May 20, 2015

Beulah inks 24-unit complex

By Ken Beauchamp
The Beulah City Council has approved a purchase agreement with LSS Housing Beulah, LLC, Fargo, N.D. , which will transfer Lot 2 of Block One in an unnamed addition in the city currently referenced as the Former Boeckel Trailer Court. That area is along County 21 on the east access of the city.
Selling price of the property was set alone dollar, with the purchaser to pay legal fees of $300. The city will provide warranty deed and pay for recording. An abstract, if requested, will also be the responsibility of the buyer.
Planned for the site is a 24-unit apartment complex, which will be adjacent to a proposed city day care center. All of that is located on a strip of land accessed off County 21. The city is looking at developing a street on the west side of the site, possibly using Surge Funds the city received from the state.
According to the agreement, the buyer agrees to begin construction of what is termed “affordable housing” by no later than December 31, 2015, and complete the project by July 1, 2016. Although the city council has agreed to the land sale, the project remains subject to approval of the city Planning and Zoning Board and will be required to obtain all necessary permits and approvals prior to beginning construction.
The projected cost, as presented to the city council Monday night, is $3,830,475. Part of the financing is coming from the North Dakota Housing Finance Program in the amount of $1,149,143, as part of the Housing Incentive Fund. The city and the Beulah JDA have committed up to $27,225 if necessary.  The balance of the cost, $2,150,000, will come from the sale of bonds to private banks.
Tax credits through the state program are also involved, since the project will offer preferred rentals to what are termed “essential service workers” -- people who are employed by a city, county, school district, medical or other entities who fulfill an essential public service.
Beulah Mayor Darrell Bjerke said Tuesday that all necessary paperwork must be filed for consideration and scoring of need by May 29, or the city will have to wait two years before trying again.
While the units are deemed “affordable housing,” John Phillips, city economic development coordinator, told the council that rates would start at around $900 per month for essential service workers and go up to around $1,100 per month for others, with 12 of the 24 units reserved for essential service workers. Phillips also reported that the units will all offer garages, which are being built larger than normal to accommodate the number of larger vehicles, such as 4-door pickup trucks.

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