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Boreal Community Media

Work force house has arrived in Grand Marais

May 04, 2018 07:14AM ● By Editor
A crew from Edwin Thoreson was diligently working on the workforce housing sites on Wednesday, May 2, getting the area cleared and ground ready for the four new homes that will be delivered within the next week, weather provided. The houses will be offered for sale when completed through One Roof Housing of Duluth.  Staff photo/Brian Larsen

By Brian Larsen from The Cook County News Herald - May 4, 2018

The much-anticipated workforce housing slated for Grand Marais is now in the process of being delivered.

Two large semis rolled into town at about 6 p.m. on Wednesday, May 2, making the very long slow trip from Red Wood Falls, Minnesota.

Loaded on the semis were the sections of the first of four modular houses that were delivered to a neutral site. Eventually the houses will be moved to their permanent location just west of Homestead Cooperative, which is located at 219 W. 11th Ave., Grand Marais.

As soon as all of the homes have been delivered, a giant crane will be brought in and used to place them on their foundations. Once this is done, it is expected the houses will be completed within 30-45 days of delivery.

The houses were constructed and will be sold through One Roof Community Housing out of Duluth.

Working over the past year and a half with One Roof has been the Cook County/Grand Marais Economic Development Authority (EDA).

Last fall, it looked like the homes could be up and ready for sale before some bad weather interrupted the project. At that time Cliff Knettel, Deputy Director of One Roof Community Housing, said, "This is workforce housing for folks employed in the area. We will have two price points geared toward folks earning up to 80 percent of the Area Median Income and 115 percent of the Area Median Income, which translates to prices under $150,000 and under $225,000."

On May 2, Knettel reiterated those price points in an email, but with some new information.

"The range of homes will be between $150,000 and $225,000. However, the low end is subject to change.

"We still have a bit of excavation and utility work yet to do, so there are some unknowns. If we run into some issues with those items, that could affect the prices. We do expect the four homes to be finished in the timeframe you mentioned - 30-45 days, but again, that is subject to weather - especially for finishing the site work, such as topsoil and grass seed, etc.," he wrote.

The lower priced homes are three bedrooms on bath with a 10 x 10 shed. The higher priced homes will have three bedrooms, one bathroom with some upgrades, and a two-stall garage.

The houses are chalet style or bungalow style with vaulted ceilings over the living/dining area. There are two bedrooms up, one bedroom down. They will be sided with LP smart side, and the colors will be complementary to the environment. The siding is maintenance-free, and should not need to be re-painted for several decades.

One Roof has a general contractor, Common Ground, which builds several types of homes, including stick-built, structural insulated panels, and modular.

"One Roof/Common Ground is a dealer for a modular home factory called Homark Homes, which is located in Red Wood Falls," Knettel said, adding the homes would be completed in Grand Marais.

All of the residences are Community Land Trust homes, which means they will be permanently affordable. These dwellings cannot convert to rentals or vacation rentals. The first buyer and every subsequent buyer must be income qualified and must own and occupy the home, Knettel said.

One Roof is also involved in the resale of the homes, noted Knettel, "as we need to ensure they (homebuyers) are income qualified. Other than the transfer of ownership and resale restrictions, following local planning, zoning, land use codes, local wetland regulations, etc. there are no other restrictions as to what they (homeowners) do with the property. They own the home and accessory structures and lease the land. They can do as other landowners do and pay taxes the same as if it were a non-community trust home." 

The first four homes make up Phase 1. Knettel said. There will be up to seven homes in Phase II, of which three will be the lower priced homes, and four will be the higher priced homes.

Persons interested in purchasing one of the homes should contact Katie Seipel-Anderson. The phone number is 218-727-5372. Her email address is [email protected]