In a move to meet the demand for quality, affordable housing in Osceola, the City Council recently approved plans for the development of a new apartment complex on the South side of the city. The City worked closely with the Clarke County Development Corporation (CCDC), builders, local employers, and County leadership to work up the plan making more than two dozen units available for rent or lease by Fall of 2021.
“We heard a clear call from our employers,” said Ty Wheeler, Osceola City Administrator. “To continue to grow in our community, they needed more local housing to help recruit and retain a reliable workforce.”
While new home development incentives have been successful with an increase in new construction across the city, the need for multi-unit housing continued to grow. This demand came primarily from the continued expansion of the manufacturing industries throughout Clarke County. To help answer the call, discussions amongst the CCDC, The City, Clarke County leadership, and local employers started more than 18 months ago, looking for sites where multi-family units could be established. After the review of numerous locations, from just northeast of the Osceola Square to locations off the Highway 34 and Interstate 35 access areas, a plan proposed for development off Highway 34 on Gustin Street showed the most promise.
“Research has shown that upwards of 50% of the Clarke County workforce commutes in from neighboring communities,” said Bill Trickey, CCDC Executive Director. “Development like this and future ones will be perfect for renters and young families to set roots and start a great life in our community.”
The collaborators on the project started in 2019, working hard to finance the project through Iowa’s Workforce Development Tax credits. When those funds were not awarded to Clarke County, the City stepped in, committing more than $200,000 to bridge financing gaps with the developers to lock-in the project. The funding also addresses much-needed water main updates and infrastructure improvements for the area, adding to future development opportunities.
The approved development, set to break ground in early June, will be called Gustin Street Villa Apartments and will be located on the South side of the city. Development plans outline a three-story complex with three one-bedroom units and six two-bedroom units located on each floor. Units are estimated to start renting at between $840 to $990 per month depending on size.
“It’s just great to see all the new growth and updates being made on our Highway 34 corridor,” said Wheeler. “This has been a long time coming.”