Officials praise the progress spurred by the 2014 study

    The comprehensive housing study for Crookston completed in 2014 is going to be infused with some fresh data and recommendations.

    The Crookston Housing and Economic Development Authority paid $14,000 for the study, which was based off a housing snapshot of Crookston in 2013. The updated study, to be completed by the same firm that conducted the initial study, Community Partners, will cost CHEDA $8,900.

    “In (the time since the previous study was done), we’ve done a lot of stuff in the field of housing, but we’re still short in a couple areas,” CHEDA Executive Director Craig Hoiseth says. “This study drives investment, and if it doesn’t reflect the situation squarely, investors in the community might pull back a little bit.”

    Since the previous study’s completion in 2014, a new market-rate apartment complex has been constructed and is now fully occupied, and “workforce housing” in the form of the 30-unit Agassiz Townhomes development on North Broadway has been approved and groundbreaking is pending. Homes have been built and sold in Crookston’s northeast corner as well, mostly along Barrette Street and Eickhof Boulevard. Apartment renovations on the upper floors of downtown buildings continue as well.

    Hoiseth says the updated study will likely show that Crookston is “very short” on housing for those 55 and older making the transition into retired life.

    “The current study was very instrumental in some of the things that have happened,” says City Administrator Shannon Stassen. “An update will be very valuable; the community is 3 1/2 years older, so likely the 55 and over need has only increased since 2013.”

    “These studies, if you wait 10 years to revisit them, pretty much everything is invalid,” Hoiseth said. “We’re doing a lot of good things, but we don’t want to lose sight of what the target is. You don’t grow a community if you don’t have available housing.”

    Community Partners will be represented at a CHEDA Board of Directors meeting in the fall to find out exactly what CHEDA hopes to get out of the updated study.

    “We’re not trying to push the market or anything, but we need some vacancy signs out there,” Hoiseth added.