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Fort Morgan: State grant awarded for feasibility study for proposed housing project

Fort Morgan: State grant awarded for feasibility study for proposed housing project

A housing feasibility study for a proposed 200-unit multi-family apartment complex in the City of Fort Morgan recently garnered a grant from the Colorado Office of Economic Development and International Trade (OEDIT).

In addition to the $7,875 Opportunity Zone technical support program award from OEDIT, a 25 percent match was authorized by the Morgan County Economic Development Corporation’s (MCEDC) board.  Greg Thomason, executive director at MCEDC, said it has taken over two years to bring all the necessary components for this project together.

“I appreciate the persistence and cooperation shown by The City of Fort Morgan, ComCap Management in partnership with Lexton McDermott Development, and Four Points Funding LLC,” Thomason said. “I know that, if built, these units will be in high demand.”

Following the announcement of the OEDIT grant award, a letter of engagement was executed between Lexton McDermott and the Newmark Group, a leading commercial real estate advisory firm, that outlines the terms for the start of this five-week study. When completed, the housing feasibility report will be distributed to the project participants, with each reviewing the results to ensure the project meets their stakeholder requirements.

City of Fort Morgan officials have been focused on the development of housing in the city since it was identified as a priority of the City Council several years ago. Multiple potential projects are in the negotiation stages. City officials and staff have met on several occasions with the group coordinated by MCEDC regarding their proposal, and discussed ways the city may be able to assist by incentivizing such development.

“Fort Morgan is badly in need of housing of all types, from apartments and townhouses to starter homes and higher-end single-family dwellings,” said Fort Morgan City Manager Jeff Wells. “We have been working with developers as well as some of our large employers and it’s become clear that one of the most urgent needs is workforce housing for employees of these large companies. The project proposed by the group assembled by MCEDC would fit that bill and could be an extremely valuable addition of housing stock to the community in a relatively short time period.”

A city staff working group has been exploring creative ways to encourage and drive the development of housing in the city, and other multi-family projects as well as single-family developments are being discussed. Housing development is also a top priority for Sarah Crosthwaite, the city’s new economic development specialist.