DEADWOOD — Demand is high and the market is tight, but as soon as later this fall, there will be additional affordable housing available in Deadwood, as city officials joined Deadwood Stage Run developer Bill Pearson in breaking ground on the first group of lots in the second phase of the development Thursday.
“We’re certainly excited for the groundbreaking today, that marks the beginning of the next phase of development up there. It’s nice to see that developers are coming in, helping us with the challenges we face with adequate housing in our community,” said Deadwood Mayor David Ruth, Jr. “Not only are we working toward improving our housing inventory in Deadwood, but this also helps develop our community and grow our community in the future.”
Pearson said he’s passionate about moving the project forward.
“With my involvement in Main Street Initiative, I recognize the extreme need for workforce housing, or affordable housing, so we can have a workforce, here in Deadwood so the businesses can succeed,” Pearson said.
Co-Owner of the Real Estate Center, Mike Percevich, is enthusiastic about adding to Deadwood’s housing inventory.
“I think it’s way overdue and it’s exciting, and we need housing desperately,” said Percevich. “It’s certainly going to help and we’re going to need more.
Percevich said that he feels the development is fitting a segment of the market that is currently not being hit at all right now.
“I would call it Tier One housing. Basically, newer housing with modern amenities and modern materials that we just don’t have. We’re such a historic community that we don’t have houses that are set up with the modern plumbing and heating and cooling and electrical. It’s either been remodeled or retrofitted and it’s nice to have something that’s built from the ground, up using modern materials and techniques.”
Pearson said Deadwood is a historic community and everything is old stock homes.
“There’s been no place to actually build homes,” he said. “When we did Deadwood Stage Run, that was one of our goals. And now that Phase 1 is built out, the need is even greater for affordable housing, workforce housing, and the timing was right.”
Pearson moved the second phase forward when an investment group from Missouri pulled out, due to economic concerns surrounding the coronavirus.
“I just felt that the project was far enough along that it needed to move forward and that’s why I stepped in,” he said.
Pearson, who has been involved with several developments, said he’s never seen demand like this before.
“I’ve never been involved in a development where you had purchase agreements written before you were actually doing the work,” he said.
Deadwood Lead Economic Development Director Kevin Wagner said the development would benefit the area because all of the homes, utilizing an affordable workforce housing tax increment financing district.
“Per South Dakota codified law, you have to have those homes priced at or below the South Dakota Housing Authority’s first time home buyer guideline,” Wagner said. “These homes will be a great opportunity for working families in our Northern Hills region to, hopefully be able to transition out of the rental property they’re in to a first time home.”
Wagner emphasized the novelty of the project.
“I don’t think you can stress it enough. A project like this happening in our area, up here in the hills, in Deadwood and Lead, this is monumental to make this happen. Even our brother and sister communities do not deal with the infrastructure and topographic challenges that we deal with up here,” Wagner said.
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