Officials are preparing to put the results of a recent housing study to work by showcasing what Gage County has to offer developers.
Members of the NGage economic development group's board of directors discussed the study during its monthly meeting Thursday, where Director Walker Zulkoski said a tour of the area is planned for June 15.
“We did a housing study, and it’s showing that there is a housing need,” he said. “The next logical step is to bring in a bunch of residential and real estate developers and show them our communities."
Developers will likely take a bus tour of the county, stopping at various communities.
Beatrice City Administrator Tobias Tempelmeyer said the county seat plans to showcase a variety of options to developers.
“We have different sites picked out,” he said. He added the locations will be suited for a variety of different objectives. “Are they looking for an area that’s already got lots, blocks, streets and all utilities in? Are they looking for bare ground they can shape and mold themselves? We’ll have all that to show them.”
A variety of residences ranging from downtown to elderly housing will be considered for development, with most houses costing approximately $180,000-$200,000.
June 15 was selected as the date due to its proximity to the upcoming Homestead Days festivities, which Zulkoski said will show the area during a time of activity.
“I think the communities should show really well, and the county should show really well,” he said. “There’s going to be some buzz going on. The point of this is to get people revved up about what’s going on in our county.”
The housing study, which was released in March, identified a need for 446 housing units, including 283 owner and 163 rental units. A downtown Beatrice housing initiative included in the report sets a target of up to 22 new housing units in the downtown area.
The 145-page study also includes goals, action steps and a five-year housing action plan identifying specific housing development initiatives.
The study came at a total cost of $30,000, half of which was provided by the Nebraska Investment Finance Authority (NIFA). It consisted of various surveys being administered by Hanna:Keelan Associates.
The study included examination of population, income and economic data and a housing stock analysis, among other factors.
After developers see the area, collecting proposals will be the next step.
“The first thing is to have them come to town and see what’s going on,” Zulkoski said. “Then we’re going to send out official requests for proposals so these developers will kind of pick and choose from the things we want built and parlaying with available incentives resources and bringing us proposals.”