Construction is progressing on Casalina Chateau, the six-unit subdivision rising in the lot directly north of Veterans Park and across Eighth Street from the Perry Elementary School.
The Perry City Council approved the project last October for Urbandale-based Capax Infiniti Housing Inc. The three duplexes were designed by Grimes-based Abaci Consulting.
The duplexes would be Perry’s first affordable-housing project with supportive services, according to Capax Infiniti’s La Toya Guevara of Urbandale.
Guevara said the company has been working in Perry “for at least two years now, providing rental assistance, so we’ve already been working with some other non-profits here, with CIRHA (Central Iowa Regional Housing Authority) and New Opportunities.”
She said Casalina Chateau residents would receive such services as state-protective services, ESL services, collaboration with local schools and other “non-traditional resources” aimed at keeping the tenants in stable housing situations.
Just a block or two away from Casalina Chateau, the long-dormant SunAm development is also showing signs of life. City officials gathered along Sunflower Street Friday afternoon for a groundbreaking and rededication of the development, which was subdivided in 2002 but attracted few builders.
The city hopes its recent urban revitalization plan, which offers a 10-year property tax abatement on new homes and a five-year break on home improvements, will attract new construction, and the revival of the SunAm properties is an early sign of movement.
“We’re very excited by this development,” said Perry City Council member Dr. Randy McCaulley. “It offers some great growth potential for the community.”
McCaulley was joined at the groundbreaking by fellow Perry City Council members Chuck Schott, John Andorf and Dean Berkland, who all spoke in praise of new housing.
Perry City Administrator Sven Peterson spearheaded the tax abatement plan in coordination with Marsha Cory, a development specialist with Simmering-Cory, the consulting company that prepared the city’s blight assessment, and Robert Josten, Perry’s bond attorney from the Des Moines firm of Dorsey and Whitney.
The groundbreaking crowd was entertained by a man playing a guitar and a woman on the keyboard who sang classic songs from the 1960s and ’70s. Soft shell tacos were provided by a local restaurant, and cake was served about 4 p.m.