Work began in earnest this week on the $7 million Hamlin-Bell apartment complex at 10th Street and Willis Avenue in Perry, the site of the former junior high school.
A facility serving human needs was deposited at the work site last week, and this week the earth moving began.
Construction of the 36-unit Newbury Living senior housing complex was delayed by unforeseen environmental issues and various technical requirements of the Iowa Finance Authority but is expected to move along steadily now.
“Last week had a pre-construction meeting for the Newbury project,” Perry City Administrator Sven Peterson told the Perry City Council at its Tuesday night meeting. “I noticed today they started pushing dirt around, so it’s great that that project finally got underway.
The first Hamlin-Bell units will be available for occupation by March 2017, according to building plans.
The waiting list of tenants eager to occupy the new units has grown over the last few months while the city of Perry and Newbury exchanged parcels, adjusted prices and tried to deal with a long-forgotten underground gasoline tank on the former public school grounds.
The Hamlin-Bell complex won city approval in 2013 after several presentations made by Newbury President Frank Levy before the Perry City Council. Levy was joined by his associates, Robert Rafferty, attorney with the Des Moines law firm Brick Gentry, and Brent Schipper, architect at ASK Studio in Des Moines.
The city of Perry gave Newbury Living the Willis Avenue land for the project, a buy-in that helped the company win the low-income housing tax credits that are helping finance the construction.