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McCook Economic Development Corporation (MEDC) announces first Rural Workforce Housing Loan

Earlier today, MEDC made their first Rural Workforce Housing Loan to Blackwood Enterprises, LLC to assist in financing the development of two upper stories apartment at the Bethany Village project. Blackwood Enterprises is in the process of constructing an 800 square foot, two-bedroom apartment and a 711 square foot, one bedroom apartment in the development at 111 West 5th.

Two years ago, Blackwood Enterprises LLC acquired the property and since that time the company has worked to develop plans and recruit tenants for the commercial property. Blackwood Enterprises worked with MEDC and the City of McCook through Tax Increment Financing to help in the redevelopment. Through this project, the property is being transform from an eye sore on the busiest section of road in town to one of the premier commercial spaces in McCook. The commercial first floor is expected to be done in spring of 2022.

In the last year, Josiah Hegwood has moved back to McCook and is serving as property manager for Blackwood Enterprises. With his background in residential property management, he could immediately see the potential for residential second floor development. Hegwood said, “When we recently moved back, we experienced how tight the local housing market is. I know the demand is there and I’m glad we were able to modify the plans to create new upper-story rental housing that will provide a unique experience in our rural community.”

MEDC Executive Director worked with Josiah through the Rural Workforce Housing Loan process. Long said, “We’re thrilled to be a part of this development. As an organization we’ve identified housing as our #1 priority. We were able to start the Rural Workforce Housing Loan program earlier this year and it is great that we are able to use it to help develop upper-story rental property.”

The McCook Rural Workforce Housing Loan program was established earlier in 2021 when MEDC raised $250,000 locally and then had the money matched from the State of Nebraska and received $166,000 from the Nebraska Investment Finance Authority. The program provides short term, below market, interest only loans for the development of new workforce housing homes and rentals and substantial rehabilitation of properties. As construction is complete, loans are paid off and the money is available to be loaned for the next project.

“We’re currently working on multiple housing projects at the same time,” Long said. “We’re hoping to continue to find ways to use the Rural Workforce Housing Loan program as we explore how to develop the North Pointe, Kelley Creek, and Reservation lots we own.”

For questions about the Rural Workforce Housing Loan program or their other housing initiatives, contact MEDC at 308-345-1200. For questions about the Bethany Village development, contact Josiah Hegwood at 308-737-6291.

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Andy Long

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