Lieutenant Governor Suzanne Crouch got an update on the progress of Culver’s Sand Hill Farms workforce housing development Thursday. Developer Kevin Berger gave the lieutenant governor and several town officials a tour of the construction site. “We have a lot of part-time residents here, and it has just kind of pushed out the workforce,” Berger told Crouch. “Our biggest employer for workers is Elkay cabinet manufacturing, and less than 50 percent of their 300-plus workers even live in Marshall County.”
The Sand Hill Farms project aims to change that.
Berger said the first phase should be done in September. It will contain 14 two-bedroom, eight three-bedroom, and two one-bedroom apartments.
Sand Hill Farms is part of the town’s Stellar Community designation, a program that the lieutenant governor oversees. While the first phase is being done as a complimentary project to Culver’s Stellar plan, the second phase will be part of the plan itself. That portion will likely include another 24-unit apartment building and up to 24 town homes.
Berger also controls several more acres that could be developed. “We would not be able to do this without the Stellar set-aside,” he said. “The tax credits just are not available for communities like ours, otherwise. So Stellar’s a big step in making that happen.” Town Council President Ginny Bess Munroe also credited the Stellar Community Designation with attracting other developers to Culver.
Crouch noted that housing is able to address many challenges that communities have, especially when it comes to retaining their workforce. Town Manager Jonathan Leist added that housing was identified as Culver’s biggest issue when town officials put together the Stellar application.