Mandan News

Former junior high approved for housing incentive fund

The former junior high, which will be turned into Great Plains Academy, a 58-unit apartment complex. Mandan News file photo


The Yegen Development Corporation, the company that purchased the former Mandan Middle School, has been approved for $584,192 in funding from the North Dakota Housing Finance Agency’s Housing Incentive Fund.

The former junior high, also known as the Great Plains Academy, will be rehabilitated into Great Plains Apartments, which will contain 58 units. The total development cost is expected to be $4,774,500.

Playing off of the building’s previous name, the Great Plains Academy, representatives from Yegen Development Corporation say Great Plains Apartments will offer one of the most unique living experiences Bismarck-Mandan has to offer.

Construction will soon be underway on a full renovation. The design of the building will maintain its historical appearance. Each unit will be unique, taking full advantage of the architectural features. Some units will be lofts and others will have balcony access.

There will be a resident only computer room with internet access, a full service laundry facility, a community room with library and an on-premises workout facility. Off street parking, lighting and a security system will be in place.

Present plans call for a rooftop garden, private park, bus stop and community bike repair shop on premises; however, final cost estimates will weigh on the availability of all of these potential amenities.

The building also previously served as a high school, the junior high school, and the Great Plains Academy for close to a century.

The 2011 North Dakota Legislature created Housing Incentive Fund to develop affordable, multi-family housing units. During the 2011 Special Legislative Session, changes were made to the program to accelerate the ability to claim the tax credits and to increase the fund’s credit authority from $4 million to $15 million.

In a little more than one year, NDHFA has pledged HIF support to 26 projects that will create 739 new rental units. Any individual or business with a state tax liability can contribute to HIF and in return receive a dollar-for-dollar state tax credit.

The 23 projects previously selected are located in Beach, Belfield, Bowman, Crosby, Devils Lake, Dickinson, Grand Forks, Kenmare, Killdeer, Minot, Ray, Watford City and Williston.

-Brian L. Gray