VALLEY CENTER, Kan. (KSNW) — The fate of a proposed 3D-printed neighborhood is in jeopardy following a special city council meeting Tuesday.
Valley Center was set to be the home of the first 3D-printed community in the state of Kansas, but Tuesday, the city council voted to withdraw its contract with Crain Development, LLC, the original developer.
The project named “Sunflower Valley” was an ambitious, first-of-its-kind project with 78 new 3D-printed buildings planned. However, just weeks after Valley Center’s city council gave its final approval for the project, the contract with Crain expired with no sale made.
The city council also voted to move ahead with a new developer with no guarantee as to how many 3D-printed buildings (if any) will be made.
“I was kinda disappointed to hear that, that the whole development wasn’t going to be 3D concrete-printed homes,” Valley Center Mayor Lou Cicirello said. “I think that was, we were all pretty excited about that.”
City Administrator Brent Clark says due to shipping delays, Crain held off on purchasing property in Valley Center—the 3D printer necessary for the project hasn’t even arrived yet.
“I think their initial date for delivery was supposed to be sometime this summer,” Clark said.
Crain Company sent KSN News a statement Wednesday morning.
Due to supply chain issues that affected the production and arrival of the printer, additionally with other economic aspects, our project was put on an extended delay. The City of Valley Center has been extremely understanding about these unforeseen circumstances and have attempted to collaborate on a path forward. We respect and support their decision to pivot directions of this project and we look forward to continuing to work alongside Valley Center and other stakeholders to create 3D printed housing options in Valley Center.”Graham Crain, Crain Company owner and CEO
Clark says the delays pushed the city to move forward with Air Capital Industrial Park, LLC, in order to lock in cheaper infrastructure costs before next year.
“Sunflower Valley is just under $3.4 million on the construction side of things,” Clark said. “January 1st, there was anywhere, there was a potential of a 20-30% increase depending on what material it was.”
“You don’t want people to be frightened off when they, you know, they spend $250,000 to $300,000 on a home, and then you tell them, ‘Oh, by the way, you have $4,000-$5,000 worth of specials that could’ve been $3,000-$4,000, you know, at the time,'” Mayor Cicirello said.
Clark says while the property’s infrastructure will be good to go by July 2023, there’s no set timeline as to when we could see 3D structures pop up across Valley Center.
“We’re hoping that [the new owner] partner[s] together with the Crain Co., and the CC3D folks, to have some of those lots, you know, available for the 3D-printed structures,” Clark said. “I’m confident, you know, with our relationship with Crain Co., the first 3D-printed structure and community will be in Valley Center.”