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Tuesday, July 23, 2024
HomeUncategorizedHarborview Apartments in Grand Marais Sold - Future Uncertain

Harborview Apartments in Grand Marais Sold – Future Uncertain

Harborview is a “HUD subsidized Section 8 senior (62 years of age or older) and/or dis­abled apartment community.” According to Jason Hale, Executive Director of the Cook County Housing and Redevelopment Author­ity (HRA), the property was listed for sale for $2.2 million earlier this year.

Although not yet confirmed, the building was to be sold last Friday to Kaiser Holding, LLC.

Harborview contains 27 one-bedroom and four two-bedroom apartments. Rent varies from zero to $853 for a one-bedroom and zero to $984 for a two-bedroom. Rent is generally determined to be around 30% of a tenant’s income.

The building has an elevator and is consid­ered handicap accessible.

Concerned that residents of Harborview and the greater community were hearing un­substantiated rumors about the sale, Hale put out information on the HRA website and dis­tributed it to the county’s social media and press list.

When Hale heard the property was listed, he reported sending the listing to non-profit housing owners and developers to locate po­tential partners (with HRA) who would buy the property and commit that the units would remain affordable.

None of them stepped up.

Hale also reports the Department of Hous­ing and Urban Development (HUD), which regulates the Low Income Housing Tax Cred­its (LIHTC) program, also known as Section 8, has reviewed and approved the sale of Har­borview.

The apartment building was built in 1978.

It is managed by Oliver Management Ser­vices in Duluth.

Its contract with HUD, a 30-year commit­ment to keep rents affordable, expires on June 30, 2025. That contract stays with the property so that a new owner will honor it. The owner must notify tenants one year be­fore ending its LIHTC agreement.

No one knows what the new owners in­tend to do with the property when the current agreement expires. Hale is determined to find out as soon as possible, and he hopes to work with them to keep the apartments affordable.

In his memo of October 10, Hale wrote that the HRA is supporting One Roof Community Housing’s application for LIHTC funding to acquire and preserve Birchwood Apartments in Grand Marais, keeping them affordable for at least the next 30 years.

In other news, the HRA seeks proposals from qualified entities to develop residential housing in the county’s west end.

In May of this year, the HRA entered into an Option Agreement for a 40-acre parcel of land on Cramer Road in Schroeder Township to develop multiple residential housing units. The property is approximately two miles from Highway 61 and is located on the north side of Cramer Road. The property to the west is residential, and parcels to the east and north are Federal and State Forest.

The property is currently zoned Light In­dustrial, but the HRA will apply for rezoning if a proposal is selected. HRA does not an­ticipate any issue with its application being approved by the Planning Commission.

The RFP seeks proposals from qualified developers and builders that will maximize density on the Property while adhering to the zoning code, avoiding wetlands, and fitting with the character of the area.

With the high costs and geographic chal­lenges in the market today, particularly in Cook County, the HRA is prepared to provide the property to the selected respondent for a significantly discounted price, subject to the scoring criteria as discussed within the RFP.

Finally, the HRA will serve as an advocate and resource for the selected entity. Qualified projects may be eligible for additional fund­ing assistance to address any gaps.

The top priority of the HRA is to encourage the development of new, long-term housing throughout Cook County. The RFP and current information on Harborview Apartments may be found at the HRA website: https://www.cookcountyhra.org/.

Steve Fernlund
Steve Fernlund
Typically these “about me” pages include a list of academic achievements (I have none) and positions held (I have had many, but who really cares about those?) So, in the words of the late Admiral James Stockwell, “Who am I? Why am I here?” I’m well into my seventh decade on this blue planet we call home. I’m a pretty successful husband, father, and grandfather, at least in my humble opinion. My progeny may disagree. We have four children and five grandchildren. I spent most of my professional life in the freight business. At the tender age of 40, early retirement beckoned and we moved to Grand Marais. A year after we got here, we bought and operated the Cook County News Herald, a weekly newspaper in Grand Marais. A sharp learning curve for a dumb freight broker to become a newspaper editor and publisher. By 1999 the News Herald was an acquisition target for a rapidly consolidating media market. We sold our businesses and “retired” again, buying a winter retreat in Nevada. In the fall of 2016, we returned to Grand Marais and bought a house from old friends of ours on the ridge overlooking Lake Superior. They were able to move closer to family and their Mexico winter home. And we came home to what we say is our last house. I’m a strong believer in the value of local newspapers--both online and those you can wrap a fish in. I write a weekly column and a couple of feature stories for the Northshore Journal. I’m most interested in writing about the everyday lives of local people and reporting on issues of importance to them.
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