Canal Commons, a vision for affordable housing that began many years ago, is quickly becoming a reality! Thank you for allowing us share these updates with you:
In late 2019, the City of Green River issued a Request for Proposals for a 3.8-acre lot in the heart of Green River situated on the historic town canal. We applauded the City’s clear commitment to solving the critical need for more housing in town, and we submitted our own proposal which was selected: Canal Commons, a micro-community of 10 single-family homes with accompanying private, semi-public, and public outdoor spaces.
As the City originally received the land as a private donation, Epicenter proposed a trade of in-kind service equal to the land’s value (ie. Epicenter will assist with city events, grant writing, design services, etc.). This trade allows Epicenter to absorb the $109,000 land “cost” rather than pass it on to the future tenants and homeowners. This agreement also formalizes Epicenter’s continued commitment to assist the City in economic development on the community level.
As the design of the rental housing units nears completion, Epicenter begins work with local community members to co-design the public space(s) within Canal Commons, including the historic grove of Cottonwood trees on the property (the original, historic town park!). The University of Utah (Extension office – Rowe Zwahlen) and Frontier Fellow Sophie Maguire (landscape architect) will be providing remote consultation on the landscape design. Local residents, including Green River High School students, will participate in site cleanups and preparations, planning and design efforts, events held on the project site, and hands-on workshops among other activities. These specific efforts on the site are being supported by UServeUtah and the Union Pacific Foundation.
Over $1M has been committed by the Olene Walker Housing Loan Fund, Rocky Mountain Community Reinvestment Corporation, Zions Bank, City of Green River, private foundation grants, and individual private donors. Epicenter partnered with the City to apply for Community Impact Board Funds (CIB) to bring necessary infrastructure to the site; this grant of $121,000 has been approved by the CIB board and will finalized in October of 2020. An $883,000 additional has been requested from various sources, and Epicenter conservatively estimates that $603,000 of these requested funds will be successful.
This project would not have been possible without support from Enterprise Community Partners, Rural Community Assistance Corporation, AARP, State Farm, Union Pacific Foundation, David, Sherrie & Shaleane Gee family, Wells Fargo Foundation, Rocky Mountain Power Foundation, American Express, UServeUtah, Colorado River & Trails Expeditions (“CRATE”), Utah Division of Arts & Museums, National Endowment for the Arts, WESTAF, Utah Humanities, Sorenson Legacy Foundation, The Corporation for National and Community Service (“AmeriCorps”), and many individual private donors.
As soon as the CIB support is finalized in October, the City will begin bringing infrastructure to the site. “Serve-In-Place” activities on the site begin in October with ground breaking in the Spring of 2021. And, if all goes as planned, we will break ground on Phase I, the construction of 5 rental housing units, in early 2021! Visit the link below for more information and updates on the project.