Preservation of Affordable Housing: Colony Plaza Apartments


Built in 1980, Colony Plaza sits in downtown Excelsior Springs, MO on an acre of land. There are 111 one-bedroom apartments for the building’s senior resident population, and each of the eleven floors includes a well-appointed sitting area featuring large windows. The ground floor includes a community kitchen and large gathering area for shared meals, meetings and social activities. Colony Plaza is one of 14 properties purchased by POAH as its initial preservation portfolio in 2001.


In order to preserve Colony Plaza and the balance of the Missouri portfolio, POAH collaborated with the Missouri Housing Development Commission and others to craft a workable purchase plan. The financing package included loans as well as equity proceeds from the sale of Low Income Housing Tax Credits. In Excelsior Springs, Colony Plaza alone represents over 65% of the available subsidized rental units.



Colony Plaza received funding though the HUD Green Retrofit Program (GRP) for various building upgrades that improved efficiency and resident comfort. Through the GRP the building received a new, efficient boiler plant, chiller, and ventilation unit removing the original and inefficient equipment installed in 1980. In addition, all interior lighting was upgraded to more efficient fixtures and motion sensors installed throughout the building. New windows were replaced throughout and a new solar hot water system now provides heat for the domestic hot water system.


Energy and water conservation measures at Colony Plaza include:

  • ENERGY STAR® Appliances
  • 1.2 gallon per flush toilets and water conserving aerators and showerheads
  • 94% efficient boilers
  • 0.53kW/ton Chiller with variable frequency drives for cooling tower
  • Fan coils with ECM motors controlled by programmable thermostats
  • All windows dual glazed vinyl, low-emissivity, with a U value of .35
  • CFL and LED lighting throughout the common areas and resident units
  • 16 solar hot water collectors and a 720 gallon storage tank


The energy and water conservation work at Colony Plaza has helped POAH move closer to its goals of reducing energy and water consumption across its portfolio by 20% by 2020. The work has also made the building more comfortable for residents.

As part of the HUD Green Retrofit Program the building also implemented green operations and maintenance practices and integrated pest management. This project has reduced building operating expenses by over $20,000 a year which helps maintain the financial viability of this important affordable housing asset.


Annual Energy Use

(Source EUI)
Baseline (2010)
71 kBtu/sq.ft.
Actual (2011)
56 kBtu/sq.ft.

Energy Savings:


Annual Energy Cost

Baseline (2010)
Actual (2011)

Cost Savings:


Sector Type



Excelsior Springs, Missouri

Project Size

80,000 Square Feet

Financial Overview

Project Cost $1,700,000

Colony Plaza Apartments exterior
Colony Plaza Apartments exterior

Colony Plaza Apartments front entrance
Colony Plaza Apartments front entrance