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Fremont housing sectors sees booming times

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Fremont’s housing market is in the midst of a boom with growth in both single family homes and multi-family residential complexes during the past two years. And, more development is on the horizon as the city enters what Mayor Joey Spellerberg called a “transformation.”

On Jan. 14, city leaders hosted a special meeting to discuss the city’s “Vision for Fremont” comprehensive plan update.

In the 14-page packet detailing the plans, officials stated that the city has a goal for, “affordable and attainable housing for all,” and to, “ensure all residents of Fremont have access to high-quality, affordable housing options regardless of income level or stage of life.”

Some of the new developments include the luxury apartment complex Fremont Commons at the intersection of Morningside and Johnson roads, as well as the nearby SunRidge Place housing development — located between First Street and Military Avenue east of Luther Road, a spot near the city’s waterpark and several Fremont Public Schools facilities.

Spellerberg said housing availability is critical to Fremont’s continued growth.

“A diverse housing stock is able to attract new people to come into Fremont. It is enabling us, allowing us to grow in the future. Without housing, it is hard for anyone to come and move here and live, work and raise their family here,” he said. “(Housing) is critically important to attracting talent, to retain our families and our young people that want to stay here.”

Some of the positive developments on the residential side, Spellerberg noted, include the 505 Building in downtown Fremont.

“That is unique downtown living we have not had before. The Fremont Commons, they are continuing to phase in new apartments. SunRidge, we approved their second addition, which I think is an additional 200 units in the coming years,” Spellerberg said. “The Deerfield Clubhouse Apartments added three different buildings. One was a large apartment building and then two smaller apartment buildings. It is absolutely critical we continue to focus on housing, and there is a huge need for it.”

Fremont Building Inspector Mark Byrd provided statistics on housing developments for the past two years to the Fremont Tribune, noting that there been an increase in both “R3” or single-family residential permits and “R2” or multi-family residential permits.

For the “R3” permits, 70 were issued in the 2021 calendar year for developments totaling $16.1 million in value, Byrd reported. In 2022, those “R3” permits increased to 105 for the calendar year for properties valued in total at $20.6 million.

In the “R2” permit category, there were 61 permits issued in 2021 for properties valued at $9.9 million. In 2022, there were 17 permits issued, but their value was much higher at $28.8 million.

Byrd said while fewer permits were issued in 2022, that number is confusing because a permit could be issued for an apartment complex with dozens of residences inside the complex.

In late November, planned residential development on the far east edge of the city south of 23rd Street was of such a concern that former Ward 4 Council Member Brad Yerger requested that a ninth intersection to be examined in the city’s 23rd Street traffic light study at the currently un-lighted intersection of 23rd Street and Deer Crossing.

The intersection has no traffic signal and only the Sonic fast food restaurant to the south attracting vehicle traffic, however one of the newly planned elementary schools from Fremont Public Schools is being planned for the land south of the eatery as well as a corresponding housing development that is still in the planning stages.

In November, Hope Pierce, coordinator of communications and public relations for the Fremont Public Schools, confirmed that a school — Deer Pointe Elementary School — is being planned for the land adjacent to the un-signaled road.

During his comments at the last council meeting in November, Yerger said the new school, along with the expected residential development between Luther Road and Diers Parkway will create a likely need for a controlled signal at the 23rd Street and Deer Crossing intersection. His request to add the ninth intersection to the study was accepted.

One of the current apartment complexes that is still growing and adding new residents is the Fremont Commons complex, which currently has eight buildings open with residents living in studio, one-bedroom and two-bedroom units. Another building is near completion and workers are installing appliances and interior features to the units for an expected occupancy this spring.

Additional goals for the city, according to the “Vision for Fremont” presentation on Jan. 14 include:

  • Encourage the development of housing for entry level homeowners
  • Partner with major employers to develop workforce housing
  • Ensure residents can age in place
  • Explore opportunities for enhanced redevelopment of existing residential properties
  • Explore opportunities to address improved property maintenance
  • Promote the preservation of historic residences

Spellerberg said that growth — both in single family homes and apartments—is positive for the city as a whole.

“I am happy with where we are with our current developments and our new ones. We could always improve,” Spellerberg added. “Over the next few years, you are probably going to see the most housing stock anyone has ever seen. We have enough business growth going on and demand to live in Fremont, at this point, we are making really good progress. I don’t think it is everywhere we want it to be yet, but we are making good progress.”

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