Gypsum’s Spring Creek Village is ready to go vertical
Delivery of modular building units has commenced and soon assembly will begin for first 150 income-restricted apartments
GYPSUM — As it turns out, last Friday wasn’t the easiest day to start shipping the 43,000-pound modular units that will soon be assembled to become the valley’s latest affordable housing complex.
“We had two units on-site and four stuck on the other side of Glenwood Springs because of the weather,” said Gerry Flynn of Polar Star Development, the company responsible for Gypsum’s new Spring Creek Village project.
In the coming weeks, those six modular units will have lots of company. A total of 120 shipments are planned and those deliveries ultimately will be assembled into 150 units in five buildings — the first phase of the 282-unit apartment project planned east of the Stratton Flats neighborhood.
“We will start to go vertical, stacking those modular units with a crane, in about 10 days,” Flynn said. “There are five buildings in this phase, and we have three foundations virtually complete, and the other two will be done in the next couple of weeks.”
Units coming this summer
Crews from Ewing Construction have been at work at the Spring Creek Village site since October when the final construction and bond financing for the project was signed.
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The modular units are being built in Boise, Idaho. Flynn said it is the same builder that produced the units that became the Chamonix townhomes in Vail.
“Each truck that rolls down the highway is carrying a 43,000-pound box,” Flynn said. “The trucking company hopes to bring down about 12 boxes per day.”
In addition to the modular components, a 400-ton capacity crane will soon travel to the area.
“When that crane arrives, I think everyone in Eagle County will know it,” Flynn said.
Spring Creek Village was able to lease storage space at the vacant land adjacent to the project, and that’s where the modular units will be delivered prior to being assembled.
“We will start erecting the buildings before the last box is here,” said Jeff Spanel of Polar Star Development. “The vertical construction will begin in mid-February and go on for about five weeks. The last building will be set by the end of March.”
Once the buildings are assembled, on-site construction is still required. Framers are building the roofs and Patriacca Construction will build the unit stairwells. Spanel said the buildings will be completely finished by the end of August and initial occupancy should happen in June.
“Our project is very repetitive, which is efficient for multi-family housing. Every building footprint is the same and every building is a three-story, 30-unit structure,” Flynn said.
The first 150 units in the $60-million Spring Creek Village plan will be income-restricted. The exact parameters of the leasing rules are still being developed and Polar Star plans to open a leasing office on-site by the end of February.
Once leasing is underway for the income-restricted part of the project, Flynn said the company will make its schedule for the second phase of Spring Creek Village.
“We hoped to close on financing for Phase 2 this summer and move into construction in the fall. Once we go into leasing, it will be much more efficient if we know when Phase 2 is coming,” he said.
Flynn noted that FirstBank is the construction lender for the project. “They have been hugely supportive. I am glad we went with a local lender because they know this market.”
Now, if the weather will cooperate, the project will really start moving.
“It had been pretty nice for a month, and then the day we start shipping we get all this snow,” said Flynn.
“But the trucking company is based in Montana, so they are used to dealing with weather conditions,” Spanel said.