Construction begins on HPI'S latest investment in Albert Lea

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Note: Printed with Permission from the Albert Lea Tribune, article by Shawanda Schelinder.
Construction of the Pickerel Park Townhomes is underway.
The Newbury Development Company has recently acquired the building permits - totaling $1.4 million - from the city of Albert Lea. The four permits at $359,000 each are for four structures on the 1800 block of West Ninth Street. Each of the structures will have six units and garages.
"We just got started on the construction," said Denise Fischer, vice president of Newbury Development Company. "And usually with a project this size, we plan a 12-month construction."
She anticipates the units will be done by next spring. A management company hired by Newbury may start taking applications by the end of the year for the income-qualified apartments.
"We've already started getting inquires," Fischer said. "There is some interest even though there's not much to see yet."
In addition to inquiries, the development has also seen interest from the business and economic community. Newbury Development received two donations to enhance the playground facilities at the Pickerel Park Townhomes.
"We've received $5,000 from Jobs, Inc. and another $5,000 from the (Albert Lea) Port Authority," Fischer said.
When completed, the development will offer two and three bedroom apartments to two- to five-member families. Rents to income qualified families - $16,200 to $25,000 - range from about $378 to $529. The families must pay established rents to continue to live in the development. There will be 12 two-bedroom and 12 three-bedroom units.
Newbury Development Company is making a 30-year commitment to provide the rental units to families in the low to middle income bracket. During that time, the company is responsible for management and upkeep and receives no subsidies on rent.
Because the project is contingent on other state assistance, the state will require annual inspections of the property. Any maintenance problems must be addressed; the tax-sheltered-equity owners are responsible for immediate repairs.
The Internal Revenue Service will also monitor income requirements of the proposed development, but if renters exceed the income limits while living in the development, they can't be evicted.
The 24 units will each have a garage, central air, gas forced heat, stove, refrigerator, microwave, dishwasher and washer and dryer.

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