Mega factory coming to Grand Junction geared toward housing crisis
GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. (KJCT) - To the southwest of Community Hospital in Grand Junction, is a large field of dry clay, which an investment team believes could hold the key to making homes more affordable and attainable.
Mosaic Housing has acquired 177 acres near the hospital with the goal of building what it calls the Mosaic Modular Home Mega Factory. A factory designed to build prefabricated modular homes.
“The Mosaic Modular Home factory, is specifically designed to build multi-story, multi-family homes,” said Ted Steers, the vice president of Mosaic Housing. “People often consider modular housing as an inferior product. This facility will be things to the highest standard.”
The factory itself will be around 224,000 square feet. Steers said it will be a zero emissions building to help reduce the potential carbon footprint. The factory will have a series of innovative machines to build the homes, in what Steers said will be a safer, more efficient manner.
“The Mosaic Housing factory can actually build a wall a 40 foot wall panel in six minutes,” said Steers. “Then the windows just get laid into it using an overhead crane. Now there’s a person that guides it in with their hands and puts it into place, but there’s no ladders involved there’s no risk of injury and the speed of getting it in a fast safe and efficient manner, is much quicker. People tend to prefer to work as operators running computers and componentry. I think people prefer to work in a safer environment that’s more assisting machine versus just using brute strength to get out there.”
According to Steers, the factory will be able to produce any type of design that an architect puts into it. The units produced will be built up to any code standard, with all governmental inspections done in the factory before the product even leaves for the job site.
“Our job is to make it less expensive for the developer to show up on a site and build it without cost overruns,” said Steers. “We take care of all the inspections at the factory level, so you no longer need to have the city engineer come out and check your drywall, check your plumbing, check your electric.”
Gov. Polis visited the site on May, 20. While on site he signed HB 1282, the The Innovative Housing Incentive Program into law. The new law can award grants to businesses that build certain types of housing, or in the case of Mosaic Homes, it can provide a loan to build a manufacturing factory.
“We need more housing of course so people can afford to buy homes in Mesa County,” said Gov. Polis. “But what it also is, is the newest technology, it’s innovation. It’s modular housing, meaning they’re pre manufactured. Same or better quality, they’re absolutely incredible. This is going to be a big part of the future.”
According to Steers, the Mosaic Modular Home Mega Factory is modeled after other factories that are already up and running in different countries in Europe and this will be the first of it’s kind in the United States. Steers said the factory technically could make single family homes, but his focus is on multi-unit housing.
“We need townhouses, we need duplexes we need apartments for rent,” said Steers. “We need all three of those things and that’s what we’re focused on. We’re focused on solutions for the attainable housing market more so than the luxury home, condominium market.”
Steers said at best construction could begin this summer on the factory and his team’s goal is to have the first homes begin coming out of the factory about a year later. Once it’s up and running at full capacity, Steers said it could potentially produce at 100 unit apartment building every single month. However, the factory is just one part of Mosaic Homes’ vision for the area. The goal is to build a community on the land.
“Beyond attainable housing, we really want to build a mini city,” said Steers. ”It’s called Mesa Trails. We’re going to have hotel providers. We would like all sorts of support organizations.”
As for what made Steers and the other members of his team decide to bring the factory to Grand Junction, Steers said it was the people here in the community.
“Grand junction has the same needs that all communities need in Colorado have; the lack of attainable housing,” said Steers. “What attracted me to Grand Junction to build a business, to build the factory was the abundance of educated young people that were being produced by the educational systems that are quite vast in that area. “I know Grand Junction is the right place for the factory and I can’t wait to get it opened and start building.”
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