By Barbra Murray, Contributing Writer
Ames, Iowa—Eastwood of Ames, a 60-unit affordable housing community owned by Community Housing Initiatives Inc. (CHI) and located in Ames, Iowa, has just emerged from a $10.6 million renovation that converted the 41-year-old building into a sustainable property.
A 56,100 square-foot low-income housing destination, which provides residents the opportunity to avail themselves of a community room and offers children a newly built playground, Eastwood occupies a nearly four-acre parcel near downtown Ames at 420 E. 7th St. The apartment community features one- and two-bedroom apartments, as well as three-bedroom townhomes in four buildings. And now all of those buildings are green. CHI had a helping hand with construction activities from Koester Construction Company Inc. during the approximately one-year process.
Sustainable features added through the retrofit include Energy Star appliances, green-certified carpets, energy-efficient windows and 16 SEER central air conditioners in the residential units. Ames Mayor Ann Campbell’s Green Team, a group of businesses that promotes and helps facilitate properties’ usage of energy efficiency, rewarded CHI’s green rehabilitation effort at Eastwood with over $47,000 in rebates. The project also benefited from approximately $743,600 in federal Housing Tax Credits and nearly $4 million in American Recovery and Reinvestment Act Section 1602 funds.
CHI has owned Eastwood since 2007 and decided a few years ago that the timing was right to transform the property in order to usher it into the world of environmental friendliness. “Given the overall benefits, it’s a good idea to go green,” Matt Miller, communication and marketing director with CHI, tells MHN. The changes made to Eastwood will allow for significant savings on utility costs for building residents and the owner. And CHI believes that protecting the environment is the right thing to do. “We are trying to reduce our carbon footprint,” he adds.