January 5, 2011

72 apartment units planned for Watford

By Tina Foreman
Farmer Staff Writer

It’s a new year, but that doesn’t mean that the woes of last year are behind us. That is at least true when it comes to the housing issues being faced in McKenzie County. Even though several developers are currently working to ease the problem, housing isn’t something that can be put up overnight, especially rental properties.
“According to the recent housing study, Watford City’s biggest housing need is for rental units,” says Gene Veeder, executive director of the McKenzie County Job Development Authority. “The two biggest issues with rental units is the time it takes to build them and the cost. According to the housing study, in order for an apartment complex to be financially stable, the rent needs to be around $1,200 per month.”
Progressive Commercial Development, an Oregon-based company hopes that its plans for 72 apartment units will not only help with the area’s rental shortage, but the company also hopes to offer the apartments at an affordable market value.
“We have plans to use 20 acres of the Liberty Hills Subdivision in Watford City for a multiple phase housing project,” says Mike Allen of Progressive Commercial Development. “Right now we are in the design phase, but hope to start construction on phase one this spring.”
Phase one consists of 72 apartment units and garages. The one, two and three-bedroom units will be in three story buildings with approximately 12 units per building.
“We are excited to be a part of the community,” adds Allen. “We are working as fast as we can on the project, and depending on the weather and funding, we estimate that construction will begin this spring. We are very confident in this project and look forward to getting the construction started.”
Once phase one is complete, the company plans to design phase two around what the community needs.
“Phase two could be duplexes or single family homes,” says Allen. “Once the apartments are done and rented, we will reassess what the community’s needs are and design phase two around those needs.”
With many housing construction projects underway, community leaders are hopeful that McKenzie County’s housing shortage will soon begin to shrink.
“I truly believe that within the next 18 months, the housing shortage in this area will be under control,” states Veeder.