New apartment complex planned in Great Falls - KRTV News in Great Falls, Montana

New apartment complex planned in Great Falls

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Rockcress apartment building proposal Rockcress apartment building proposal

A new apartment complex is being proposed for Great Falls.

The development is called Rockcress Commons, and it will be located near 24th Avenue South and 23rd Street, south of Great Falls College-MSU.

Rockcress Commons will feature new construction of 1, 2, and 3-bedroom garden-style units, with competitive amenities, on 10 acres. 

Initial plans call for the complex to feature 60 one-bedroom units, 60 two-bedroom units, and 24 three-bedroom units.

A meeting was held NeighborWorks Great Falls on Wednesday night for civic leaders to get more information about the project.

The Montana Board of Housing says that the Rockcress project will benefit from the use of 9% and 4% housing credits, tax exempt bonds, solar tax credits, real estate tax abatement, and a discounted land purchase price with a charitable deduction by the seller. 

Minutes from an August meeting of the Montana Board of Housing state:

The City of Great Falls completed a Housing Market Study in May of 2015. The study concluded that there is a deficit of 961 units as of the time of the study. The study goes on to say "Going forward the lowest-income and other vulnerable households will continue to need new affordable housing."

"Multiple large complexes report being 100% leased, with units rented as they come available. While vacancies do occur from normal turnover, they are filled immediately, meaning no long-term structural vacancy."

NeighborWorks commissioned a market study in September of 2014. Residential findings were as follows: "Only 11% of renters live in units built since 1990, while 78% live in units older than 1980. A full 20% of rental units were built prior to 1940. There is pent up demand for modern units in the market, and well-designed new properties should be able to out-compete many older properties."

In June 2016, Property Dynamics was engaged to produce the attached mini-market study. The report concluded of the 1,059 tax credit and low income units in Great Falls the vacancy rate is currently 0.9%.

There are 1,394 income and tenure eligible, non-senior households in the market area and New Unit Demand is estimated to be 312 additional one-bedroom units, 122 two-bedroom units and 82 three bedroom units annually for a total market demand of 516 new 1-3 bedroom units.

On June 30, 2016 the Great Falls Development Authority held a meeting with top employers in Great Falls and all identified housing as a major impediment to recruiting. According to Brett Doney, GFDA President "employers across the board tell us they're having trouble recruiting all types of workers."

The consensus of the panel of major employers present stated that "Great Falls needs more good quality rental housing at affordable rates so newly recruited workers have homes."

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