Skip to main content

Cactus Corner Duplexes in Eads Approaching Completion—for Real This Time

By Betsy Barnett

June 18, 2024

After an outrageous amount of time the three duplexes located at Cactus Corner in Eads, just to the west of the Prairie Pines Assisted Living facility, now have the potential for all three duplexes be completed by late summer or early fall.

Over the past week citizens have noticed that the third duplex had some action as a work crew moved in completing the framing in one week. The basement of that duplex had sat wide open for nearly two years as the project languished in red tape.

In addition, the other two duplexes that have been completed on the exterior for some time, will now have their interiors completed, as well.

The project as a whole began more than six years ago and looked as if it would be completed by 2020. But then the pandemic hit, and the state ceased working on the development of the project for two years.

Stephanie Gonzales, Executive Director at Southeast Colorado Enterprise Development (SECED), the non-profit in charge of the housing project in Eads said in a recent interview, “Yes, this project has been a big challenge for me as unfortunately, it has been super difficult to get things to align to continue the work on it. It has been par for the course throughout this project as we’ve had challenges from day one from getting a contract approved, and then the delay when the State shifted to focus on the pandemic and they ceased work on development contracts for 18-24 months. Unfortunately, I will shoulder part of the blame on not keeping the project at the forefront as I shifted my focus to our other project that built the workforce housing. That project was funded by public/private money so there wasn’t the same delay in accessing funding that the Cactus Corner project has experienced as Cactus Corner was fully funded by the State. So, I am glad we are finally working towards getting this project done.”

Not all the blame can be put on SECED, however, as there were some issues with the construction crew. Because of the unforeseen delays, that crew had to leave and go to work on other projects. The delays also included installment of utilities and inadequate communication between the contractors, SECED, and the utility companies. When time moves without any progress, oftentimes, people leave jobs causing certain elements of this project to start over or be delayed over again.

Nevertheless, the construction crew we see this week quickly putting up the third building, is actually the same original crew. The money is now in place, the utilities have been placed, and that should mean that the construction crew should be able to continue to work—this time—until the work is finished.

Now that the crew is here and should be able to stay on the job, they have to now finish the third duplex’s exterior, and then complete the interiors of all three duplexes. That means all three duplexes will need flooring, cabinets, appliances, etc… in order to be ready to rent. The final requirement will be to complete the landscaping and there’s still a complete playground that has already been paid for, to install at the complex.

When completed in August or September there should be six living units, landscaping, and a playground on Cactus Drive.

According to Kiowa County Administrator Tina Adamson, the completion of that project can’t come soon enough. “There has been a waiting list to rent so we are a little frustrated with the delays.”

When it is time to rent the six housing units, SECED will be in charge of signing up the renters and collecting the monthly rents. These units should be accessible to most anyone in the community, although there is an income cap—quite high these days—that is in place.

Gonzales says SECED has already hired a maintenance person who will be in charge of keeping the weeds down at the three properties. “We will manage the project from here (Lamar) with our current staff. We have someone who is taking care of weeds for us as needed and we will continue with him if he chooses to continue helping us. As for a maintenance person for minor things that occur, that will be determined soon. We have our maintenance person on staff that takes care of our other units that we manage, but as we are adding more units in Ordway and other locations, we are assessing the need for a part-time maintenance person in the near future.”

When completed, the Cactus Corner duplexes, six housing units, will represent the second major housing project to be—finally—completed in Eads. Housing continues to be a major concern and need for Eads, and really all surrounding communities, and SECED has been on the cutting edge of bringing two major housing projects to southeastern Colorado.

So, the best advise to those readers who are needing a place to live or knows someone who wants to move to Eads, have patience for just a bit longer—really this time—the duplexes should be ready to be moved into in 2024.

Other News