Senior center developers have eyes on ‘green’ living

By Ken Stephens
The Hutchinson News –

Riverview Senior Residences, a 36-unit senior housing project that received tax credit financing from the Kansas Housing Resources Council in mid-May, will be a model for “green” construction and a key component in South Hutchinson’s revitalization plan.

The development partners – nonprofit Builders Development Corp. and for-profit The Net Giver, both of Kansas City – are expected to begin construction of the $5.5 million project in the 100 block of East Seventh Avenue this fall and finish in late 2013, according to Jeremy Whitt of The Net Giver.

Whitt said it will be a three-story complex built with several sustainable design and renewable energy features intended to reduce operating costs.

Where possible, Whitt said, the project will use local labor and materials to minimize the project’s carbon footprint. Energy efficient heating and air conditioning units will be installed, and the project will have roof-mounted solar and wind energy producing units.

“They will not provide all the electricity,” Whitt said, “but they will offset some of the utility costs of this property.”

The building also will have a Mylar reflective roof to reduce the roof temperature during hot summer days.

“That’s the really exciting stuff,” said Whitt. “If it’s as successful as our test labs have proven, we can see up to a 40-degree reduction in roof temperature.”

He said the developers also are applying for a grant and hoping to install one to three charging stations for electric vehicles on the property. “We’d hope to have a church have an electrically powered shuttle bus that they could park at our property,” Whitt said. “Then we could have access to transportation, and they would have access to the electricity.”

South Hutchinson City Manager Matt Stiles said the housing project is one element in the city’s overall master plan for revitalization. The city, he said, hopes to leverage the project to attract some additional retail outlets to the area.

A recently-completed retail survey found that residents wanted new restaurants and a grocery store, Stiles said, but their top priority was a hardware store. South Hutchinson hasn’t had a hardware store since Tractor Supply Co. moved to 1203 N. Lorraine in Hutchinson in 2004.

The Kansas Housing Resources Corp. approved $5.54 million in federal tax credits to finance the project. In return for the tax credits, Builders Development Corp. and The Net Giver agree to keep rents for the 1- and 2-bedroom apartments in an affordable range below market rate for 30 years. Eligible residents will have to be 55 years or older and have income not exceeding 60 percent of the area median income.

Riverview Senior Residences will be built in the 100 block of East Seventh Avenue on vacant land the developers have a contract to purchase from Jim Davis, a local real estate executive and investor.

“We’re really excited about being one of the principal anchors for revitalization of this section of South Hutchinson,” Whitt said. “We’re happy to be an anchor and help them get it kick-started.”

Those interested in additional information about Riverview Senior Residences should contact Kelley Hrabe of The Net Giver at (816) 686-2416 or

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