Breakthrough: Using Structural Insulated Panels in Workforce Housing

So today was a really big day for my workforce housing design team.

About 8 years ago we began experimenting with structural insulated wall panels in workforce housing.

We began with an easy design – a one-story duplex building – and tallied up the costs/benefits of building with panels over traditional stick-built framing. What we learned was this: By spending a little more on the panels (about $4,000/unit) we were able to attract $11,000/unit of capital waiting on the sidelines to invest in ENERGY EFFICIENT workforce housing.

So we began tinkering with a more complex design – a three-story walk-up garden apartment building. Our team came up with a design that ended up attracting over $19,000/unit of capital for the first of these projects: Davidson’s Landing in Kansas City.

Today we set our first panels at Davidson’s Landing. Our construction guys make it look easy, but trust me – A LOT of coordination and hard work went into planning this.

Cheers to my workforce housing design team. You rock!!!

https://photos.google.com/share/AF1QipMZyN4DPPDFq1kKqIPMxTYaoYZ9rM0fyifYDxKePebQX-K0oqpRz5WABwnrWIoQfg?key=WUNFblp6ejlyYUVyTW1wLS1DQmdQOU5CYnFYOWZR

Johnston Farms Apartment Homes

Received unanimous City Council approval for $18 million of tax exempt bonds for Johnston Farms Apartment Homes, our 120-unit workforce housing development located in Rock Hill, SC.

Our plan is to provide apartment units priced at a discount to market along with job placement services and workforce training incentives to our residents.

I’m really proud of my team for helping me put this deal together.

Here’s a short (4 min) video featuring kudos from City Council members.

Davidson’s Landing Apartment Homes

Tartan Residential closed on a $25.8 million workforce housing development deal on July 22, 2021 – the first of a new class of apartment investments. We started working on this transaction five years ago. We survived COVID. We survived the loss of a key investor last summer. And we survived a $900,000 lumber price spike earlier this year. Yet we still got the deal done.

From the investment banker who worked with us over the past three years to close this transaction: 

“Congratulations Jeff… you are the true definition of tenacity and persistence in my book Sir! What a journey… now go have fun building it!”

I am thrilled to get this deal closed. And I am humbled to have a loyal team of seasoned professionals to work with every day.

The Role of Manufactured Housing in Addressing the Affordable Housing Crisis

If you thought getting workforce housing zoned was hard, just try getting approvals for a new manufactured home community. I know, because that’s what I did in the 1990s. People would rather have a brothel in their back yard than a mobile home park.

From the piece:

“Tacky trailers or the new face of affordable housing? That’s the debate policy-makers and advocates are having across Virginia as they work to figure out what role manufactured units should play in addressing the commonwealth’s affordable housing crisis.”

https://www.nbc12.com/2021/02/15/could-trailers-be-new-face-affordable-housing/

NIMBY Wordplay

Classic NIMBY tactic. Instead of referring to this proposal as a 48-unit affordable housing community, it’s being referred to by opponents as a 300-person apartment complex.

Three observations:
1) “48 units” versus “300-person”
2) “affordable housing” versus “apartment”
3) “community” versus “complex”

This sort of wordplay is really dishonest. If you have a problem with a project, attack it on its merits instead of using word manipulation or rhetoric.

From the piece:

“The uncertainty of what a two or 300 person apartment complex would bring to the area is not something we want to roll the dice on….”

https://www.wtoc.com/2021/02/11/some-concerned-by-port-royal-affordable-housing-proposal/