OTC Big Build Initiative continues

The need for housing in local communities has led to many innovative solutions in Otter Tail County. Realizing the demand for additional owner-occupied housing in Pelican Rapids, the County’s Community Development Agency (CDA) is progressing on a new single-family housing development.

In 2023, Otter Tail County completed a new highway garage in the city of Pelican Rapids, leaving the former garage site vacant. The site, located at 208 NE 5th Street in Pelican Rapids, presented an opportunity for the CDA to partner with the City of Pelican Rapids to address local housing needs. The resulting Pinewood Estates subdivision will have nine single-family residential lots available for new homes. To kickstart new home construction, the CDA applied for and was awarded Minnesota Housing Impact Funding that will support the construction of up to three single-family, entry-level homes in the development.

Site preparation, removal of trees, and demolition of the former garage building have been completed. This summer infrastructure—roads, water, and sewer—will be installed to serve the lots in the new Pinewood Estates development. Lots will be ready for new home construction in the fall of 2024. 

“We are appreciative of the CDA’s willingness to work with us on this project,” said Lance Roisum, Pelican Rapids City Administrator. “The CDA is taking the lead on development, and the city is excited to support. We hope this fills a gap in our housing needs and spurs continued housing growth in Pelican Rapids, making homeownership a reality for our residents.”

CDA Board Chair, Dave Schornack, expressed the importance of partnerships in the expansion of housing.  

“This effort is a great example of how partnerships are key in creating housing in the county to meet the needs of current residents and workforce. We appreciate Minnesota Housing for recognizing the challenge of single-family development in Greater Minnesota and awarding this funding to the CDA,” said Schornack.

The CDA hosted open house meetings on May 28 and May 30 for community members in Pelican Rapids interested in these homeownership opportunities. 

More information about the county’s Big Build housing growth and reinvestment initiative, including information about the resources available for projects, can be found at www.bigbuildotc.com.