Colby and Thomas County are so excited to be able to have such beautiful and affordable housing available. The residences are the perfect example of repurposing a structure for the betterment of a community!
Overland Park, Kansas (PRWEB) September 15, 2014
Cohen-Esrey Affordable Partners, LLC recently facilitated the ribbon cutting for its latest project—St. Thomas Historic Residences in Colby, Kansas. The conversion of the former hospital into affordable rental housing was several years in the making and involved the use of historic and affordable housing tax credits.
Closed for over ten years, the property had begun to deteriorate when Cohen-Esrey Development Partner Tim Quigley first visited the site. Today, where once the halls were filled with dust and littered with trash, there are now 30 beautiful one and two bedroom apartment homes filling quickly with happy new residents.
Brette Hankin, Executive Director of the Colby/Thomas County Chamber of Commerce said, “Colby and Thomas County are so excited to be able to have such beautiful and affordable housing available. The residences are the perfect example of repurposing a structure for the betterment of a community!”
Quigley said, “A significant challenge for rural communities like Colby is to create adequate housing for their citizens. St. Thomas Historic Residences is a shining example of the successful partnership between private industry and the public sector to accomplish this.”
Nearly half of the new apartment homes were occupied within days of the project’s completion and the balance are expected to be occupied by the end of September, providing further evidence of the quality of the rehabilitation and the demand in Colby for this type of housing.
The success of the project was due in part to Cohen-Esrey’s collaborative approach to development. In addition to Cohen-Esrey Affordable Partners, participants included tax credit partner Cohen-Esrey Capital Partners, LLC, and general contractor Construction Technologies, LLC. The property is now being leased and managed by Cohen-Esrey Communities, LLC. The project’s general partner is Preserving US, a not for profit organization dedicated to restoring historic structures, developing low income housing, and providing resident services.
Portions of St. Thomas were built as early as 1941. Originally a hospital, the building was also used for district offices for Colby Public Schools until being closed over ten years ago. The original wing is an example of late 19th and early 20th Century Georgian Revival architecture while the 1948 wing is Modern Movement—International Style. Taken together, the structure is an important local landmark, forming a crucial part of the fabric of the Colby community.
John Hinman, the managing director of the project’s general contractor, Construction Technologies, said, “We truly get a kick out of bringing these historic buildings back to life. This is a special building due to the amount of historic fabric that we were able to maintain throughout the interior and exterior of the building.”
R. Lee Harris, President and CEO of Cohen-Esrey summed it up this way: “We like to think of the St. Thomas Historic Residences as a ‘two-fer.’ An historic building has been restored and preserved, and spacious, quality affordable housing has been made available for the citizens of Colby. We’re humbled by the supportive response from the community.”
About the Cohen-Esrey Family of Companies
Through their collaborative approach to affordable housing development, the Cohen-Esrey family of companies creates thriving communities that change lives. Active throughout the Midwest since 1994, Cohen-Esrey Affordable Partners, LLC has used affordable housing and historic tax credits to create over 4000 units of affordable housing for seniors and families. Working with countless individual investors, banks, insurance companies, pension funds, and a host of other multi-family housing owners, Cohen-Esrey Communities, LLC has managed a cumulative total of 500 apartment communities comprising more than 60,000 units and located in 173 markets. Its management portfolio has included garden apartments, mid-rises, high-rises, luxury apartments, condominiums, and cooperatives. Cohen-Esrey Capital Partners, LLC makes a market in various federal and state tax credits. Its principals have invested in approximately $310 million worth of tax credits since 2000. Acting as either a construction manager or a general contractor, Construction Technologies, LLC provides a cost-effective enhancement to new construction, renovation, and historic restoration of commercial and multi-family projects. More information can be found here: http://www.cohenesrey.com and here: http://www.ConstructionTechKC.com.
About PreservingUS, Inc.
PreservingUS, Inc is a not for profit organization dedicated to restoring historic structures, developing low income housing, and providing resident services.
Our passion is to bring life back into our neighborhoods, while providing safe and affordable housing to many working Americans.
To learn more about PreservingUS, please visit http://www.PreservingUS.org.