May 12, 2010

Company to build new homes, short-term stay units in Watford

By Neal A. Shipman
Farmer Editor

With plans to develop up to 64 new single family homes, as well as 72 short-term stay units this summer, a Watford City developer could finally help the community begin solving its lack of housing problem.
According to John Dunlap, who owns Watford City Hospitality Associates, LLC, along with his father-in-law David Veeder, their proposed development is intended to help meet both the community’s short-term needs as well as its long-term housing needs.
“We will be breaking ground very soon on a 72-unit short-term stay complex north of the Creekside Cottages built by LSS along the Highway Bypass,” stated Dunlap. “These units, which will be approximately 600 square feet and will be completely furnished, will provide a nice transition for a worker while they are looking for a home.”
According to Dunlap, each of the short-term stay units will be completely private and will be furnished with a washer and dryer, queen-sized bed, television and individual, heated garages.
“These units will be extremely price competitive compared to other extended stay units,” stated Dunlap. “Our unit’s rates will be 75 to 80 percent lower than the nightly rates at other extended stay units.”
While the short-term stay units will definitely fill the need for temporary housing in Watford City, the plans by Watford City Hospitality Associates, LLC to begin construction of new single family homes is what economic development people in the community are excited about.
“We have been hoping that a developer would step in and do a project like this,” states Gene Veeder, McKenzie County Economic Development director. “We are extremely excited. Having a new housing development within the city limits of Watford City is exactly what we’ve wanted.”
According to Dunlap, Watford City Hospitality Associates, LLC has 35 acres of land that lies north of the Catholic church and extends east to Pro Auto Body on the city’s north side under contract and is the process of finalizing plans to begin construction of new single family homes.
“We are planning to construct entry level, affordable single family homes,” stated Dunlap. “The homes will be two to three bedrooms, two bathroom units ranging in size from 1,200 to 1,600 square feet with a partially finished basement and double car garages and range in price from $175,000 to $195,000.”
The first phase of the development, according to Dunlap, will be the largest growth in housing that the city has seen in the last 30 years.
According to Dunlap, the property has the potential to be developed into 64 lots, although the construction of new homes will be done in phases.
“The first phase of this project will be for the construction of 20 to 25 homes that will be built north of Pro Auto Body,” stated Dunlap. “We will be using several different floor plans in the development, which will provide for a very nice appearance.”
Dunlap says that Watford City Hospitality Associates, LLC chose Watford City for this type of development because not only is it in the middle of the oil patch, but because of the community being proactive to development.
“Watford City had the foresight to hedge against the negative impacts of growth,” stated Dunlap. “The community has focused its attention on finding a permanent solution to  its housing needs and we are proud to be a part of it.”
Dunlap also credits the willingness of the city and the county to work together to help solve the housing problem as being key.
“As a result of everyone’s efforts and cooperation, Watford City will emerge as one of the only communities in western North Dakota that will provide the needed livability,” states Dulap.
Dunlap plans for the short-term stay units to be ready for occupancy by Aug. 1, while completion of the new single family homes will be by the end of summer.
“The two developments compliment themselves,” states Dunlap. “It is critical to have transitional housing available until more permanent housing is finished.”