Appeal Updated Jun 3, 2010 01:29AM Published Jun 3, 2010 01:27AM Copyright 2010 The Nevada Appeal. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.