Development using locally manufactured housing proposed north of downtown Rifle
A developer is proposing to build a neighborhood between West 16th Street and 14th Street Marketplace in Rifle with locally manufactured houses.
Inspired by homes created using shipping containers, Eco Dwelling LLC owner Fernando Argiro told Rifle City Council on Wednesday he wants to build 79 eco-friendly homes made from recycled, cold-formed steel.
Eco Dwelling recently established a housing factory in Garfield County, according to city documents. There, the company plans to manufacture 900-square-foot houses and place them on 3,000-square-foot lots.
“We’re bringing a new technology with this concept,” Argiro said.
The concept for the machinery to build these style houses comes out of New Zealand. Once assembled in his factory, it takes one day to take the entire house to the lot, Argiro said.
Each house comes with two bedrooms and two bathrooms, stainless steel appliances and metal roofs 14-feet high. Answering a question asked by Rifle City Council member Chris Bornholdt on home prices, Argiro said the target goal is to sell lots between $250,000 and $275,000.
Customers are also buying the property underneath the house, Kuerston Construction owner John Kuerston said. His company is involved with the proposed project.
“I think we’re setting the standard here,” he said.
Before the development can proceed, Rifle first must annex 9.34 acres of Garfield County-owned property at 301 W. 16th St. Eco Dwelling wants to build 62 lots at this site.
Another 17 lots on 1.93 acres are proposed for a parcel at 14th Street Marketplace but already fall within city limits.
Both parcels, however, must also go through rezoning and subdivision processes, which require public hearings and decisions from the Rifle Planning and Zoning Commision as well as City Council.
In addition to West 16th Street and 14th Street Market, Eco Dwelling has outlined plans to develop parcels east of the Rifle Animal Shelter as well as west of Grand River Hospital. Answering any concerns over possible increases in roads, sewer and water maintenance costs, Kuerston said costs should be minimal considering the amount of units proposed on the size of the subdivisions.
“Keep in mind, you get a pretty large increase in property tax revenue from these newly developed lots,” Kuerston said. “It’ll be pretty rapid over a very short period of time.”
Concerned over potentially introducing 200-250 new housing units to the area, Rifle City Council member Sean Strode recommended a traffic study be completed first.
“I think it’s super cool, and I like the idea,” he said. “(But) I’m a little overwhelmed by the amount of units you’re proposing.”
Rifle City Attorney Jim Neu said it should first take a couple months to go through the annexation process before the proposal can go through rezoning and subdivision procedures.
Reporter Ray K. Erku can be reached at 612-423-5273 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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