Alliant supporting Clear Lake housing efforts through Heartland Properties

 
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Heartland Properties, Inc., a subsidiary of Alliant Industries, is working with the Clear Lake Economic Development Corporation (EDC) to help bring more than 40 affordable homes to Clear Lake. The project, to provide housing on the former Central School site, is designed to meet one of the most pressing needs in the community - affordable housing - say EDC officials. The Clear Lake Community School District approved the sale of the Central School property for the development at its meeting August 31.
"Clear Lake industries are forecasting consistent economic growth for the future," according to Dave Collins, executive director of the EDC. "The only way for us to ensure that those projections become reality is to provide sufficient housing for the employees who will be needed in the years ahead."
Collins said that a recent housing assessment showed that the community had significant housing needs. A review of local businesses also showed that 55 to 60 percent of the employees at major employers lived outside Clear Lake. That problem is expected to grow, as companies like Cole-Sewell and Serta look to expand in the future.
To meet the community's housing needs, the Clear Lake EDC is working with Heartland Properties of Madison, Wis. to propose construction of a 30-unit senior housing apartment building and 10 single-family homes on the 3.7-acre Central School site. The three-story senior housing facility will feature both one and two-bedroom apartment homes with a large community room area. The facility will be available to residents of 55 years of age or better, with apartments starting at $300 for a one-bedroom unit. The addition of single-family homes on the same site will further solidify the residential nature of the area, Collins said.
"For seniors, having groceries, medical care and the other downtown retail services within walking distance is critical," Collins said. "The Central School site will provide residents with easy access to services to help them live comfortably and independently."
Heartland Properties, with more than more than 100 housing developments in the Midwest, initially worked with Fareway Foods when the Central School site was originally advertised for sale through a Request for Proposals. After the original advertised offer was rejected, Heartland Properties formed a limited partnership with Burns & Burns, L.L.C., a development and architectural firm located in Iowa City, Iowa.
Burns & Burns, led by Robert P. Burns, President, has extensive experience in Iowa developing affordable housing. Under the plans for the property, Burn & Burns will be able to access the housing tax credit program administered by the Iowa Finance Authority. As sponsor of the project, Heartland Properties will make an investment of more than $1 million into the project.
The availability of Heartland Properties' expertise in housing was one of the significant benefits of the merger to create Alliant, according to Alliant Utilities - Interstate Power Co. Clear Lake Account Manager Kevin Schultz.
"We are pleased to bring in the expertise of Heartland Properties to help communities like Clear Lake address critical issues for continued growth and prosperity," Schultz said. "It is one more way that Alliant appreciates being able to partner with our service communities."
The Clear Lake EDC will present its proposals to the city Planning and Zoning Commission for approval. The proposals are also seeking financing approvals and a grant from the Iowa Department of Economic Development through the Local Housing Assistance Program.

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