New construction brings much needed additional housing to town

Jessica Stölen-Jacobson

Alliance Building Corporation, a company based in Sauk Rapids, recently began clearing the way for a new housing complex to be built on North 21st Street in Montevideo. The construction comes after the company approached the City following the City’s 2019 housing study with a proposal to build a housing unit that would provide additional and much-needed housing to the community in phases based on need.

The 2019 housing study conducted by AdMark Resources found that while the population of Montevideo decreased by two percent between the years 2010 to 2018, it was projected to increase by a half percent by 2023 with average household incomes and employment rates increasing along with it. In the year 2016, there were 258 housing units, some temporary, in the City. The study states that the number of quality rental units within the City is insufficient to meet the demand for rental units, noting particularly rental units attracting young professionals and young families in need of housing while they either build new homes or seek out homes to purchase. The study notes, “There are few market-rate rental options for empty nesters and seniors.”

The study noted that there was a need for 18 new housing units by the year 2023, but that there was also a lack of land available for building such properties. The study also noted, “At a minimum, the city should work to attract a 24-32 unit apartment building with a mix of one, two and three-bedroom units.”

Thus, Alliance Building Corporation found Montevideo to be an ideal location for the construction of a new housing complex. The company has already constructed housing similar to what is underway in Montevideo in other Minnesota cities of similar size and populations including Sauk Center, Avon, Glencoe, Gaylord and Staples. The first phase of construction includes building a 38-40 unit apartment building providing market-based housing. The building will have a three-stop elevator centrally located for convenience, says Alliance Building Corp President Corey Gerads. “It will be one, two, or three-bedroom units with laundry in each unit, cultured marble vanity tops and window sills, patios and decks for each unit with modern hanging decks on the second floor,” Gerads described. There will also be a unit of detached garage space constructed at the same time that will be available for rent alongside the units.

The housing complex will also feature controlled access and entry, security cameras, a fitness room and a separate community room. As far as who may live there, Gerads says “Anyone! It’s 100% market-rate housing. Sometimes it’s the people who want to move into a place with less maintenance, sometimes it’s people looking for a place to be until they find or build their first home.”

Gerads anticipates construction of phase one would take nine to ten months depending on weather conditions. A possible phase two based on need could add additional housing units in the future. City Manager Robert Wolfington noted, “What Corey is looking at is what’s in line with what we need for housing in our community. Our EDA did a lot of work with him over the last couple of years.”

Community Development Director Ben Dolan said, “Housing is a top priority for The Montevideo Economic Development Association, City Council, City Manager, Mayor, and myself.  There are exciting things happening for the City right now and I hope the momentum continues. This is a great first step, and we hope to keep building and improving every day. Thunder Hawk Homes will provide quality housing for the community, and it is coming at a great time because of the New Veterans Home set to break ground later this year. I am extremely happy and excited to help facilitate this project and future projects.”