Gov. Tony Evers recently announced additional funding support for multifamily housing projects across Wisconsin, including $2 million for West CAP’s own Prairie Heights project going up in Eau Claire. Funding comes in part from the Wisconsin Housing and Economic Development Authority (WHEDA) and the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) in a joint effort to help affordable housing developers meet the rising costs of construction, interest rate increases, and supply chain delays.
The Prairie Heights affordable housing project, taking shape at 3155 Birch Street, is an ambitious undertaking between West CAP and the Gerrard Corporation, who have partnered on numerous projects to construct affordable rental units using cutting-edge, climate-friendly energy generation and conservation technologies.
The Prairie Heights property will include sixty rental units, fifty-one of which will be designated and affordable for households earning between 30% and 80% of the county median income, and nine of which will be rented at market-rate. Twelve units will be set aside for permanent supportive housing, disabled veterans, or others as risk of homelessness. Western Dairyland Economic Opportunity Council will have an office on-site to provide services for eligible residents. Prairie Heights will be fully accessible and contain one, two, and three-bedroom apartments, each with a full kitchen, in-unit laundry, and spacious living areas. Building amenities will include a fully furnished community room, fitness room, and a number of gathering areas including open-air space on the rooftop.
A key feature of this housing project is its extensive use of on-site solar panel arrays projected to provide a large percentage of the energy needed for this all-electric building, as well as air-source heat pumps and other measures to dramatically reduce the project’s annual net greenhouse gas emissions. The funding designated by the Governor’s office will help the project cover the rapidly rising material costs so the project can reach this goal and in turn, keep utility costs low for tenants.
Gerrard Companies is a real estate development company formed in 1954 by its founder M. William Gerrard, his momentum carried on the family’s vision in real estate practices and careers. Today, they provide residential, commercial, brokerage services, general contracting, real estate development services, construction development services and real estate management. The company focuses on quality innovation designs that endure and provide long-term value. Following through on their commitments, they speak plainly open and honestly about their intentions. Gerrard Companies believes in key partnerships that include municipalities, state and federal agencies, nonprofits, minority owned businesses to name a few. Additionally, the projects have also included materials and mechanical systems that reduce carbon footprint and utilize mother nature’s free solar sun power.
Cornerstone Architects, LLC has been providing architectural services and has over 40 years of experience. Under the leadership of Bradley S. Kortbein, they also have experience in general contracting, real estate development, construction management, and real estate management. These projects have also included materials and mechanical systems that include solar systems.