STERLING – After being thrown off schedule by the weather, a new affordable housing development is fully operational on the city’s west side.
Country Lane Apartments, on West 11th Street between Avenue L and Woodburn Avenue, were originally expected to open for tenants in August, but some soggy spring weather intervened.
“The spring rains set us back quite a bit,” said Jeremy Yost, vice president for Yost Management Co., the project’s Charleston-based developer. “It was just too muddy to get in there and work for a while.”
When they did get back to work, the project provided between 90 and 100 construction jobs. Yost said some of the workers were local, but he didn’t have an exact number.
“We took competitive bids for all the work,” Yost said. “It was a good mix of union and nonunion, and some were local.”
Yost is still trying to fill the two permanent positions needed at Country Lane. One is for an on-site buildings manager, and the other is for a maintenance worker. Both jobs require 20 to 25 hours a week.
“We hope to find a manager to live on site, but the maintenance person doesn’t have to live here,” Yost said.
The $9.3 million development has 48 units in 23 duplex buildings. One-, two-, and three-bedroom apartments are available for lease. Income guidelines determine eligibility and rent. Trash service is provided at no cost, but residents are responsible for all utilities.
People have already moved into three of the units, Yost said. More than 60 applications have been taken for the 45 available units, which come with refrigerator, stove, central air, and washer and dryer hookup. Washers and dryers are also available in the community building. Also provided are a playground, parking spaces, snow removal and lawn care services. Handicapped-accessible units are available.
When the City Council approved the project in fall 2012, some residents at a public hearing voiced concerns about the complex.
Some had safety concerns, while others questioned the need for more housing for the low- to moderate-income demographic.
Alderman Barry Cox, who was the lone dissenting vote on the project, said he still hears from concerned citizens.
“They are still afraid we’re going to have problems with safety,” Cox said, “and I’m as concerned as they are.”
Cox said he worries that too many people live in a tight space.
“The way they built this has some wondering where all these people will go,” he said. “There’s no green space for kids, and the adults don’t stay in the house all the time, either.”
Yost said they are carefully going over applications. Criminal background checks will be done on all leaseholders and residents 18 and older.
“No sex offenders or felons will be allowed in the units,” Yost said.
Company representatives are available at the Country Lane community building from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday, Wednesday and Friday through the first week in January. After that, they will be there from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday. The community building is the red building near the main entrance at 1016 Yost Court.
Family Size Annual Income
1 Less than $24,240
2 Less than $27,660
3 Less than $31,140
4 Less than $34,560
5 Less than $37,380
Monthly Apartment Prices
1 Bedroom: $217-$320
2 Bedroom: $266-$410
3 Bedroom: $331-$550
Yost said the company was able to stay on budget despite the delay, and the developer is pleased with the final product.
“It took a little longer than we wanted,” he said, “but we’re excited about opening and getting the units filled.”