Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Affordable Modular Multi-Family Housing for Juneau

An article from the Palm Harbor on-line newsletter

Barges carried the modular multi-family condo units to Juneau, Alaska, where the local developer completed the on site construction.

In Juneau, Alaska, affordable modular multi-family condo units are coming to the rescue a growing housing shortage. Although Juneau is thousands of miles to the north, the city faces an affordable housing shortage much like the rest of the country. Limited labor forces, weather-controlled construction timelines, and challenging local terrain combine to make residential development using traditional construction methods difficult in the area.

Recently, Constellation Development’s Travis Arndt joined forces with an experienced construction partner he had used in the past – the commercial division of modular home builder Palm Harbor Homes in Millersburg, Oregon.  Together they collaborated to design, engineer, construct and deliver a 36-unit housing complex featuring six modular, three-story condo buildings. Each condo has 2 bedrooms, 2 baths and 1,084 square feet of living space.

The modules for the Juneau project were constructed in Palm Harbor’s environmentally protected building center in Millersburg, Oregon, where they also build manufactured homes and modular homes.  Once these six modules were completed, Palm Harbor transported them in 72’ lengths to a shipyard near Seattle. There Arndt cut the modules to fit them onto skids specifically sized to maneuver around the shipyard. Then they loaded the modules onto barges for the trip north.

In Juneau, the modules were unloaded from the barges and trucked to the construction site where they were carefully attached to prepared foundations. During this set process, Constellation Development’s crew rejoined the modules and then completed the on site finishing work.

On site in Juneau, Travis Arndt and Constellation Development rejoined the multi-family modules and completed the on site finish out of the project.

“It’s great to be able to make this big step to get some good housing for Juneau people!” Constellation Development’s Travis Arndt said. “There is definitely a demand for it.  Working with Palm Harbor’s modular construction allowed us to build during times the weather would not let us build in Juneau. And doing the modular construction off-site in the factory helped to eliminate much of the noise and traffic congestion that would have taken place during a long traditional construction period if we had built these units on site. This is good for the community as well as the nearby wetlands.  I’ve worked with Palm Harbor before and knew that they were the right partner for this job.  I look forward to working with them again in the future.”

Currently, this much-needed housing complex is complete and provides onsite parking spaces for its residents.  It’s located on what was a 2.4-acre vacant lot near an existing site-built complex and an elementary school. The nearby wetlands are still thriving. The current value of the entire project is approximately $3.8 million.

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