Fading West Development has announced that it is making Buena Vista the epicenter of its development and modular home manufacturing business. Founder and CEO of Fading West Development, Charlie Chupp, disclosed Fading West’s plans during an interview with Ark Valley Voice Feb. 14.
“We are under contract right now for seven acres, in Buena Vista, near the airport. We are looking to build a modular home factory,” Chupp announced. “We are hoping to ship our first product by the end of this year, or by early next year (2020).”
Fading West Development’s facility will be the only modular home manufacturer in the state of Colorado. The company will now not only providing affordable housing for the workforce in Buena Vista, but will be providing employment as well.
“There actually are no [manufacturers] in Colorado anymore.” Chupp explained, “They all shut-down in 2008.”
With Fading West’s reliance on manufacturing companies in Nebraska to provide its modular homes, Chupp dreamed of bringing that manufacturing process to Colorado. The cost of shipping modular homes from Nebraska is expensive, and Chupp’s desire to benefit the Buena Vista area and reduce housing costs has pushed him toward a more local focus.
Chupp is not yet sure about the exact number of jobs the facility could provide, but is confident Fading West will be providing a substantial number of opportunities for Buena Vista locals.
“We’re guessing between 10 to 15 office staff and 30 to 40 production staff,” said Chupp. “We are going to design a world-class production facility. I think people will love to work there, and also love to be in this community.
Chupp said others have questioned him on his decision to bring his manufacturing operation to Buena Vista, instead of somewhere on the Front Range.
“When I first started to talk with consultants about opening the factory they’re like, ‘why would you open a factory in Buena Vista? Wouldn’t you be better to go into Denver where there are suppliers?’” Chupp said, laughing.
“I grew up in Jacksonville, Fla., a big city, then moved out here.” Chupp said, “I love the small town. I love the people. I love the community aspect of Buena Vista. All my kids have gone to high school. We love this community. We want to invest in this community. We are going to make it work here.”
By providing houses for the workforce, as well as jobs, Chupp says Fading West is seeking to better Buena Vista and all of its businesses. His view; this is not only about Fading West’s success but about success for Buena Vista as a whole.
“We looked at primary residence, and how to really get people here,” Chupp explained. “I have a lot of good friends who have businesses on Main Street. The idea is, how do you maintain a thriving, year-round community.”
Fading West Development says it is building the foundation for that thriving, local community, and is looking at more projects in Chaffee County in the near future.
“We develop and do our own stuff, but we want to partner with other developers who are trying to simply get housing up,” he noted. “If you look at any housing-needs assessment for an area, they categorize it by ‘this’ [number of] houses in this range of price. Fading West can do those ranges that most people can’t.”
“Whether we do it ourselves, or do it with someone who is developing, we can provide some options to get within those price ranges,” said Chupp.