Avera Queen of Peace to donate 21.7 acres to Mitchell Area Development Corp.

MITCHELL, S.D. (Press Release) – Avera Queen of Peace will donate 21.7 acres of land to the Mitchell Area Development Corporation (MADC) for the purpose of developing housing for middle-income earners.

“At Avera, we see this as an opportunity to work in partnership with the city and MADC to support local employers and employees,” said Tom Clark, regional president and CEO of Avera Queen of Peace. “This initiative is viable because of the willingness of our three entities to work collaboratively.

“This also allows us to live out the Avera mission of making a positive impact in the life of our community,” said Clark.

The land is located on the east side of Foster Street slightly north of the Avera Cancer Institute in Mitchell.  Initial designs show plans for 94 homes to be developed in two phases.

“Workforce housing was an issue at the forefront of our Forward 2040 community vision process,” said Mitchell Mayor Bob Everson. “This gift will allow us to address a critical need in Mitchell.”

Infrastructure costs will likely be covered through tax increment financing, according to Everson.

“We consider this an economic development opportunity for the community,” he said. “A TIF is the best tool to keep the development affordable.”

“This is a tremendous gift to the community,” said MADC CEO Mark Vaux. “This gift of land will allow us to keep the cost of lots to a minimum in order to keep the overall price of homes more accessible to average earners.”

The target price of the homes is less than $200,000, and the development is intended for people with household incomes of between $50,000 and $70,000. Incomes in that range qualify for multiple grant and loan programs which will keep monthly payments within an approved range for lenders.

MADC will take the lead on the project and develop a request for proposals for developers. The plan is not to sell individual lots, but to work with developers who can build multiple homes within a five-year period.

“Our goal is to see the infrastructure completed in phase one by this summer,” said Vaux. “Although it’s aggressive, we would like to have eight homes ready for occupancy by the end of 2020.”

Plans for the initial phase include multiple styles of single-family homes with 55 homes to be built by the end of 2024.

“This is a unique project, not just in Mitchell, but around our state,” said Vaux. “Avera’s generosity combined with the expertise of the city and MADC will make this a model project for other communities.”