Business & Real Estate

Prefab work begins for one-of-a-kind midtown complex

Units for the new Eviva Midtown apartment complex, like this furnished prototype, are being constructed offsite as complete living spaces, with cabinets, flooring, appliances and all fixtures included.
Units for the new Eviva Midtown apartment complex, like this furnished prototype, are being constructed offsite as complete living spaces, with cabinets, flooring, appliances and all fixtures included. Guerdon Enterprises

An Idaho manufacturer of prefab housing has begun work on units for the Eviva Midtown Apartments at 16th and N Streets and expects to start installing them here in mid-September.

Lad Dawson, CEO of Guerdon Enterprises, said Friday that construction of the six-story, 118-unit apartment project will happen at a dizzying pace.

“It’s really amazing,” he said of prefab process. “We’ll show up on site and in a matter of five to six weeks, we’ll go from zero to a complete building.”

In contrast, using conventional construction, a similar project could take “eight months or maybe more.”

The unusual project, initiated by the Capitol Area Development Authority, has been in the works for almost a decade.

Groundbreaking finally occurred in September and crews now are working on a concrete podium that will include one level of underground parking and, at street level, additional parking and about 5,000 square feet of retail space.

That work is due to be completed by mid-September, setting the stage for Guerdon to add five levels of apartments.

In preparation, Dawson said the company last week began producing the Eviva units in Idaho, making more than 3,000 square feet of completed units each day. The modular units eventually will be transported by truck to a staging area at the downtown railyard and hauled to the midtown construction site as needed.

Once its work begins here, Guerdon will “stack” about six of the apartment units each day. The units then will be bolted in place while plumbing, mechanical and electrical connections are made.

Finally, the project’s general contractor, Tricorp Hearn of Gold River, will add a roof and stucco “skin.” The project is set to be ready for occupancy next spring, with monthly rents ranging from about $1,700 for one-bedroom units to $2,200 for two-bedroom apartments.

Dawson described Guerdon as the nation’s largest manufacturer of prefab commercial buildings in the Western United States, producing 12 to 15 projects each year.

“It’s pretty common for us to do apartment projects that range from 100 to 300 units,” he said.

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