Business & economy

Vale apartment complex getting major upgrades, improving energy efficiency

VALE – A 10-month project to renovate the Malheur Village apartments is in full swing, and site supervisor Toby Cummings said once the upgrades are complete the housing project will include new features.
The project, funded through a $1.2 million loan from USDA Rural Development, includes new siding, insulation, sidewalks and the creation of a play area. The Malheur Village Apartments consist of eight one-bedroom units and 16 two-bedroom units. Owned by East West Preservation Portfolio, LLC., of Bellevue, Washington, the apartments, at 855 A Street W, were built in 1976.
“It’s going to look really good when it is done,” said Cummings.
SRI-Rochlin Construction Services of Seattle is the contractor in charge of the renovation project.
Other improvements to the apartments are new windows, doors, bathrooms and kitchens in all the units.
“We are trying to use local contractors as much as we can,” said Cummings.
New heaters and air condition units will also be installed, said Cummings.
“When we are done the apartments will meet every standard there is,” said Cummings.
Besides the obvious items that are to be replaced, the construction work will also make a difference with more subtle aspects such as preventing loss of heat or air conditioning.
Tenant Jason Sanders said the work is already paying off, especially with minor items – like new doors.
“The new window Toby put in really made a difference in the heat loss. I mean I noticed it right away,” he said.
Cummings said the renovation will also upgrade two apartments so they are fully compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act.

Cummings said the project began in October. He said so far most of the feedback he’s received from tenants has been positive.
“Everyone is really excited,” he said.
Adele Schaffeld, Malheur County building inspector, said the work is progressing on schedule, with no permit or inspection issues.
“It’s a great project for the city and the county,” said Schaffeld.
She said SRI-Rochlin Construction Services submitted permits ahead of schedule.
“They’ve been great, calling in all their inspections and have been very good to work with,” she said.
The best thing about the project, she said, is it is revitalizing a specific area.
Cummings said the work takes time and communication between contractors and tenants.
“Most of the inside work can all be done in a day or two but it takes cooperation,” he said.
For now, weather plays a role, said Cummings.
“We can’t tear out a wall when it’s raining. But this is exciting, to be able to improve your hometown and keep jobs local,” said Cummings.
Cummings said the project is “moving right along” to meet a mid-summer completion date.
“I think it will be a gem for Vale,” said Schaffeld.

News tip? Contact reporter Pat Caldwell at [email protected]

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