A Rauschendorfer Construction employee installs a door on a new housing unit.

Rauschendorfer Construction is nearing the completion of a 12-unit housing complex on Fifth Street S.W. near the Richland County Fairgrounds.

Four units are already constructed and sold while five others should be finished within a month, owner Robert Rauschendorfer said. When finished, the complex will include a five-unit townhouse, a three-unit townhouse and two duplexes.

The complex is near the Sidney Health Center and Cancer Care Center, and all the units will be single-level with 3-foot-wide doors so they’re accessible to wheelchairs. “We’re targeting elderly people, but it could also be a first-time home buyer because of the price,” Rauschendorfer said.

Nearby amenities include the golf course at the Sidney Country Club, the airport and a dentist’s office.

Rauschendorfer began construction on the complex three years ago, and he said buyers are beginning to line up. “The closer we get to finishing the more calls we get,” he said.

Mild weather allowed Rauschendorfer’s crew to pour concrete in January while continuing construction through the winter months. “It was very nice to have a mild winter to catch up on a lot of projects, because we were so far behind,” he said. “Snow removal was minimal, and we’ve been able to keep a larger crew on.”

Rauschendorfer’s goal is to make the units as affordable as possible without sacrificing quality. He owns his own lumberyard, which helps keep his overhead costs low, and he’s building the houses to be energy efficient. “We’re looking at $100 a month for utilities on this because of the style of construction,” he said. “Insulated foundations and the style of exterior wall I do provide a very low heating and cooling bill.”

When finished, homeowners will be charged association fees to cover the cost of lawn-mowing and snow-shoveling, which will be handled by Rauschendorfer Construction.

City water and sewer systems have not yet been extended to the units, something Rauschendorfer said the city will have to deal with. “The city has its own challenges,” he said. “They work with real numbers just like every business has to.”

Down the road, Rauschendorfer intends to build three 18-plexes near West Side School, which could be used to provide housing to school or hospital employees among others. He would also like to build 100 housing units in the field between Fifth Street S.W. and the airport.

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