First NDR housing project completed

Ribbon cutting set for remodeled Park South Apartments

Jill Schramm/MDN The Park South Apartment renovation is completed and a ribbon cutting is set for Tuesday. The project was supported by Minot’s National Disaster Resilience Program.

Park South Apartments, the City of Minot’s first affordable housing rehabilitation project supported by the National Disaster Resilience Program, is complete.

A ribbon cutting and open house is scheduled for Tuesday at 10 a.m. at Park South, 234 14th Avenue SE.

The apartment building is one of the first projects in the country completed nationally by recipients of the 13 NDR grants provided by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development program, according to the city.

“We’re proud that Minot continues to be an example of how the NDR Program is expected to help communities,” Minot Mayor Shaun Sipma said. “This project was a great first step for the community utilizing the HUD grant, NDR dollars, and it’s a great illustration of what all three levels of governments working together can accomplish.”

The City of Minot received a $74.3 million HUD grant through the NDR program. Of that amount, $21 million is designated for affordable multi-family housing. The city awarded $1.97 million to Essential Living Inc., the non-profit owner of Park South, to renovate the building’s 35 existing apartments and add five new units. Seventy-five percent of Park South’s apartments are now reserved for income-qualified households. Four of these units are fully handicapped accessible.

“The project completion on a timely basis fulfills a critical commitment the city made in 2016 when HUD approved the NDR Action Plan,” said Disaster Resilience Program Manager John Zakian. “Park South’s completion is a milestone for the City of Minot in carrying out the goal of fulfilling unmet housing needs in the community.”

Essential Living also received $2.23 million from North Dakota Housing Finance Agency through the Housing Incentive Fund. The state’s program supports the development and preservation of affordable multi-family rental housing targeted to low- to moderate-income households and essential service workers.

“The assistance North Dakota Housing Finance Agency provided through the Housing Incentive Fund extended the affordability of these homes and ensures that the individuals and families that live at Park South have a place to live that is both safe and desirable,” said NDHFA Executive Director Jolene Kline in the release.

The project received additional support through the North Dakota Department of Commerce, $714,950 from the Governor’s Community Development Block Grant Discretionary Funds for the storm water management work that benefited the whole neighborhood and an interest-rate buydown from Bank of North Dakota’s FlexPACE program. The total project cost exceeded $7.4 million.

“Minot was extremely fortunate to receive the NDR Funds, and we are pleased that this project really demonstrates how the private sector can work with the public sector to provide affordable housing for our community,” said Essential Living President Bruce Walker. “Working with the City of Minot, North Dakota Housing Finance Agency, and our other project partners has been a very positive experience.”

Essential Living updated all of the existing units’ kitchens and bathrooms, plumbing, electrical, hardware and flooring. The building’s common areas were also renovated, asbestos was abated, the original coal burning boiler was replaced and a new entrance, air conditioning and an elevator were added.

Many of Park South’s tenants lived at the property prior to the renovation. The developer phased construction so that those households would not be displaced during the renovation. Currently, 22 of the building’s 40 apartments are rented. Individuals who would like to learn more about Park South can contact the property manager, 1st Minot Management, at 839-7505. Information is also available online, www.essentiallivingminot.com.

Essential Living plans to construct affordable patio homes on the five acres that adjoins Park South. If able to secure the financing needed, Walker anticipates starting that project next year.

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