The Carbonate Street Apartments is a 60-unit all-electric affordable housing development in Buena Vista, CO affiliated with Fading West Development. Fading West partnered with the Town of Buena Vista to complete a $17.6 million modular development with an onsite childcare facility. It was envisioned by Buena Vista about five years ago when the town acquired a parcel of land and wanted to help solve the affordable housing problem.
Like-minded developers decided to make this idea a reality. Before the apartments were chosen, there were several meetings with the general public of Buena Vista to gather input and decide the best use of the acquired land. The town then chose to donate the land to create the affordable housing project at 80-120% Area Median Income (AMI).
Fading West is a manufacturer of modular homes. Factory-built modular homes generate significantly less material waste than on-site construction, so by eliminating delivery of construction materials to the site, transportation related emissions are also vastly reduced.
The project also entailed partnering with CCEF to help make these multifamily rental units all-electric and to install heat pumps in each unit. The Division of Housing awarded the Town of Buena Vista both a $1.35 million Transformational Affordable Housing Grant and a $1.65 million Innovative Housing Incentive grant. The total financing amount from CCEF for this project came out to $1,725,000, bridging the two grants to make these all-electric apartment units possible.
Fading West decided to make the development all-electric because of the importance of steering away from fossil fuels. With the state grants that Fading West also received, there were certain requirements involving the need for all-electric and solar attributes to the apartments. Simmons relayed that with these requirements in mind, they always had the mindset of building towards a sustainable development. CCEF was able to step in with financing to help bring the vision to life.
After discussing with Impact Development Fund, a Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI), Scott Simmons, Fading West Director of Development, recounted that they decided the best fit for their financing was CCEF. With this partnership, Simmons expressed that they were excited to be able to move the project forward in a timely manner. “[CCEF] allowed us to apply for needed funds and move through the process quickly,” Simmons said.
With heat pumps placed in each unit, each resident will have the ability to heat and cool in an efficient, more cost-effective, and environmentally friendly way. A heat pump delivers comfort by circulating refrigerant; in the winter, the refrigerant absorbs heat from outside and essentially pushes warm air in. In summer, the refrigerant collects heat from indoors and pushes it outdoors. Because it moves heat from one place to another instead of generating it, a heat pump uses less energy to warm your home than a conventional electric or gas system. Simmons said he believes that these energy updates will improve the lives of residents with the reduction of energy bills.