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More rentals coming to Perham

By next spring, seven acres of this empty field will be transformed into a new neighborhood of townhomes. Marie Nitke/FOCUS

Work has begun on two new rental housing projects in Perham.

Construction just started on the latest Grow Perham apartment building, and the groundwork is being laid for the soon-to-be Perham Townhomes development.

Both are being constructed on the southwest side of town, near the new hospital. Together, they will provide 47 new rental units, which the city is in need of. City leaders have been discussing and trying to address a rental shortage for the last several years.

“I think it’s good that we’re seeing new units going up,” said City Manager Kelcey Klemm in an interview Monday. “We have a very low vacancy rate. We need more rental units for the workforce that we have. This will provide more options for people looking to rent.”

The new Grow Perham apartment building will house 16 rental units. Owned by a group of local investors who oversee several other rental properties in town, this latest will be located next to two other similar properties in the Clearwater First Addition.

It should be move-in ready by spring, according to Klemm. A message left with Grow Perham was not returned by press time.

For the Perham Townhomes project, the city platted a new site, the Clearwater Second Addition, which is located near the first addition and consists of 35 residential lots within a 3-block area.

Within that area will be eight 4-unit townhouses, including 31 rentable units and one ‘common house’ for all renters to use. Half the units will be 2-bedroom, and the other half  3-bedroom.

All will be one level, with an attached garage.

 Some units will be available to renters who meet low income eligibility guidelines.

“Perham is struggling with housing these days, and these 32 units will help fill a niche,” said Chuck Johnson, Perham’s economic development authority director, at a recent city council meeting.

Terry Roach, of the Perham Townhomes-affiliated Roach Property Management, said in an interview Tuesday that, “We’re ready to get started” on the project.

The sale of the land is complete, and a tax increment financing agreement has been signed, according to Klemm.

Roach said digging should start soon for the in-ground infrastructure work, and construction will continue through the winter. Site work will be finalized in the spring, and the units should be available for rent by July, if not sooner.

Roach, who owns similar rental properties around the area, including some in Wadena and New York Mills, said Perham was simply “the next town in line” on his list of prospective communities; the response has been good.

“The community has been very active in making the project go smoothly,” he said. “They saw to it that it got done, and they did it in a very friendly, effective and quick manner.”

If the units fill up fast, Roach added, they will likely put up more.

The project has an estimated market value of $2.3 million.

Marie Johnson

Marie Johnson joined the Perham Focus more than five years ago, and has since worn many hats as writer, editor and page designer. She lives in rural Frazee with her husband, Dan, their one-year-old son, Simon, and their yellow lab, Louisa. 

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