Fort Madison developer hopes to solve rental shortage - WGEM.com: Quincy News, Weather, Sports, and Radio

Fort Madison developer hopes to solve rental shortage

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FORT MADISON, Ia. (WGEM) -

Searching for an affordable apartment in many areas in the Tri-States can be difficult.

One Fort Madison developer is building a unique apartment complex that he hopes will help solve the problem.

Developer Todd Schneider received a $2.9 million federal Community Development Block Grant to turn the old middle school into an affordable housing complex. Schneider says there is a lack of rental properties in the area and this one brings it's own flair.

The old Fort Madison Middle School has sat vacant for a year now after a larger, more modern school was built on 48th street.

Schneider says he wants to transform the classrooms inside into affordable apartments.

"The rental market is really tight right now in Fort Madison and it's looking to get a lot tighter with the fertilizer plant coming in, so the next two years especially it's going to be really tight," said Schneider.

Schneider says he thinks his new 41 unit apartment complex will help a lot of residents find good housing.

"A lot of good people that cannot get loans with the banking industry, going through what it is, so they're forced to rent," said Schneider.

The complex will have 35 three bedroom, 4 two bedrooms and 2 one bedroom apartments. The other unique aspect to this complex is that it will be the only solar powered apartment complex in the state.

This is something Ideal Energy President Troy Van Beek, who is working on the project, says will save tenants a lot of money.

"We're going to reduce their utility bills dramatically. We're looking at the largest solar array in Iowa," said Troy Van Beek.

Van Beek hopes the apartment building will not only save residents money, but start a trend of using different energy sources in the area.

"The people that come here as tenants don't necessarily have to become sustainable. They are sustainable by the design of the building. They're saving energy just by renting here. There's a high value to that," said Schneider.

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