Affordable housing is in short supply in Sioux City but that may change within the next year or so. Plans are quickly unfolding for turning the former Whittier Elementary into the city’s newest apartment complex. 

The 114-year-old building will be transformed into a 30 unit affordable housing area.

“It should help with the deterioration of the old buildings and everything, just trying to re-purpose them instead of letting them deteriorate,” says Tony Derrick, Co-Owner of Old School Properties.

The apartments will have two and three bedroom units at around 1000-1300 square feet and will cost around $800-950. 

“We’ll use granite countertops or marble countertops, obviously all new appliances. Every unit has its own heating and cooling, washer and dryer in every unit as well, so they’ll be really nice when they’re complete,” says Derrick. 

While Whittier should be completely re-purposed within the year, Sioux City has another former school up for grabs to re-purpose: Everett Elementary school.

“This is one of the latest buildings that we have moved our programs out of an no longer have a purpose for the school district so we have opted to put the building on the market so that it can be reused in the community,” says Brian Fahrendholz, operations of maintenance director with Sioux City Community Schools. 

There is already one pending offer for this building and they say they are expecting more offers, as these buildings don’t last long on the market. 

“The most important thing they want to see is the building occupied for two reasons; number one is it creates a better environment for the neighborhood. There are no concerns for vandalism, it also could bring value to the neighborhood of course if the building is re-purposed and it’s turned into something that will bring the value of the building up, it affects positively to the neighborhood because it brings the value of the neighborhood up as well as additional property value on the tax roll,” says Fahrendholz. 

Although there is no set plan for the future of this building, Fahrendholz says there’s a good chance it will also turn into affordable apartments, making the shortage on housing in the city less problematic.