Change orders approved for Howard Commons apartment complex
By Kevin Boneske
HOWARD – Change orders totaling nearly $29,000 for the Howard Commons apartment complex were approved Monday, June 22, by the village board.
The most expensive of the 14 change orders came to $4,500 for window blind color revision.
Located between the YMCA and Meadowbrook Park, the Howard Commons was designed as three luxury apartment buildings with 84 units in Building A, 39 units in Building B and 45 units in Building C.
The apartment buildings were constructed in their respective alphabetical order with Building C opening to tenants April 1.
Village Administrator Paul Evert said a change order of $2,900 is for smoke curtain wiring for elevators in Building A and B.
“At some point, the state decided we had to put smoke curtains in for the elevators, which in the event the fire alarm triggers, a metal curtain falls down in front of the elevator shaft and closes it off on the third and second floor,” he said. “The state inconsistently enforced that throughout the state, and finally decided one day, at our expense, that we’re going to have to do it.”
Evert said construction on Building C has gone smoothly, which accounts for why there hasn’t been more change orders.
“This is probably it (for change orders in Building C),” he said. “The building’s open and (being) rented.”
Evert said Building C had a contingency fund of $300,000, based on 3 percent for an estimated $10 million building, and total change orders added up to $56,956.
Andy Klimpel of Altius Building Company appeared before the board to answer questions regarding the latest change orders.
When asked about $1,800 spent on two trash chute offsets, he said the precast plank portion was in the right location, but too tight to the wall for the chute to function properly.
Klimpel said $2,035 was spent to remove and replace loose tiles in the lobby of Building A over a shrinkage crack believed to be caused by the building continuing the move over the period of a year.
Evert said it has been a challenge to attract tenants to Howard Commons during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“A lot of people who normally might sell their homes and move in are certainly not thrilled about the idea of listing their home and having people walk through it,” he said.
Evert said Building A and B are at more than 90 percent occupancy with a little more than half of Building C having signed leases.
Chris Haltom, director of administrative services, said Howard Commons is showing good results through the first five months of 2020 with a net income of $134,572.
Though the village hasn’t collected much rent yet from Building C, a monthly interest expense is being recorded on the building.
“That is good news because once rentals start coming in, we should see the net income grow,” he said.
The village served as the developer of the Howard Commons to spur development in the Village Center and not have to provide large economic development incentives through tax incremental financing.
Alliance Management has an agreement with the village to manage and market Howard Commons.