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Housing continues to be a top priority

Posted 4/06/11 (Wed)

By Tina Foreman
Farmer Staff Writer
Watford City, like other communities in western North Dakota, continues to struggle with housing, especially the lack of housing, a problem that many people, including housing developers, hope that spring weather will soon help them to combat.
“If this snow would just go away, we could get some houses up,” says Tom Kirch, Watford City Hospitality Associates, LLC project manager. “As soon as the ground will allow, we are going to rock and roll with the first 23 homes in Veeder Estates.”
John Dunlap, who owns Watford City Hospitality Associates, LLC, along with his father-in-law, David Veeder, has completed one housing project in Watford City and is currently working on two more. His firm currently has 48 units completed in a 72-unit short-term stay complex along the bypass south of town. In addition to the short-term stay units, Watford City Hospitality Associates, LLC, is eager to begin construction on 23 single family homes that will make up phase one in Veeder Estates, which is located north of Pro Auto Body.
“Veeder Estates is a subdivision that when finished will have 61 total lots to be completed in three phases,” says Kirch. “We will have some pre-sold homes, but for the most part, we will be building and then selling the homes. We have eight floor plans to choose from, with different color options also available, so all of the houses will be different.”
Dunlap hopes to have houses in Veeder Estates up and ready to sell in six to eight months.
Veeder Estates proposes to be a great place for those that are looking for long-term housing. But not everyone living in the area is ready to buy a home, and some of the people looking for housing don’t plan on staying in the area permanently. Which is where other housing projects take over.
For people looking for a place to call home for now, camper trailers and trailer houses have become very popular, and Greg’s Welding, a Wyoming-based company is hopeful that its new trailer park west of Watford City will help to quell some of those needs.
“We’re just trying to get some places up so crews have a place to stay,” says Scott Sorenson, Greg’s Welding project manager. “The man camps in the area have guys on couches and the floor. It’s really hard to find a place to stay so we’re working as hard and fast as we can to get these trailers ready.”
The trailer park being constructed by Greg’s Welding is currently in phase one, which hopes to have 20 trailer houses ready for occupants soon.
The need for housing has brought a lot of attention to Watford City, but not all of the plans for the area have panned out. And for others, there just isn’t enough land and infrastructure to make their plans a reality.
“We are getting a little overwhelmed,” says Gene Veeder, Watford City Economic Development executive director. “We have a lot of developers in the area. There are projects getting done and there are a lot of folks talking about doing stuff. Either way, I know of 50 to 60 new homes that will be up this summer, and I would expect that there will actually be double that number.”
According to Veeder, he is getting five calls a day from people wanting to develop housing in the area.
“There simply isn’t enough infrastructure out there for all of these people to get projects started right now,” adds Veeder. “Other problems developers are facing is the ability to finance their projects. But I think we will still see a lot of housing this summer.”
Whether you’re looking for housing or interested in bringing housing to the area, it seems that Watford City and its surrounding area might soon have just what you’re looking for.