June 25, 2022

Work begins on West Adams housing unit

Work has begun on Union County Development Association housing development for four-unit apartment buildings built along Adams Street.

Two years ago, UCDA Executive Director Wayne Pantini told Creston City Council about a possible plan for a three phase project to build two apartment buildings at now vacant lots at 701 W. Adams St., 708 W. Adams St. and 105 S. Jarvis St.

“The UCDA’s housing committee, in our continued efforts to work with the city to address infill housing and the tax base, ... we are partnering with the city on this and as part of this grant process we will be expanding the housing committee get some more representation from the city,” he said in April 2020.

At that time, rental rates of $750 to $1,000 per month for the properties were expected. The actual cost to rent would be up to the owners of the properties. Phase one of the project would begin with the UCDA purchasing 701 W. Adams St. from the city at a cost of $5,000. The UCDA would turn around and sell the property to a developer with the understanding that the developer would create a four-unit apartment building that blends into the historical style of the neighborhood.

The sale of the property to the UCDA would not be final until either a contractor is found to build the proposed apartment building.

Phase two involves a Rural Housing Readiness Grant that is available to the city. The UCDA recommended Creston apply for the grant of $5,000 using the $5,000 from the sale of 701 W. Adams St. as the match that is required.

The resulting $10,000 could be used by the city to offset the costs it has incurred in buying and then gifting the parcel at 105. S. Jarvis St. to Greater Regional Health. Pantini said Tuesday plans for that lot have not been finalized. The ownership of that property was transferred to GRH in April 2020.

Any remaining grant money would be used for maintenance of the lots during the process and phase three of the project — including a possible incentive to prospective contractors. In phase three GRH would sell the property on Jarvis Street and a connected parcel it owns at 708 W. Adams St. to the UCDA for $5,000.

The UCDA would then find a developer to build a second four-unit apartment building on those lots. In the proposed plan, the city would continue to maintain and mow the lots and the UCDA would pay any property taxes assessed until sales can be finalized.

John Van Nostrand

JOHN VAN NOSTRAND

An Iowa native, John's newspaper career has mostly been in small-town weeklies from the Rocky Mountains to the Mississippi River. He first stint in Creston was from 2002 to 2005.