$5.8M townhouse project in Dickinson completed: Development replaces Riverview Garden Apartments destroyed in 2009 tornadoA grand opening ceremony Wednesday served as the official welcoming of Prairie Hills Townhomes to Dickinson.
By: Betsy Simon, The Dickinson Press
A grand opening ceremony Wednesday served as the official welcoming of Prairie Hills Townhomes to Dickinson.
“This project did not happen alone,” Jasper Schneider with the U.S. Department of Agriculture Rural Development told the ceremony’s attendees as he stood in front of the development’s community center, located at 2309 Fourth Ave. W. “It took state programs, USDA Rural Development, affordable housing developers and the community’s support.”
The developer, GLS Properties LLC, built the townhomes in response to a 2009 EF3 tornado that destroyed 30 units of the Riverview Garden Apartments.
The total cost of construction for the Prairie Hills Townhomes was $5.8 million.
The townhouses are air conditioned, contain a washer and dryer and each has an attached garage. There are also four handicap accessible units and there is a community room on the facility’s grounds.
A few of the units were available for tours after the ceremony.
According to a press release, North Dakota Housing Finance Agency allocated $598,468 in tax credits for the project. That amounted to more than $4 million in equity, the press release stated.
It was NDHFA that helped secure a U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development Section 8 subsidy, the press release stated.
That allowed 12 of the units to be rented to income-qualified households for between $517 and $679 a month. The other 24 units are rented for 30 percent of the tenant’s gross income.
All of the development’s 36 units, which include 18 two-bedroom units and 18 three-bedroom units, are occupied.
Through the Section 538 program, USDA Rural Development guaranteed a $1.37 million loan through Lancaster-Pollard Mortgage Company, the press release stated.
Prairie Hills Townhomes were available to individuals and families whose incomes do not exceed 115 percent of the area median income adjusted for family size.
“It’s a huge benefit to be able to offer three-bedroom apartments because they’re hard to find with affordable housing units,” said Linda Risinger, vice president of compliance for MetroPlains Management LLC. “We don’t have any problem finding people to rent to at all. That’s for sure.”
Veronica Nicla, construction project coordinator for MetroPlains Management LLC, said the first tenant moved in late last year and the housing units have been full since day one.
After the ceremony, Nicla said the townhouses are not what people expect when they hear “affordable housing.”
“Affordable housing doesn’t have to be rundown or shabby and we’ve proven that with this development,” she said. “Families need affordable places they can live, and they should be able to get places that offer fixtures that last and nice furnishing that give the place value. When we fill these homes, we’re helping society, so it’s really a win-win for everyone.”