Housing in Gage County
Gage County is an incredible place to live. It’s conveniently located, has an abundance of good jobs, schools and the type of amenities that make a community an enjoyable place to live. This has led to a demand for a wide variety of housing options, ranging from small rentals to executive homes. The communities within Gage County are diverse enough to offer a variety of lifestyle options, making it possible to select the type of community and neighborhood that is right for each individual family.
The county needs ongoing housing development to support the continued growth and increased demand. NGage has been actively working to address this need by regularly conducting housing studies, working with developers and supporting policies and initiatives designed to make it attractive for developers to invest in the county.
Housing Development in Gage County
Since the 2016 Gage County Housing Study, there have been new single- and multi-family homes constructed in or near Adams, Beatrice, Blue Springs, Cortland, Holmesville, and Pickrell.
In Beatrice, housing developers completed construction of 77 homes between October 2016 and December 2018, with an estimated total of over 30 additional homes under construction but not yet completed during that time. There have been entire neighborhoods develop, a street lined with tiny homes, and other streets, with lots previously vacant, have begun to transform. Below is a list of projects that have come to fruition since the study, and is certainly not exhaustive:
- Excel Development demolished a former hospital building and subsequently constructed 16 rental units and 6 single-family homes on the site and adjoining land.
- Fakler Development took a vacant plot of land and constructed 6 high-efficiency, two bedroom “tiny home” rental units.
- Goossen Construction began development on a new senior living project consisting of 21 total units (duplexes, triplexes, and four-plexes). They are currently working with the city on replatting additional land for further development.
- Blake Meints Custom Homes has purchased several parcels of land for housing developments. North Shore Estates consists of 11 acreage lots slated for custom homes around a private lake. An additional 15 acres near a site owned by Beatrice Public Schools is also being developed by Meints.
- The Hannibal View neighborhood, stalled during the 2008 recession, has recently seen life with a partnership between the owners and BCC Holdings that plans to build 31 single-family homes.
- The City of Beatrice sold city-owned lots to a developer with plans to build single-family homes on infill lots around Beatrice.
- Multiple developers are renovating or planning acquisitions of apartment complexes around the city.
The communities of Wymore, Blue Springs, and Odell are taking a unique approach to housing. In Wymore and Blue Springs, a group of involved citizens have worked tirelessly to address housing dilapidation by demolishing homes one at a time, both sprucing up neighborhoods and allowing for future development opportunities. Over the 2018 year and the summer of 2019, a total of 24 homes throughout the two communities will have been demolished, with an additional 10 expected to be taken down in 2020. Conversely, Odell residents are focusing efforts on acquiring dilapidated homes, repairing them, and selling the updated and affordable units in order to attract young families to town.
For a community of fewer than 500, Cortland has seen an uptick in Lincoln residents looking to move to a smaller community. Since 2016, there have been nearly a dozen homes constructed near Cortland. In the last year alone, the community has seen numerous projects:
- Construction and rental of two townhomes
- Sale of the last vacant lot in town with construction in process for a new single-family home
- A Lincoln couple with plans to acquire an older home for demolition in order to construct a tiny home
The Village of Adams has a unique housing situation: they’ve built so much in the last few years that they are currently land-locked despite the demand for housing from residents currently living in Lincoln and the Beatrice area.
Addressing Future Housing Needs
Much progress has been made in developing additional housing units within Gage County. Still, there is a high demand for housing, especially as more people move to the area. To gain data on the extent of housing needs within the community, a 2019 housing study was commissioned. As part of the study, a survey was conducted to identify the need for more affordable rental units and homes for sale that are aligned with what middle-income and single parent families can afford. The survey found that an estimated 204 new owner-occupied and 118 rental units could be built within the county. In addition, the survey respondents would like to see more options for first-time homebuyers and retirees. This includes homes priced less than $175,000 and rentals under $800 per month. The results of the survey and comments from community listening sessions will be compiled with other data collected by Hanna:Keelan in a complete housing study that will be available in the first quarter of 2020.