$1 million housing project coming soon

Wednesday, March 25, 2020

Cassville Heights Phase 2 to open more than 30 doors

Cassville Heights is gearing up to expand by 32 units with its $1 million Phase 2 development project.

“The project could start as soon as fall 2020,” said Steve Walensky, Cassville city administrator. “But, building projects are dependent on so many factors, including the current concern of COVID-19.”

The city of Cassville has no dollar investment in the building project at all.

“From the city’s view, we are very excited,” he said. “I have been working with the company for four years now to land these affordable housing units in Cassville.”

Part of what Walensky has been doing to make sure Cassville got the contract for the building project is making presentations to explain the need Cassville has for affordable housing.

“To me, it is a huge deal because we need housing,” Walensky said. “The new units will look very similar to the current units.

“This is a pure upside for the city of Cassville. It is great news for us.”

Part of the process is that the developer cannot present at regional events, so Walensky — or a city representative — does it.

“I recently presented to the Missouri Housing Development Commission in Kansas City,” he said. “My job was to convince them that Cassville needs these units.”

That presentation was a “half a million presentation,” as half of the project’s total cost will be funded by the state.

“That was the third time I presented to them over the last four years,” Walensky said. “It is a competitive market. For example, if there is $8 million in funds that are to be spread across the entire state, it is a big deal for Cassville to be selected to receive some.”

The city of Cassville’s housing availability is hindered by wait lists.

“[Another benefit to the building project is that,] hopefully, it will also employ local workers, as well as help in the purchase of supplies on a local level,” he said. “I don’t see this as a singular project, I see the full project and how it will help Cassville on multiple levels.”

Walensky said it is important to see all of the aspects, not only the final project.

“I have worked so hard on this because I believe in this project,” he said. “As the city administrator, I can see the overview of this includes economic development, tourism and housing.”

Walensky not only looks at what is happening today, but at what is over the horizon as well.

“I know what this will do for the community, and I get to compete and bring attention to the value of our community,” he said. “That is an important part of my job, to see what the future is bringing.”

Walensky said he is hoping to see a groundbreaking this fall.

“People will see [Highway] 37 differently in the next 18 months,” he said. “There has not been a contractor hired at this time, but architects took information from a meeting last Friday to the engineers.”

The $500,000 state funded portion of the budget is to be matched by Mid Continent Equity Holdings LLC, out of Stockton.

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