GRAND JUNCTION, Colorado (KKCO) – To the southwest of the community hospital in Grand Junction lies a large field of dry mud, which the investment team believes could be the key to making homes affordable and attainable.
Mosaic Housing has acquired 177 acres near the hospital with the goal of building what it calls the Mosaic Modular Home Mega Factory. A factory designed to build prefabricated homes.
“The Mosaic Modular Home plant is specifically designed to build multi-storey, multi-family homes,” said Ted Stears, Vice President of Mosaic Housing. People often consider modular housing a poor product. This facility will be of the highest standard.”
The factory area itself is about 224,000 square feet. Steers said it would be a zero-emissions building to help reduce the potential carbon footprint. The plant will have a series of innovative machines for building homes, which Steers said would be safer and more efficient.
“Mosaic Housing can actually build a 40-foot wall in six minutes,” said Steers. “The windows are then fitted into it with an overhead crane. Now there is someone who guides them with their hands and puts them in place, but there are no ladders involved, there is no risk of injury and the speed of getting it in a safe and fast way, is much faster. People tend to prefer working as operators operating computers and components.” I think people would rather work in a safer environment that’s more of a utility machine versus just using brute force to get out there.”
According to Stiers, the plant will be able to produce any kind of design the architect puts into it. The units produced will be built to any code standard, with all government inspections conducted in the factory before the product leaves for the job site.
“Our job is to reduce the cost of a developer seeing and building a website without cost overruns,” said Stiers. “We take care of all our factory-wide inspections, so you no longer need a city engineer to go out and check your drywall, check your plumbing, and check your electrical.”
Governor Polis visited the site on May 20. While on site he signed HB 1282, the innovative housing incentive program into law. The new law could award grants to companies that build certain types of housing, or in the case of Mosaic Homes, it could provide a loan to build a manufacturing plant.
“We need more housing of course so that people can buy homes in Mesa County,” Governor Polis said. “But what it is also, is the latest technology, it is innovation. They are modular, which means they are prefabricated. The quality is similar or better, it is absolutely unbelievable. This is going to be a big part of the future.”
According to Stiers, the Mosaic Modular Home Mega plant is modeled after other plants that have already been operated in various countries in Europe and this will be the first of its kind in the United States. Stiers said the factory could technically make single-family homes, but that its focus is on multi-unit housing.
“We need homes, duplexes, and apartments for rent,” said Steers. “We need all three of these things and that’s what we focus on. We focus on solutions for the achievable housing market more than the luxury homes and condominium market.”
At best, Steers said, construction on the plant could begin this summer and his team’s goal is for the first homes to start moving out of the plant in about a year. Once it is up and running at full capacity, Steers said it will likely produce 100 housing units each month. However, the plant is just one part of Mosaic Homes’ vision for the area. The goal is to build a community on Earth.
“Besides affordable housing, we really want to build a small town,” said Steers. “It’s called Mesa Trails. We’re going to have hotel providers. We’d like all kinds of support organizations.”
As for what made Steers and the other members of his team decide to bring the plant to Grand Junction, Steers said they are the people here in the community.
“Grand Junction has the same needs as all communities in Colorado; a paucity of accessible housing,” said Steers. “What drew me to Grand Junction to build the business, to build the factory was the abundance of educated youth that was produced by the very broad educational systems of those Region. “I know Grand Junction is the place for the factory and I can’t wait for it to open and start building.”
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