Spearfish’s new workforce housing development sees great progress, greater interest

SPEARFISH, S.D. — The City of Spearfish is taking steps to fill a need…a need for housing.

Kory Menken, the executive director at the Spearfish Economic Development Corporation, says, “I always like to emphasize [that] this is not low-income housing, this is affordable, workforce housing. This is housing for our teachers, our nurses, our police officers, our retailers…this is just an opportunity for young professionals.”

Thumbnail Img 0901The Sky Ridge workforce housing development is beginning to take shape, with several houses standing and infrastructure visible throughout.

“Workforce housing is the number one issue we hear about, not just from the local residents, but our local businesses,” Menken says. “Businesses need housing for a lot of their mid-income workers.”

Groundbreaking on the first home happened back in December, and the contract with Dream Design International requires 30 homes be completed per year. The complex of around 150 homes – including a 40-acre sport complex opening in 2023 – is expected to be completed over the next five years, and there’s already no shortage of interest.

“They’ve got 400 people on the waiting list, and so if I could have this stuff built tomorrow, it’d be gone and we’d be looking for new land to do another one on,” says Steve McFarland, city administrator for Spearfish.

The public-private partnership between the City and Dream Design is funded in part by a tax increment finance, or TIF, district which is helping to cover the burden of the $28 million project.

That contract requires 40% of the homes be sold for under $197,000, with another 40% below $247,000. The rest can be sold for no more than $300,000.

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