Kansas City property group clears key hurdle with Carroll housing plan | News

Carroll City Council members Monday approved initial steps — but with many to go — in a process for a Kansas City-area development group with a multi-state portfolio of housing to construct an $11-million, 35-unit town-house complex east of MidAmerican Energy and Auen Distributing and south of the Union Pacific Railroad lines in Carroll.

The developer, Overland Property Group, based in Overland Park, Kansas, a Kansas City suburb, will receive a letter of support from the City of Carroll for an application for government low-to-middle-income construction tax credits. The credits, which would come through the Iowa Finance Authority, would be on construction, and require certain rent boundaries on the one-story units. They would not go directly to tenants.

Additionally, as part of that support, the City Council is committing to spending about $700,000 in extension of Third Street and sanitary sewer lines through the property, funding that could allow more development in the region and be managed through tax increment financing or the increase in taxable valuation on what is now a blend of farmland and idle acreage.

“There is a definitely a demand there,” said Councilman Kyle Bauer who made the motion for the city to proceed with initial stages of support for development.

The City Council will still have to approve rezoning, a development agreement and other steps in the process so it is far from a sealed deal.

Council members voted 5 to 1 to proceed with Councilwoman JJ Schreck as the lone dissenting vote. She did not comment on her “no” vote during the meeting.

Overland Property Group has 3,500 units under its management from Texas to Iowa, with complexes in Storm Lake, Pella and Washington in Iowa, and plans for housing in Carroll and Boone.

Carroll Police Chief Brad Burke said law enforcement officials in Pella have no issues with the property there, while Washington police cannot even recall a single call to the units in that eastern Iowa city. In Storm Lake, there are calls to the region in which the Overland property sits, but Burke, who grew up in Storm Lake, said any issues there can’t be tied solely to Overland.

Carroll City Manager Mike Pogge-Weaver said he joined Burke in vetting the development group’s Iowa properties.

“The Overland Property Group has a good track record from talking to other communities,” Pogge-Weaver said.

Originally, the development in Carroll — which will be called The Villas At Governor’s Field — was slated to have 30 units as first reported by the Times Herald last week. That has now increased to 35 units with 22 two-bedrom units planned along with 13 four-bedroom units.

Rents for most of the units are expected to be slated for those with incomes at 40 percent to 60 percent of area median income, a range of $22,960 a year for a single person to $53,160 for a family of five. Rents would run between $640 and $1.050 depending on the size of units and the tenants’ incomes.

“If we are looking at getting some housing going we have to do something,” said Councilman LaVern Dirkx.

Added Councilwoman Carolyn Siemann, “There are a lot of ‘help wanted’ signs all over. We need to jump in sometime.”

Councilman Tom Bordenaro, who voted to proceed with the first steps on the city’s side of the arrangement, expressed concerns that the rents could drive tenants out of other units in Carroll, leaving them vacant. Bauer, who is involved in the rental property business, said demand is high for housing in Carroll.

Eric Wyancko, a development associate with Overland Property Group, said the developer plans to own the property for the long haul and be involved with the community. He also said the complex would have regular management personnel on site.

“I’m excited about the opportunity to work with the local community,” Wyancko said, adding that Overland Property Group planned to work with local contractors and materials providers as much as possible.

“We definitely try to work local,” Wyancko said.

According to the city and developer, the exterior of the units would be constructed mainly of hardiplank siding, stone veneer and brick.

The Villas would have a central clubhouse with a community room and exercise room, playground and dog park.

The main development area is on property currently owned by Region 12 Council of Governments. The extension of Third Street is also being acquired by Overland Property Group. Currently, the northern portion of the property is owned by Mark Schreck and the southern portion is owned by James Auen and Miriam Auen.