JOPLIN, Mo. —
Last year’s tornado nearly wiped out Red-Wood Development Co.
That is one reason that turning the keys over Wednesday to the owner of a new home built by the company was a special occasion for both Red-Wood and the buyer, Tara Atherton.
“This is very special for us at the company,” owner Rick Schroeder said at an open house and ribbon-cutting ceremony at 2527 S. Grand Ave. “Our company was devastated by the tornado. We lost our home office and 90 percent of our properties.”
In the time since the May 22, 2011, storm, Red-Wood has rebuilt three complexes totaling 288 apartments, has erected a 120-unit apartment complex at Webb City called The Plaza, and has built 120 houses and six duplexes.
The Atherton house is the seventh of 38 houses the company is constructing as an affordable housing project it calls Union City Homes within the tornado zone. It is one of the housing projects financed with a portion of $100 million in tax credits awarded a year ago by the Missouri Housing Development Commission to Joplin as part of the disaster aid designated by Gov. Jay Nixon.
Atherton, a hair stylist and a single mother of three children, said she wanted three things in a new home. One was a storm shelter. Her son, 9, survived the tornado at his grandparents’ house at 22nd Street and Iowa Avenue. The twister demolished the house except a lower part of a closet where the boy took cover with his grandparents, Atherton said.
She also wanted a yard where the kids could play and a garage so she could drive in and not have to park outside.
“Those three things are huge on my list, and I got them all,” she said. She also was able to buy a four-bedroom house that she described as “very well put together.”
Schroeder said the company will build the 38 houses on scattered sites from Virginia Avenue to Grand Avenue, south of 22nd Street. There will be 32 three-bedroom houses and six four-bedroom homes, each with two bathrooms and a storm shelter.
“Every homeowner will have the security of knowing they have a storm shelter,” Schroeder said. “The master bedroom closet is a shelter.”
“I was really grateful for the storm shelter,” Atherton said.
Schroeder said the Red-Wood company has a long history of homebuilding in Joplin, having been established here by his father in 1976.
“We’re very proud to be in Joplin and be a part of the recovery, and the rebuilding for a better tomorrow,” he said. “We’re in the business of providing homes, and we felt it was our duty to step up to the plate and provide some affordable homes.”
Another of the projects that received the state tax credits, the Delaware Duplex Community, has finished building 20 duplex units at 20th Street and Maryland Avenue.
Other projects being constructed with tax-credit help are:
• Canyon Trails Townhomes, 52 units near 1300 W. 17th St. in Webb City.
• Hope Cottages, low-income houses being built on scattered lots between Jackson and Grand avenues from 20th Street to 26th Street.
• Eagle Ridge, a 40-unit, low-income apartment complex at 611 W. 25th St.
• Parkwood Senior Housing, apartments for seniors at 1300 N. Range Line Road.
• Forest Park Apartments, one- and two-story row houses near 29th Street and McClelland Boulevard.
• Hampshire Terrace II, 2021 Hampshire Terrace.
PEOPLE WHO ARE INTERESTED in an affordable housing program may contact Red-Wood Development Inc. at 624-4144, or a bank or mortgage lender.
JOPLIN, Mo. —
Last year’s tornado nearly wiped out Red-Wood Development Co.
- May 2011 Joplin tornado
Farmers Insurance extends tornado recovery commitment
After investments that included stationing a company executive in Joplin for eight months last year, officials with Farmers Insurance said the company will continue its post-tornado commitment to Joplin in 2014. “We’re going to stay until the end,” said Doris Dunn, director of community relations for the company, on Wednesday. “That includes sending in another 100-plus volunteers and making some additional financial investments.”
- SLIDESHOW: One year later, One day of unity, updated Photos from a day of events commemorating the May 22, 2011 tornado anniversary
Author prepares for release of children’s book featuring heroic Joplin rescue dog
Carolyn Mueller is both a dog lover and a storyteller. So when she got the opportunity to write a story about a Joplin dog named Lily who helped search for survivors after the May 2011 tornado, she jumped on it. “Dogs like Lily can be heroes, too,” she said.
VIDEO: Lost photos claim day to be held at museum
National Disaster Photo Rescue and the Joplin Museum Complex have scheduled a public viewing and photo claim day for 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 22, at the museum complex in Schifferdecker Park. The project, originally known as Lost Photos of Joplin, was organized in the weeks after the May 22, 2011, Joplin tornado to reunite storm victims with photos displaced by the storm.
Building-permit total since tornado nears $1 billion
The building of new homes in Joplin continues at an average pace of 16 to 18 per month, according to a building permit report released for December by the city of Joplin. Eighteen building permits for new homes were issued in both November and December. In fiscal year 2013, permits for new homes averaged more than 16 per month.
FEMA official recognized by city
A retiring official of the Federal Emergency Management Agency who directed much of that agency’s response to Joplin’s 2011 tornado was recognized Friday by the city of Joplin. Richard Serino, the deputy administrator of FEMA, was presented a proclamation by Mayor Melodee Colbert-Kean during his last visit to Joplin before he retires on Jan. 23.
Two Joplin men sentenced to two years for tornado fraud
Two Joplin men convicted in separate incidents of disaster fraud related to the May 22, 2011, tornado on Monday were sentenced to two years in federal prison and ordered to pay restitution. Andy Eric Brownlee, 32, was ordered by U.S. District Judge Brian C. Wimes. to pay $2,750 in restitution, and Leslie Lynn Williams, 54, was ordered to pay $1,196 in restitution.
Tornado fund board hears grant requests
Trustees of the Joplin Tornado First Response Fund heard proposals Tuesday from 11 organizations for grant funding. The board is to decide how to spend about $225,000 remaining in the fund in what may be the final round of grants. The fund was established shortly after the 2011 tornado to receive donations from those who wanted to give direct aid to Joplin for recovery.
Joplin community publishes book of tornado experiences
Leaders in the Joplin community have published a collection of stories about the 2011 tornado and the recovery efforts that followed. First-hand accounts for the book, titled “Joplin Pays It Forward,” were written by city and school leaders; officials from health care centers and public utility companies; leaders in the business and media communities; representatives of churches and nonprofit organizations; and individuals with federal, state and local disaster relief groups and agencies.
New fire stations being readied for opening
After 2 1/2 years in temporary quarters as a result of the 2011 Joplin tornado, firefighter crews are moving into newly built replacement stations ahead of schedule. Firefighters last week began preparing a new Station No. 2 at 2825 W. Junge Blvd. for occupancy. It replaces a station at 2216 S. Maiden Lane that was destroyed in the tornado.
- More May 2011 Joplin tornado Headlines
- Farmers Insurance extends tornado recovery commitment