Hesston Record Staff
On April 25, the City of Hesston Planning and Zoning Commission heard a presentation from Kelley Hrabe, owner of Prairie Fire Development Group about the possibility of developing new rental housing on the current city-owned Country Village property.
Currently Prairie Fire has projects in Moundridge, Baxter Springs, South Hutchinson, Newton and Kansas City.
Prairie Fire operates on a rental-only basis with a focus on multi-family housing and senior housing. The company owns and manages its property for a contractually agreed-upon 15 years, after which Prairie Fire has the option to refinance or sell the property, according to Hrabe.
Hrabe said there are no current projects that have hit the 15-year mark.
Prairie Fire Development Group uses tax credits, subsidies and rebates to underwrite construction and infrastructure costs. With the cost of building underwritten through tax credits and rebates on property taxes, Hrabe said the business is able to keep rental rates low.
Hrabe said financing tools included the Affordable Housing Tax Credit, the Rural Housing Development Districts credit, Moderate Income Housing Program and the Neighborhood Reinvestment program.
“We use these tools. Development and construction costs keep going up and incomes have been static. These tools underwrite total development costs that make them affordable projects people can afford,” he said.