When developer George Carr of Beacon Management Corporation needed a contractor to build affordable senior housing at his Churchview Farm property, he turned to someone he knew—KMW Builders.
John Kavanagh, President of KMW Builders, is one of three principals in the firm, joined by Lee McAllister, CEO and Mike Weaver, Owner. Their company focuses primarily on affordable housing, senior living, multi-family, upfits and rehabs. Most of the firm’s work is Energy-Star certified.
“I knew John in a prior life and had worked with John’s father on earlier builds,” said Carr. “I have known that family, its capabilities and its integrity for many years,” he continued.
Churchview Farm, located off Old Chapman Rd. in Greensboro, was KMW Builders’ first contract as a newly-formed company, according to Kevin Sasser, Project Manager with KMW. The complex was built at a total cost of about $5.3 million and is named for its location between two churches. Weather-related delays extended construction time to about 14 months and the complex was finished in April 2010. All 68 of the craftsman-style apartments for seniors were occupied within a few months following completion.
“We operate in a very specialized area of the industry,” said Carr. “We need builders like KMW who are both capable of dealing with regulatory bodies and familiar with the requirements of each.” Beacon has completed 30 similar complexes, nearly all of which they manage and nineteen of which are for seniors.
Financing for Churchview Farm was particularly intricate, according to Carr. Multiple sources were involved, each with its own regulations and requirements, including a below-market-interest-rate loan from the NC Housing Finance Agency (NCHFA); a loan from the City of Greensboro; state tax credits; Federal stimulus money, formerly offered as tax credits; and bank financing.
“This complex mix of financing accomplished a couple of very significant things,” said Carr. “First, it enabled us to keep rents affordable. Also, it exhibited the effectiveness of stimulus money on the local economy. We created jobs with Churchview Farm, both during construction and after.”
“KMW Builders has experience with each of these funding sources and is especially knowledgeable about regulations from HUD and NCHFA regarding senior housing. KMW’s experience added significant value to our work,” Carr continued.
Rental rates for the complex range from $383 to $594 for one-bedroom units and from $448 to $658 for two-bedroom units. Section 8 vouchers are accepted through the NCHFA and the Greensboro Housing Authority.
“We offer one- and two-bedroom apartments, all on ground level, for persons ages 55 and over,” said on-site property manager April Pritchett. “Our eight two-bedroom units went very quickly,” she continued. “Our residents are extremely happy here. We have had very little turnover.”
Each apartment has a stove, dishwasher and washer/dryer connection, although the complex includes a community laundry facility, as well. All appliances, heating/ cooling systems and lighting are Energy-Star certified. Since each unit is at ground level, there are no issues with noise from other tenants overhead. Walking trails, a gazebo, outdoor sitting areas and a picnic area with tables and a grill are located on the property.
One of the most attractive aspects of the complex is its community center. Decorated with fine furnishings and antiques, the center houses a room with computers for tenants’ use; a conference room for resident services; a large sitting area with fireplace and flat screen television; several game tables and a chess table; a smaller sitting area; and a kitchen complete with granite and stainless steel.
On a recent day in the community center, resident Elzenia Moore spoke about what she likes there. “I like living at Churchview Farm because of the hospitality of the management and the residents are friendly,” she said. Resident Geraldine Overton nodded in agreement, adding that it is “peaceful, quiet, the unit is spacious and the management is good.”
“I recommend KMW Builders without reservation,” said Carr. “They are great, capable people who are loaded with experience. We rely on continual revisions in estimating costs, which seems to be one of KMW’s greatest traits. In fact, construction of Churchview Farm came in significantly under budget which is a true testament to their abilities.”
“We like to keep surprises to a minimum in our work. In fact, we want it to be as boring as we can get it,” said Carr with a smile. “KMW Builders gave us just what we wanted.”