Townhome plan for Second Avenue South unveiled

Foutch Brothers will build near downtown Fort Dodge

Twelve townhomes will be built near downtown Fort Dodge by the firm that’s converting the former Phillips Middle School into apartments.

The first six townhomes to be built along Second Avenue South by Foutch Brothers LLC, of Kansas City, Missouri, should be finished in the fall of 2019, under a plan unveiled Tuesday.

The townhomes will be two-story buildings with two or three bedrooms, according to Vickie Reeck, the city’s community and economic development director. She said they will have a selling price of about $225,000.

Those new homes will be constructed on what’s now a little-used city parking lot on the north side of Second Avenue South between Ninth and 10th streets.

On Tuesday, the city’s Plan and Zoning Commission voted to recommend that the City Council add that location to the Housing Urban Renewal Area. If the council takes that action, tax increment financing money could be used on the project. Reeck said the money would be used to pay for infrastructure.

Tax increment financing occurs when increased property tax revenue from a designated area is set aside to be reinvested in that area. When tax increment financing is used for a housing project, 43.71 percent of that increased revenue must be set aside for housing initiatives to support low and moderate income people.

In April, the city government sought proposals from developers interested in building townhomes on that parking lot. Foutch Brothers LLC submitted the only proposal, according to Reeck.

In 2014, that firm bought the former Phillips Middle School at 1015 Fifth Ave. N. and the former Fair Oaks Middle School at 416 S. 10th St., with the goal of turning both of them into apartment buildings.

Reeck said the work at the former Phillips Middle School should be done by Dec. 31.

The old Fair Oaks Middle School served as the temporary Duncombe Elementary School for the past two academic years, so no significant remodeling work has not been done there.

Commission members Mike Doyle and Kim Motl were absent from the otherwise unanimous vote to recommend adding the townhome site to the Housing Urban Renewal Area. The City Council will consider that recommendation during its Sept. 10 meeting.

The council will consider a development agreement with Foutch Brothers LLC during its Sept. 24 meeting.

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