Dirt work begins on MAPS senior housing project

An artist’s rendering of the now-under-construction MAPS Senior Housing project at the end of Park Drive off 500 West and behind Moab Regional Hospital. Image courtesy of the Housing Authority of Southeastern Utah

Construction of the 36-unit MAPS Senior Housing development at the end of Park Drive near Moab Regional Hospital is underway.

According to Ben Riley, executive director of the Housing Authority of Southeastern Utah, 30 of the units will be one-bedroom units and six will be two-bedroom units, with monthly rentals – based on age and income – between $200 and $700 per month.

For Riley, seeing dirt work begin at the two-acre site – which local business owner Colin Fryer donated – is more than satisfying. A change in federal tax law radically downgraded the value of tax credits, which is how the project has been funded, causing Riley to scramble for another $1.5 million that was lost to keep the roughly $7 million project afloat. He said he landed different tax credits at the state and federal levels.

The next affordable housing project in Moab broke ground Aug. 28 at the end of Park Drive near Moab Regional Hospital, where the 36-unit MAPS Senior Housing development is going up. Photo by Doug McMurdo

“We’re very proud to have overcome many hurdles, financial and otherwise, to get this project off the ground and into construction. It will be 36 units of affordable (60% AMI and below) one- and two-bedroom units for people 55 and over,” he said.

Riley said he has already started to take names and contact information from people interested in leasing a unit, which will begin formally in the spring in advance of an anticipated grand opening in the summer of 2020. Those interested in getting put on the list can call 435-259-5891.

Workers install geopiers as part of foundation work at the MAPS Senior Housing project near Moab Regional Hospital on Monday, Sept. 16. Photo by Doug McMurdo

The MAPS project, designated as an independent living development for older Moabites, is the fourth priority of the Health Care Special Services District master plan for senior citizens, which includes the already constructed Moab Regional Hospital, the Grand Center and Canyonlands Care Center. The fifth and final priority is an assisted living facility, said Riley.

He said the project is a cooperative effort between the Housing Authority and Grand County Community and Economic Development, particularly Director Zacharia Levine and Specialist Kaitlin Myers, as well as Grand County Council Member Jaylyn Hawks, all who participated in training that focused on seeing a construction project through from start to finish, and then they worked together to pitch the project to the Health Care District board, which “was thrilled,” said Riley.