Topeka - Echo Ridge, the City of Topeka's much anticipated, innovative, green housing community is now open. Officials from the Topeka Housing Authority (THA), the City of Topeka, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and Kansas Housing Resources Corporation (KHRC) on October 13th, 2011 celebrated the development's grand opening with a ribbon cutting. Located near 21st and California, the newly constructed apartment complex offers 66 eco-friendly rental units, a playground, walking paths, individual and shared gardens, and a community center.
Frank Ybarra, the Chairman of THA's Board of Commissioners, said "I know I speak for our Board when I say how pleased we are with this development. Ten or fifteen years from now every new housing complex will have the features this one has today. We look forward to sharing Echo Ridge with the Topeka community."
Funding for Echo Ridge included $10 million from HUD's Public Housing Capital Fund Recovery Program, an American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 initiative, and $5 million in federal housing tax credits from KHRC.
Fred Bentley, KHRC's Rental Housing Director, said "Echo Ridge a state-of-the-art green development that will serve as a good educational tool for future housing developments across the state. As we near the 25th anniversary of the tax credit program, this is a great way to begin the next 25 years."
Sustainable amenities include Energy Star fixtures and appliances, low-flow water fixtures, passive solar design, reflective roofing, triple glazed windows, eco-friendly paint and floor coverings, photo-voltaic outdoor lighting, ground source heating and cooling, and rainwater conservation. The community center and four of the homes have planted roofs. Nut trees, berry bushes, flowering trees and hardwoods are planted throughout the development. Plantings shade more than half of all sidewalks, patios and driveways.
Rents for the one, two and three-bedroom units range from $50 to more than $400. Income-eligible tenants will pay 30 percent of their income for rent and utilities.
Additional partners include Midwest Housing Equity Group; Mesner Development Company; Architect Tim Shaller; Latimer, Sommers and Associates; Cook, Flatt and Strobel Engineers; Patti Banks and Associates, El Dorado Architects; McPherson Contractors, Inc.; Kelley Construction Company; Columbia Capital Management; the Law Firm of Tenopir and Huerter, and James Ramsey, LLC.
For leasing information, contact the Topeka Housing Authority at 785-357-8842 or visit www.tha.gov. To learn more about KHRC's Housing Tax Credit Program, visit www.kshousingcorp.org.