Funding will add a dozen affordable housing units to city’s revitalization plan

KANSAS CITY, KS – September 26, 2011 – (RealEstateRama) — The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development awarded the city of El Dorado a $500,000 grant today that will allow the city and its local partners to include affordable housing as it revitalizes its historic central business district or “Main Street.”

The grant is provided through HUD’s HOPE VI Main Street Program that gives financial support to small towns to ensure they have the resources to include affordable housing in their ongoing effort to revitalize older, downtown business districts.

“HUD is delighted to have a role in bringing El Dorado’s downtown back to life,” said HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan. “This funding will create jobs and allow the city to include affordable housing into the efforts to rejuvenate the town center.”

El Dorado will use the funding to transform Ellet’s Opera House and the Gish Building into affordable housing. Two developers – Gish Apartments, LLC and W&M Enterprises, LLC – formed WMS Partnership. The new entity will join the city and PKHLS Architects to oversee and design the construction of the new housing.

The project will create 12-upper-story, affordable one and two-bedroom housing units. Ten of the units will be reserved for low- to moderate-income residents. The remaining two units, one in each building, will be reserved for very low-income residents. The revitalization plan will upgrade the interior of each building, but maintain the historical integrity of the two sites. The partners also plan to incorporate Energy Star components, including installing – energy efficient windows; refurbishing original doors that will be Energy Star rated; installing high efficiency Energy Star rated appliances such as refrigerators, stoves, ovens, water heaters, heating and air systems, and washers/dryers.

Amenities in the opera house will include storage units, a common laundry facility, and an accessible elevator. Also, the YMCA, Salvation Army, and farmer’s market are in close proximity to the project site. Although the first floor of the opera house has remained occupied, the second floor has been vacant for decades and was formerly used as a performance hall. The city will use other funding sources to remodel the first floor of the opera house for 5,000 square feet of commercial and retail space.


HUD’s mission is to create strong, sustainable, inclusive communities and quality affordable homes for all.
HUD is working to
strengthen the housing market to bolster the economy and protect consumers; meet the
need for quality affordable rental homes: utilize housing as a platform for improving quality of life; build
inclusive and sustainable communities free from discrimination; and transform the way HUD does business.
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Donna White
(202) 708-0685

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