First home at Sky Ridge outside Spearfish complete
SPEARFISH, SD – The first house constructed at Sky Ridge, the workforce housing development located south of Colorado Boulevard and west of U.S. Highway 85 in the Exit 17 area, is now move-in ready.
“The City of Spearfish is pleased to be a part of this partnership to bring workforce housing options to the community,” Mayor John Senden said.
“Each milestone at Sky Ridge is something to be celebrated, and I can’t wait to see the first families move into these newly-completed homes.”
Construction of the first houses at Sky Ridge began in December 2021. The affordable workforce housing development, built in phases over five years, uses income brackets from the 2022 income guidelines from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) to give priority to buyers at or below 115 percent and 125 percent of the area median income for Lawrence County, depending on the category of the home, sold up to the maximum price point established the South Dakota Housing Development Authority’s First-Time Homebuyer Program, which is currently $300,000. More than 40 percent of the homes will be sold at $197,000, though they are appraised at approximately $300,000.
The square-footage of the home designs vary from 800-1,700 square feet, and Dream Design International, Inc., is responsible for constructing the homes, using high-quality and energy-efficient materials to increase the livability and longevity of the homes. Sky Ridge houses include up-scale appliances, sprinkler systems, and fiber-optic wiring.
Sky Ridge is a model that can be used elsewhere,” said Hani Shafai, president of Dream Design International, Inc.
“Spearfish is a shining example of how communities throughout South Dakota can take action so nurses, teachers, police officers, and others can afford to live in the communities where they want to work.”
The first six homes are expected to be completed in the next month, with up to 40 expected to be completed this year.
“SEDC (Spearfish Economic Development Corporation) applauds the City of Spearfish for taking the initiative to address a significant obstacle being faced by many of our residents and local businesses, and for helping to ensure that more individuals have an opportunity to both live and work in our amazing town,” Kory Menken, executive director of SEDC, said.
“It is rewarding to know that the first of many Spearfish families will soon be moving into a home of their very own at Sky Ridge.”
The property for Sky Ridge was purchased in 2019, with construction beginning in 2020. In addition to the housing, the development includes a sports complex that will feature six regulation soccer fields and four regulation softball fields.
A 2016 housing study in Spearfish showcased the need for more affordable housing options in Spearfish and indicated the City would have to take an active role in developing workforce housing. The Mayor and City Council, in collaboration with the private industry, worked to establish a plan that allowed a public-private partnership to improve the supply of affordable housing in Spearfish.
The City is responsible for building the streets and utilities at Sky Ridge, with those costs to be recovered through tax-increment financing (TIF). A TIF district is a public financing system that uses future increases in property tax to reimburse the costs of public improvements built within a designated TIF district boundary. As real estate value increases within that boundary area, higher tax revenues result. That “tax increment” is then used to refund the costs of public improvements created to support the project and is paid back to the source. In addition to the increment, Dream Design pays the city $23,000 per lot to help with the recovery of the infrastructure costs.
Construction at Sky Ridge will be visible over the next few years. The development’s design includes 178 lots.