In EG, 148 acres likely to become residential

EAGLE GROVE — A 148-acre housing development that could include 70 single-family homes, multiple apartment buildings, and a 20-acre retention pond is being planned in northwest Eagle Grove, according to Bryce Davis, Eagle Grove city administrator.

“Housing is a concern in every town and every community across the region, not just because of Prestage Foods, but because of many different employers looking for quality workers,” Davis said. “One of the biggest things is having a quality, affordable housing stock.”

Initial plans for new housing were revealed by the city’s Community Development Corporation recently.

According to Davis, the CDC has finalized a two-year option with the landowner.

When the CDC executes the option, development can begin, Davis said.

“We are just happy to see the CDC has control over the future of the land at predefined price per acre,” he said. “From the city’s aspect, we have looked at our infrastructure to see how we could phase it into that development property.”

A developer for the site, located northwest of Robert Blue Middle School and Eagle Grove Elementary School, has not been named.

An estimated 70 single-family homes could be located in the new development. Apartment buildings would make up about 40 acres of the land, according to the initial plans.

The apartments are likely to be three stories or less, Davis said.

A retention pond ranging from 20 to 25 acres may also be added.

Surrounding the pond would be a trail system.

“Our goal is to bring Three Rivers Trail into town that will connect to it,” Davis said.

A trailhead would be located near the schools.

New streets will be built and old ones improved.

“We are going to bring in streets from our existing system as well as pave a current gravel road that exits the city for dust control measures and so we can have access from that location as well as by the railroad on the northwest side of town,” Davis said. “There will be a quick exit on both sides of the development property.”

The south side of the land would contain houses while the north side would contain apartments, he said.

A timeline for the project has not been revealed.

Davis said multiple sources would help fund the development.

“I anticipate using seven or eight different forms of financing for this project,” he said.

Some examples might include: water quality restoration funds, REAP grants, revenue loans, and local option sales tax.

“Tax increment financing will be a big player in this,” Davis said. “Depending on the type of incentive policy that we go after, we could look at conduit bonds for multifamily housing. We could look at loans from USDA or Iowa Finance Authority to incentivize development.”

Much of the funding will be determined when the overall cost of the project is set, he said.

Davis said the city remains focused on current infrastructure needs, while also preparing for the future.

“We are investing in the future,” he said. “We want to maintain our current infrastructure needs, so we are pursuing a community core plan. We are looking at our infrastructure from water, sewer, roadway improvements. We are tearing down dilapidated homes. We are doing a comprehensive approach, but at the end of the day you need lots for new development and that’s what we are focusing on to continue to grow and expand. It’s extremely important for the vibrancy of the community to showcase there is progress.”

• 70 single-family homes

• Multiple apartment buildings

• 20-acre pond, trails

• All northwest of Eagle Grove