YORK – A large number of people gathered in the field east of 220 East Nobes Road Tuesday morning to officially break ground for a new apartment housing project that will take place there in the near future.
The project, which will result in the York Creekside Apartments, is yet another housing endeavor taking place in York – where affordable, multi-family housing has been identified as a major need in the effort of workforce development.
York County Development Corporation Executive Director Lisa Hurley explained that in January 2018, “YCDC showed Cliff Mesner (Mesner Development) and Kelby Herman (Progress Builders) several sites, along with a community tour. This was a follow up to a conversation YCDC staff had with Cliff and Kathy in October 2017 during a conference. When they called with an idea for a York County application to the Rural Workforce Housing Fund for an apartment complex, we reacted and started asking for donations. The York Community Foundation was gracious enough to let us use them as a pass-through for the donations. Our local donors allowed us to apply to NIFA for the RWHF Matching Funds and Nebraska Department of Economic Development (DED) in March 2018. YCDC received the NIFA award ($250,000) and $323,000 from DED for the creation of a RWHF Revolving loan that would first fund the York Creekside Apartment Complex. After the award, the developers analyzed several sites before deciding on the site.
“We would not be here today,” Hurley said, “if not for the following donors who allowed us to apply for the state funding: C. Naber & Associates, Central Valley Ag, Champion Home Builders, Chance R’ Restaurant and Lounge, Community Title, Cornerstone Bank, C-TEC AG, Nancy Dob and Dan Pedersen, EyeCare Associates, Chuck and Karen Harris, Henderson State Bank, Heritage Realty, Jack and Jean Vincent, Kelly and Amy Kadavy, Kopcho’s Sanitation, Mead Lumber, Midwest Bank, , Pieper’s Inc., Don and Therese Swanson, Svehla Law Offices, Jim and Jamie Ulrich, Union Bank, York County Development Corporation, York General and York State Bank. I would also like to thank the City of York for their assistance in identifying infrastructure locations/needs, and their approval the project.”
Joining the groundbreaking ceremony was Governor Pete Ricketts. The governor was and has been a major proponent for LB518 – passed by the Nebraska Legislature and signed by the governor in 2017 – which established the Rural Workforce Housing Investment Act with a $7 million fund. The governor has been on hand for other such groundbreaking ceremonies, in promotion of that act and the workforce development efforts taking place across the state.
Construction will soon start in the area that was recently rezoned by the city council – from commercial to residential. The project will result in two, 24-unit market rate apartment buildings. So in the end, 48 new housing units will exist on a property that has never been developed before.
In attendance at the groundbreaking were members of the York Ambassadors, YCDC, York Chamber of Commerce, city council members, bank representatives, city officials, city department heads, investors and well-wishers from the community.
Governor Pete Ricketts and Michael Bogner representing Congressman Adrian Smith were also in attendance.
“This is a really exciting project,” said York Mayor Barry Redfern, who welcomed the crowd. “The investors got together and made this project happen. The developers thought enough of York to pursue this project here. So many people worked together for a common goal – and the goal here is that we need more housing and this is a perfect effort toward that goal. I look forward to great things happening.”
“I want to echo what Mayor Redfern said,” Hurley told those in attendance. “The local investment is what allowed us to access those funds and they came together in less than a month. This was a collaborative effort from many.”
Cliff Mesner, the project developer, wanted to thank all the partners involved in this project, including the builders and Cornerstone Bank, which he’s partnered with in other projects as well. “I want to congratulate everyone, the community for putting this together and making the project work. And I want to congratulate the governor for putting together this program toward building more housing – and this is a revolving fund so there will be more in the future.”
“Yes, this was a coordinated effort,” Governor Ricketts said. “This program started with the passage of LB518 in 2017 and in 2018 the DED (Department of Economic Development) started to distribute funds. The deal with this program is the requirement for matching funds – and this community, as well as other communities, has answered that call, which has led to project like what we have here. And this is just a start, as these are revolving funds. This is an exciting way to address the need for workforce housing, which is an issue in many communities across the state. This is really a team effort of all involved and I want to congratulate everyone. Projects like this will help ensure you can continue to grow for years to come.”