WARRENSBURG — A new housing development in Warrensburg is specializing in apartments for active military and veterans that will include many amenities, including supportive services.

Derrick Hamilton, key principal for Belmont Development Co. Inc. of Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, said by phone this week, the $11 million project will provide 60 units with 51% of those slated for active military and veterans. Leasing rates will be considered on an affordable rent rate and a market rent rate according to income. Construction on GardenWalk at Magnolia Ridge began June 6, 2019, and will be completed in 2021. 

Delilah Nichols, of Sedalia, is the service coordinator for the project and Anita Belt, of Warrensburg, is the property manager. 

“It was awarded from MHDC (Missouri Housing Development Commission) and the veterans' priority … which means we designate 51% of the units to veterans,” Hamilton explained. “With all the positive response and with Delilah’s outreach, I think we’ll be well above that number.”

GardenWalk is being constructed in a one-story four-plex and a two-story eight-plex building plan. There is a community building that houses an endless pool, conference room and fitness room.

On the grounds will be a dog park, a playground, a community garden and soon a walking trail. GardenWalk will also offer a wide array of supportive services to military and veteran tenants. 

Hamilton added the Belmont staff “identified there was a need” for veteran housing in central Missouri so they met with the City of Warrensburg and other officials with a proposal for the development. He noted they are projecting to have the first units and the community building ready by late November or early December. 

“We’ve been trying to do a veteran’s project for a few years now in a couple of states,” he said. “Once the MHDC started a Priority for Veteran’s Project, we applied in that category and were awarded. We are hoping to replicate this in other parts of Missouri as well.” 

Nichols, the former director at the Military and Veterans Success Center at the University of Central Missouri, came on board with Belmont in 2018. She said she’s always felt the need for veterans to have a “safe, secure and supportive living environment.” She added she was hired to write the Supportive Services Plan for the GardenWalk property.

“So, I started meeting with area service providers and secured letters of intent for the providers to come in (periodically) and provide informational sessions and offer services to those interested in receiving them,” she said. 

There are currently 34 letters of intent from various service providers covering education, physical and mental health, financial, literacy, and veteran-based organizations. 

Nichols added the five focus areas for support at GardenWalk are housing stability, increased income and/or employment, improved physical and/or mental health, quality of life and social and community connections.

“Through various programs, we will work jointly to educate and offer support and/or services as appropriate to meet the tenants’ needs,” Nichols said. “GardenWalk tenants will learn about information, resources and services that support our five key areas of focus.” 

Nichols said Belt, the property manager, began her position Sept. 14 and is in training for her role. 

“Anita recently retired from the FBI as an intelligence analyst and is a military (retired) spouse,” she added. “Her husband retired from the Air Force and separated from service at Whiteman Air Force Base.

“Anita’s life experiences and former career with the FBI will bring additional knowledge and support to the table with our supportive services plan and in support of our future residents,” she continued. “I am excited to have Anita as a colleague and partner for the GardenWalk at Magnolia Ridge initiative.”

Hamilton noted pricing for the units is on a sliding scale and will be affordable for many individuals and families.

“Forty-five of the units are for tenants who make 50 to 60% of area median income,” he noted. “Then, 15 units are market-rate units.”

An affordable rent rate three-bedroom unit at GardenWalk is priced between $595 to $700, while a market-rate three-bedroom unit will be leased at $850. There are eight one-bedroom units, 22 two-bedroom units and 30 three-bedroom units. Each unit is created with a “universal” design and can be made ADA accessible. 

Hamilton added GardenWalk is designed to look like a small community rather than a traditional apartment complex. 

GardenWalk has a temporary office in the Jack Moore Community Room inside the west entrance of the Warrensburg Depot, 100 S. Holden St. Applications may be filled out there. The staff is available from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday. For more information, contact Property Manager Anita Belt at 816-944-1080 or gwmagnoliaridge@belmontmgt.com.

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