For my column this month, I’d like to talk more about our current housing issues and some of our plans to hopefully provide some relief to the problem. As many of you know by now, we were very excited when Dakota Provisions informed us late last month of their plans to expand their ready-to-eat portion of their operations right here in Huron. This is roughly a $30 million expansion and will likely create approximately 200- 250 new jobs over the course of the next several years.
We have known now for at least the last five years that a significant effort is needed to be put forth by the community in the housing arena, not only to accommodate Huron’s growth, but to provide housing choices for all new employees moving to town. We simply need more of everything, from single family homes to multi-family complexes, for both sale or for rent. Unfortunately, the pace of home or apartment construction just simply has not caught up with demand.
In an effort to address this critical shortage and as part of our commitment to Dakota Provisions our community needs to be prepared to provide 140-150 new housing units by the end of 2017. We believe there will be some significant opportunities for those willing to take the chance on building additional units. While we are simply not in a position to provide financing for those looking to take on a building project we would welcome the opportunity to sit down with individual contractors or business owners to discuss what we see as areas of opportunities. Again, we need more of everything in a very short time so it’s wide open as to what type of housing needs to be built.
We have a lot of work to do in this community to be ready by the end of next year, but through working together I am confident that we will get this job done.
When I write you again in December, we will hopefully have more good news to share on our other projects such as the Southtown Development. Until then I hope everyone has a wonderful fall. For those who will be participating in the hunting season, we wish you the very best luck and remind you to stay safe while handling your firearms.
-Jim Borszich, GHDC President/CEO