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 Work on the Forest Ridge Apartments in Glenwood is already underway, but those who helped make the 32-unit apartment complex a reality gathered for the official ground breaking ceremony. From left are Al Liestman, Center National Bank; Jeremy LaCroix, DEED; Rep. Paul Anderson; Erick Gandrud, Eagle Bank; Sadie Schlief, Minnewaska Area School Board; Jason Murray, Pope County HRA/EDA; Scott Formo, Glenwood Mayor; Theresa Jergenson, FAST Global Soutions; Paul Gerde, chair of Pope County Board of Commissioners; Arden Hotzheimer of Miller Architects and Builders; Skip Duchesneau, president of D.W. Jones, Inc.; Cody Rogahn, Pope County board and HRA/EDA board; Joe Seifert and Jesse Brennuy of Miller Archetects and Builders, the contractors for the project.

 Work begins on Forest Ridge Apartments

Official groundbreaking shows collaboration of many entities 

The groundbreaking ceremony for Forest Ridge Apartments revealed just how much of a community collaboration it was to bring the $4.3 million housing project to reality in Glenwood.

Along with the project’s developer, D.W. Jones, and Miller Construction, others at the ceremony were the Pope County Commissioners, the Pope County HRA/EDA, Glenwood City Commissioners and staff, Minnewaska School Board, local Eagle Bank President Erick Gandrud, Rep. Paul Anderson and a staff member from the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED).

All those government agencies, along with the private developer and two banks, came together to bring the 32-unit market-rate housing development to Glenwood.

The housing project should be ready for tenants by May of next year, according to Skip Duchesneau, president of D.W. Jones, Inc., the private developer who is building and managing the project.

“It all started with a phone call from Jason Murray in January of 2016, executive director of the Pope County HRA,” Duchesneau told the crowd gathered at the site of the housing project just south and east of Midwest Machinery between Highways 29 and 55 in Glenwood. “We were shown three communities in the county and felt we could have the best chance of funding in Glenwood,” he added. He told those gathered that the 32-unit housing development “will not fill all the need, but will make a great start. Duchesneau said local companies like FAST Global Solutions, Clyde Machines, Inc. and Glacial Ridge Health System provided letters of support and assisted in D.W. Jones obtaining funding from DEED. “We hope this housing helps them fill the many open jobs that currently exist” in the Glenwood area.

The collaboration didn’t stop. Once the local companies were on board, the city of Glenwood, Minnewaska Area School district and Pope County all proived a tax abatement district, which generated $402,783. DEED then provided a grant for infrastructure improvements to allow the construction of 17th Ave. NE and a turn lane off of Highway 29. The Pope County HRA/EDA contributed the land for $1 and $100,000 to support the infrastructure which will make it easier to develop the rest of the HRA/EDA-owned property in that area.

“It is truly this cooperation between all these entities that allowed us to be here today wand without anyone of them the project would not have happened,” Duchesneau said. 

About the Forest Ridge Apartment complex

Forest Ridge Apartments will offer 32 units with 19 attached, heated garage stalls. There will be nine one-bedroom unites, 17 two-bedroom units and six three-bedroom units for a total development cost of $4,336719. It is believed that Forest Ridge will be ready for occupancy in May of f2018, according to Duchesneau. Rents for the one-bedroom units will range from $775 to $800 per month. Two-bedroom units will range from $900 to $975 per month and the three-bedroom units will rent for $1,100. Rent includes heat, water/sewer and garbage. All units will include through-the-wall air conditioning, dishwashers and an in-unit washer and dryer.

Forest Ridge will include a community room with kitchen, patio with gas grills, and social area that the residents can reserve for family and group functions at no charge. There will be a playground area for the children of the Forest Ridge, which is being designed as a centralized focal point of the community. Forest Ridge is a market-rate housing project, which means there are no income guidelines for occupants.

Official groundbreaking shows collaboration of many entities 

 By Tim Douglass

Officials break ground for housing project in Villard

The official groundbreaking ceremony for a four-unit market rate housing project in Villard took place on Thursday, July 6. The project, which is on Commercial Ave. in Villard, is being developed by Cody and Sarah Nelson. The Pope County Housing and Redevelopment Authority with Economic Development powers (HRA/EDA) helped to secure the project. Pictured from left are: County HRA/EDA consultant Jason Murray, HRA/EDA Board members Dorothy Gaffaney, J.P. Shea, Allan Rutter, Cody and Sarah Nelson, Cody Rogahn, Larry Kittelson and Lori Vaadeland. Excavation work on the housing project began last week, and construction work will follow. This is the third housing project that has been instigated in Pope County by the county HRA/EDA. The others included Bay Meadows senior housing in Starbuck and The Ridge, another privately developed housing project to be built in Glenwood.

Information and photo Courtesy of the Pope County Tribune.

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