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Clovis builder plans new apartments for Friona

As in all small towns, Friona has long been lacking in rental housing. Over the years Excel/Cargill has lobbied for rental housing to accommodate some of their 2,000 employees. It has been a challenge to teachers and coaches who accept positions with Friona ISD. Investors have been reluctant to commit to new construction.

Through the efforts of the Friona Economic Development Corporation (FEDC) and the city and Cargill, a new apartment project is about to become reality. Commercial Construction Services Inc. (CCS, Inc.) of Clovis, operating as Jillian Homes in Clovis, has reached an agreement to construct a three building, 72-unit apartment complex on the block bordered by 6th and 7th and Ashland and Woodland Streets.

The FEDC purchased the lots on the block from the Whaley family for $35,000. Officials from Cargill reimbursed the $35,000 to the FEDC as part of an agreement to attract a builder, allowing construction to begin without the builder having to purchase the land. Eventually, once certain building requirements are met, the land will be deeded to the building company. The actual construction will be done by 2 R Lucio General Builders, LLC of Clovis, headed by Ruben Lucio.

Jillian Homes president Wayne Berry, in Friona for the Monday groundbreaking, surprised officials with a plan that includes 72 units. Prior discussions had been in the 30-36 apartment range. Berry said they planned three buildings, each containing 6 three-bedroom, 12 two-bedroom, and 6 one-bedroom apartments. The square footage will be approximately 950, 800, and 600 respectively.

Two of the buildings will face south to 6th Street. The third will face north to 7th Street. Parking will be provided on the interior of the complex. (See the exterior drawing on this page.)

Building will begin within the next two weeks, weather permitting. Berry said they will complete the construction one building at a time, allowing renters to occupy a building while the next building is completed. A full time rental office manager will be on-site. He estimated it would take about four months to complete a building. Rental rates have not been finalized.

A local contest open to the public to name the apartments will be announced at a later date. Details will be published when available. Mr. Berry said his company is excited to become a part of the Friona community and looks forward to the success of the project.