Governor Pete Ricketts made a stop in Fremont to participate in a groundbreaking ceremony for the Midtown Crossing housing development on Thursday.
The project, which is a mixed-use housing development that looks to include 300 apartment units when it is completed, is the first recipient of funds from the Greater Fremont Development Council’s Dodge County Investment Fund which was created to spur workforce housing projects throughout the county.
Morningside Crossing, which is being developed by Pure Properties, LLC., is planned to be located near the intersection of U.S. Highway 275 and Morningside Road across from Fremont Contract Carriers and Eagle Distributing.
The mixed-use development is planned to be completed in three phases including a first phase 108 unit apartment complex and totaling 300 units upon build out.
The development will include a walking trail, dog park, resort style pool, and other amenities as well as commercial development.
“We came to Fremont because of the stability of the community,” developer Spencer Lombardo said at the groundbreaking. “There’s a lot of great employers here, a lot of recession-proof employers here, which we think is great for our business but also for Nebraska.
Our goal is to provide quality housing for the people of Fremont, I don’t think Fremont has seen an apartment complex this size or magnitude in about twenty years.”
The project received $1 million from the Dodge County Investment Fund, which is a revolving loan fund developed by the Greater Fremont Development Council.
Along with contributions totalling $1.03 million from area businesses and government entities, the Dodge County Investment Fund also was also funded through a $850,000 matching grant from the State of Nebraska through the Rural Workforce Housing Investment Fund which was created with the passage of the State Legislature’s LB 518 Rural Workforce Housing Fund Bill in 2017.
“The timeliness of Governor Ricketts and the State Legislature’s LB 518 Rural Workforce Housing Fund Bill, served as a direct catalyst for the creation of the Dodge County Investment Fund,” Greater Fremont Development Council Executive Director Garry Clark said. “We are excited to welcome this first project of what we hope to be many more throughout Fremont and other Dodge County communities.”
Local contributors to the Dodge County Investment Fund included the City of Fremont, Lincoln Premium Poultry, Fremont Beef Company, Fremont Contract Carriers, First National Bank, and the Fremont Area Community Foundation. The City of Scribner also donated to the fund.
“To have so many local and area contributors is a testament to the ability of Fremont to mobilize, organize and collaborate on projects like workforce housing which has long been a need,” Clark said.
Mayor Scott Getzschman also spoke about the need for workforce housing in Fremont and Dodge County citing a housing study administered by the city that found the area needed to add 1,000-1,500 homes in the near future.
“Over two years ago we started planning because we knew that with the Costco plant coming on and the other businesses that were beginning to locate in Fremont and Dodge County that housing was going to be an issue,” he said.
Gov. Ricketts spoke about the passage of LB 518 and the creation of the Rural Workforce Housing Fund — which was designed to allow cities and towns to apply for matching grants to support the development of workforce housing in rural communities throughout the state.
“We invested about $7 million and created a grant program for communities to be able to apply to get money to be able to help with developers to create workforce housing,” he said. “We wanted to make sure that communities had skin in the game and were going to be part of that overall solution for how they create that workforce housing.”
Ricketts added that Fremont was one of 14 communities across the state that has received grant dollars from the Rural Workforce Housing Fund.
“It just demonstrates that not only is Fremont growing, but that you are earning it,” he said. “You are out there working hard together to not only attract companies like Costco to the community but making sure you’ve got that workforce housing to be able to accommodate all those families and continue to think down the road.
It really represents all the great things about your community.”