A new housing development in southeast Norfolk officially got under way Thursday afternoon when ground was broken as part of a ceremony to celebrate the occasion.
The development, known as Nor-Park, is just north of the Nucor Detailing Center and Nebraska Public Power District headquarters. Once completed, it will have 28 single-family homes, 22 town homes, 15 triplex units and 56 apartments.
Roger Nadrchal, chief executive officer of the Norfolk-based NeighborWorks Northeast Nebraska, said the project will help fill a great need for housing in Norfolk.
“The latest housing study indicated there is a need for 762 new homes in Norfolk,” Nadrchal said. “We hope that this will definitely make an impact on the housing needs in the community.”
The development was touted during the ceremony as an example of what successful collaboration and hard work can do for a community.
Mayor Josh Moenning said it is the kind of development that Norfolk needs now and will continue to need.
“I admire and respect somebody like Roger Nadrchal who took up the cause, spearheaded this project and forged partnerships,” Moenning said. “This project opens a new chapter of housing in Norfolk. This is the first of what I hope is a series of new housing developments in the community.”
Lt. Gov. Mike Foley was also in attendance and called the development an example of what needs to happen across the state.
“As I talk with business and community leaders across the state, it’s the same story and same challenge everywhere: we need workforce housing,” Foley said. “What’s happening here is the model for the rest of the State of Nebraska. It’s not easy to pull off something like this.”
Cliff Mesner of Mesner Development Co. said the project is unique because not many projects include the wide variety of housing options. He also echoed the idea that this won’t be a one-time idea.
“We’re building multiple kinds of housing with a vision to keep going for many years,” Mesner said. “We’re going to do it here, then find another piece of property and do it again and again.”
While the ground was broken Thursday, the project first began about two years ago, Nadrchal said. NeighborWorks at the time did not have any ongoing projects because of the cost of construction. But they were given an offer to develop on the land and the project was set in motion.
NeighborWorks worked with numerous partners, including the city, Mesner Development, Progressive Builders, the Norfolk Area Economic Development Council, Nucor and area banks in working on the project.
Mesner said that a development like this is usually considered a risky investment, but because of all the support available, as well as tax-increment financing, it was able to come to fruition.
Kelby Herman of Progressive Builders said construction work will begin almost immediately.
Construction will begin on the triplex units next week, followed by town homes in the coming weeks. Streets will be paved and the first single family lots will be available for sale this summer. The first apartment complex will begin construction this summer.
A $5,000 grant will be available to eligible buyers of single family lots.
The subdivision will also be home to a future city park along the banks of the North Fork of the Elkhorn River.