38 Unit Apartment Complex to Begin Construction in Milbank

Tuesday, April 14, 2020

Main News Photo

Kirk Simet and Eric Skott of SLH Holdings were on hand to formalize the purchase of the “old hospital land” to begin a project that has been 5 years in the making. President Dave Hicks of the Grant County Development Corp. represented the group and added his signature to the documents.  President Hicks commented, “This is a very big step in the right direction for helping the growth of our local economy.  By making more housing available, it is our hope, our local business will be able to more easily attract and retain employees which will benefit our entire community.”

Monday night at the regularly scheduled City Council meeting the City of Milbank formalized the final piece in this puzzle, an agreement between the City of Milbank and SLH Holdings.  This agreement between the City of Milbank and SLH Holdings is based on the tax increment financing ( TIF ) that was approved earlier this year.     

This project would not have happened without the Cooperation of the City of Milbank, Northeast Regional Healthcare Foundation, Grant County Development, SDHousing and SLH Holding of Brookings.

GCDC started in 2015 with a Housing Survey that was paid for in part by a grant from SD Housing.  The survey outlined the needs of the community. A startling fact that came out of the Survey, almost 2/3 of those employed in Milbank were commuting and not living inside the City limits.   Community meetings led to discussion around what should happen and what could be done to change the trajectory the community was on.   Thinking needed to change on how we support businesses and developers looking to invest in the community.

GCDC reached out to landowners in the City limits and sent out an RFI to developers in the Region who would consider partnering with land owners.  Exec. Director Bohlen “ We spent time, money and energy looking at possible sights and different scenarios, what it would take, by the end of 2018, it looked like we were at a dead end.” We learned...  Building costs in rural communities are higher, in some cases as much as 10% higher, many factors contributed to the problem with no one right solution.  

Eric Skott of Crestone Builders approached GCDC in early 2019, he had worked with a Developer out of Brookings, Kirk Simet.  Mr. Simet had projects in other rural communities and would take a look at Milbank.  “Speaking on behalf of SLH Development and Crestone Builders, this project has been an exciting opportunity to work with the City of Milbank, the community leaders and residents on this project. 

The vision and credit go to Grant County Development, County and City leaders who have worked tirelessly to make this project happen.

Eric Skott and myself are both lifelong residents and business owners from South Dakota. The level of commitment and professionalism we received and hopefully reciprocated set the course for a long-term success to the City of Milbank and the residents.”

  ….   “  We are grateful to have worked on this project and excited for the open house next spring.

Mayor Raffety, “…… This project is the direct result of people who would not take no as an acceptable answer. It is the culmination of several years' work and several different approaches to find a solution that worked best to solve some of the housing issues we have and benefit our community. Thank you to all of those involved, through your dedication to Milbank we now have the opportunity to continue to grow. 

Bohlen said his support and belief never wavered, we are fortunate now more than ever to have his leadership to help us drive and thrive when others are hitting the pause button.  

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