An Idaho-based affordable housing company landed itself a new investor, but its Canyon County manufacturing facility is still closed.
Earlier this year, BoiseDev brought you the news that indieDwell, a company focused on building modular affordable housing out of shipping containers, mothballed its Caldwell factory and laid off 61 employees. This came after the company had to transition from a shipping container manufacturing process to a new process to build modular homes out of cold-formed steel due to changes in regulations, a company executive said.
‘Hiring rapidly’ after spring 2021 layoffs
At the tail end of September, the company got a new infusion of $5.75 million in new financing from investment firms HMS Development and Bastogne Development Partners. IndieDwell Executive Chairman Pete Gombert said the new investment will impact the business and its employees, but it is looking to other states to grow its manufacturing operation.
Gombert said the indieDwell is “hiring rapidly in Idaho and Colorado, where it currently operates a 100,000 square foot factory in Pueblo. He said there are roughly 20 indieDwell employees now working in Idaho.
“The Caldwell facility is remaining closed as we look for larger facilities,” Gombert wrote in an email. “All of our other factories are 100,000 sqft + and the size of the Caldwell factory (21,000 sqft) simply could not accommodate the scale of the company. We are opening a factory in Virginia and are soon to announce others.”
Gombert told BoiseDev the Caldwell factory was closed “for the moment” in May.
Virginia Governor Ralph Northam announced indieDwell would open a new manufacturing plant in Newport News, located in the Southeastern region of the state. The governor’s office said the factory will create 220 jobs.
Optimism from investors
The company earned media coverage in the local and national press in recent years for its innovative approach to construction, affordable prices, and partnerships with governments and local nonprofits to create low-cost homeownership opportunities. They provided the homes for several small subdivisions developed alongside Boise-based nonprofit LEAP Housing Solutions as recently as last summer.
Heads of the two investor groups who backed indieDwell were excited about the company’s affordable housing product as rent and home prices surge nationwide.
“We believe that attainable living is a crucial step in both individual and communal growth, which is why we are so proud to partner with indieDwell to offer turnkey development and construction solutions to communities across the country,” Ndamukong Suh, President of HMS Development, said in the press release.