The fact that 24 new apartments were all leased by the time they became available shows how badly Great Bend needed something like The Reserves at Trail Ridge, which opened this week.
Sen. Jerry Moran attended the ribbon cutting Thursday and commented that the housing shortage in Great Bend isn’t unique. Local housing is an issue in virtually every community in Kansas, large and small, he said.
However, those who invest in developing housing projects take a risk, said Fred Bentley from the Kansas Housing Resource Corporation.
Federal programs have provided incentives that make taking those risks more attractive. Back in 2013, the Great Bend City Council was asked to approve tax credits for The Reserves. Matt Gillam from Overland Property Group, the group behind this venture, said then that the credits which come through the Department of Housing and Urban Development are about the only way to get such a complex funded.
Local involvement is also crucial. Gillam credited Jan Peters, president and chief executive officer of the Great Bend Chamber of Commerce & Economic Development, with inviting OPG officials to look at Great Bend for its next building project. In fact, he said, she pretty much insisted they look at Great Bend.
There’s no one person who gets the credit, however. There were many individuals at the local and state level who received kudos Thursday at the ribbon cutting.
As new housing becomes available across a spectrum of income levels, that is reason to celebrate.