Creston City Council discussed the possible development of attainable housing during an appointment with Karie Kading Ramsey of Kading Properties at its regularly scheduled meeting Tuesday.
Kading Ramsey proposed the development of Cottonwood Estates II, a community featuring 90 market-rate leased condominium units, which would be owned and managed by Kading Properties. Kading said, should Kading Properties enter into an agreement with the city, the company would construct and incur the cost associated with all public improvements necessary for the development, estimated at $1.6 million and agreed to build a property with a minimum assessed value of $9 million.
Kading Ramsey requested to purchase a 16-acre parcel of land for $1, which is located north of McKinley Lake, and currently owned by the City of Creston, and requested $2.4 million to assist in the development of the project.
According to Kading Ramsey, an incentive package, which includes installation of sewer, streets, lights, grading of roads and city street would be done at the expense of Kading Properties and then deeded to the city.
Kading Ramsey said she has been talking with city officials for the past three years and feels the time is right.
“There’s no section 42, it’s market rate. Everything is done in house. We hire subcontractors to see out the work. We take care of everything from acquisition of the land to construction to managing the properties,” she said.
Kading Ramsey said the average age of their tenants is 42 and each unit will feature three bedrooms.
“So that tells you we have a wide variety. We get a young person starting out, to a lot of elderly couples that are selling a house and want to stay in something they don’t have to maintain,” she said.
Because of the number of bedrooms, Kading Ramsey said the units are suitable for families and building a development would mean a partnership between the company and the city.
“We want to be in with a community. We’re not coming in to build and leave. We are chamber members. We are partners. We want to make sure our clients, who live with us, are also good members of society,” she said.
Kading Ramsey said the company’s properties typically have an on-site manager or service technician to report any property issues to.
Other Kading Property locations have been built in Huxley, Adel, Winterset and Osceola.
Councilman Steve Wintermute said he is in favor of the project because of the need for housing in Creston, however he is concerned about the cost.
Council members and Kading Ramsey discussed other concerns such as sewer access, LMI options and timeframe.
“For us to start a job in the spring, we really need to have everything through council and the processes confirmed so we can let the bids by March 1,” said Kading.
Kading said the project would take approximately 16 months if work is started in the spring.
The council is taking the proposal into consideration and exploring the potential benefit to the community and the city’s tax base.