Friday, April 17, 2015

Guerdon Wins Huge Sacramento Project

A one-of-a-kind midtown apartment complex is back on track, with a revised design and a new supplier of its modular living units.

After months of delays, Zeta Communities, which manufactures modular units in North Highlands, has been replaced by Idaho-based Guerdon Enterprises as the main subcontractor for the Eviva Midtown apartments at 16th and N streets.

The change in subcontractors was “all about scheduling,” said William Fleissig, an executive with Atlanta-based Integral, the project’s lead developer. “We had a schedule to keep and that may have been a problem” for Zeta.

Howard Koenig, Zeta’s chief executive officer, said Wednesday there were no hard feelings over the change. “I think they changed the schedule a bit and it didn’t fit our production schedule, so from our standpoint it was appropriate,” he said.

The project, which was initiated by the Capital Area Development Authority, has been in the works for about a decade. Groundbreaking finally occurred last September, but work stalled after that.

Wendy Saunders, CADA’s executive director, said the delay had a “silver lining.” It allowed her team and Integral to review the project and tweak its design.

“It looked a bit institutional,” she said of the original plans. The new look includes “more relief and reveal. It’s definitely more “residential” in appearance.

Those modifications, as well as more significant structural changes, resulted in higher costs, leading CADA executives to ask their board to accelerate the $3 million property tax rebate granted to the developers.

Fleissig said he expects to see foundation work begin this summer on the six-story building, which will have parking and about 5,000 square feet of retail space at ground level.

Work on the first of the 118 modular apartments will begin at Guerdon’s plant in May. Those units will be hauled here by truck, possibly stored at Sacramento’s downtown railyard and delivered to the construction site as needed. They’ll be “stacked” atop the building’s concrete podium, starting in late August or early September, Fleissig said.
“The stacking is very fast. They can do maybe four or five (units) a day once they get going,” he said.

Once in place, the prefab modules will be bolted together while plumbing and electrical connections are made. Finally, a prefab roof and the building’s stucco “skin” will be added. The projected completion date: spring 2016, with monthly rents ranging from about $1,700 for one-bedroom units to $2,200 for two-bedroom apartments.

Fleissig, whose company is planning Eviva-branded apartments in several other U.S. cities, marveled at the ability of Guerdon to mass-produce modular housing at its massive Boise, Idaho, plant and erect major projects in a matter of days.

Fleissig said he’s convinced modular construction could become the standard for apartment projects because it allows for much faster build-outs and more efficient use of materials.

Twenty years from now, he said, industry officials will probably look back and say, “My God, why didn’t we do this sooner?”

No comments: