Developer looks to add more apartments in Great Bend

GREAT BEND, Kan. (KSNW) — For a number of years, the City of Great Bend has looked for ways to develop more housing opportunities. A proposal to add more apartments to an existing complex is on the table again.

Just a year ago, Great Bend opened a low-income housing apartment complex near 10th and Grant Streets called The Reserves at Trail Ridge.

Now, the developer wants to add 48 more units at the complex through another RHID (Rural Housing Incentive District). It allows property owners to pay property taxes, but those taxes come back to the owner to help pay for infrastructure for 15 years.

Overland Property Group is located outside of Great Bend, which means that the benefit would go to a company that does not have local ties.

The city wants to know if that’s a concern for local residents.

“Honestly, if you’re looking for a place to live, you have a family, you need a roof over your head, you need to be able to afford it, so that would probably be the last thing on my mind,” said Andrea Trevino.

The city administrator said, financially, the development wouldn’t have much of an impact on the city, but could help provide a solution to the housing issue.

“Any value, the increment of what the buildings and everything costs, which would be worth more than the land of course that’s what the tax is based on,” said Howard Partington.

He added: “If they don’t build it versus if they do, as far as the tax money coming into the city, it wouldn’t make a big difference.”

Residents told KSN’s Amanda Aguilar that Great Bend still needs more housing options.

One apartment owner said, in the past ten years, his complex hasn’t had a vacancy.

“Even with the new complex by Wal-Mart, we haven’t had any kind of a drop-off, so it seems to me there’s good demand for apartment complexes here in Great Bend, and there probably is a need for additional,” said Steve Dobratz, one of the owners at Century Villa Apartments.

Overland Property Group told KSN they’re looking forward to the possibility of bringing more affordable housing to the Great Bend area, adding that it’s been a success so far.

Residents are invited to attend a public hearing about the additional apartments at the city council meeting on Nov. 7.