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South Heart plans in play; Washington company proposes numerous apartment complexes to ease housing crunch

Out-of-state developers with sights set on South Heart proposed the construction of 25 apartment complexes in the community, but plans are not set in stone, City Councilman Chuck Andrus said Thursday.

William Matson represents Waterfront Homes LLC, a company believed to be based in Washington state. He met with South Heart City Council members Feb. 1 to present a

proposal, which involved building 25 12-unit apartment buildings on an 18-acre tract of land the company owns east of Adamski Park.

"(Waterfront Homes) have a preliminary site plan that they presented, but I'm understanding that they may be modifying that," Andrus said. "Until we have the firm site plan back from their engineers, I mean, they can't start to do too much."

Matson declined to comment on the project's progress Thursday.

In January, Andrus told The Press he welcomed the idea of additional long-term housing in South Heart, since an oil boom has left area residents with fewer places to live. He still thinks providing people with a roof is important, but wonders if the demand for the proposed 300 apartment units will still be strong in 10 years.

After going through the last oil boom, Andrus said there was overdevelopment, and then the "boom bubble burst overnight."

"We want to see sustainability to these plans as they progress," so "our tax payers don't end up having to flip the bill long after (oil) folks are gone," he said.

Andrus added that people in South Heart are not used to seeing a project of this magnitude.

"It's certainly higher for South Heart," he chuckled. "You look up to some of the cities in the north here, Williston, Watford City, and if they can get these 25 (apartments) up there, they'd sell overnight."

Mayor Floyd Hurt does not want residents to jump to any conclusions regarding the higher number of apartments just yet.

"There's so many rumors going around," he said.

In January, Hurt told The Press more apartments would be good for South Heart "because permanent structures are always much better than temporary."

Neither Andrus nor Hurt knew what kind of changes may come up after Matson reviews the latest proposal with engineers.

Andrus said he is just happy more people may have a place to live.

"It's exciting times," he said.