Groundbreaking for Skyridge Flats, an affordable rental housing development

On Friday afternoon, the Housing & Redevelopment Authority of Duluth (Duluth HRA) hosted a groundbreaking ceremony for the Skyridge Flats Development in Duluth’s Harbor Highlands neighborhood.

“It is exciting, is stressful. Some people have said, you know, having a development and you go through all these stages, you know, first you get the funding, our first use the application, and that’s a lot of work,” said Duluth HRA Executive Director Jill Keppers. “And then you get the funding and it’s exciting. And then you start working through the due diligence and having to put all the pieces together and get to closing and hoping something doesn’t fall through at any of the steps along the way. So finally, getting to this stage, it’s a huge relief and it’s a huge celebration.”

Skyridge Flats will have 70 one-bedroom units of affordable rental housing for ages 55+ made up of 50% and 30% area median income (AMI) households. Initial rents are anticipated to be $800 per month, with utilities included.

“I think it’s important to understand two things. One is that sometimes the houses that folks grew up in, they just want to have something simpler as they get older,” said Minnesota Housing Commissioner Jennifer Ho. “And also as people get older, they’re oftentimes on a fixed income and they just want to have something that they can afford.”

There will also be seven units reserved for veterans experiencing homelessness.

“We work closely with our veteran and active military units, with our Military Affairs Committee,” said Duluth Chamber of Commerce President Matt Baumgartner. “We know that our veterans have made great sacrifice, which is to keep our country safe and secure and sort of have them come back and live without shelter is absolutely heartbreaking.”

Minnesota Housing, the City of Duluth, St. Louis County, LHB, Johnson Wilson Constructors, and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development are all partners on this project.

Funding for Skyridge Flats includes $14,229,000 in Housing Infrastructure Bonds from Minnesota Housing; $3,500,000 of Duluth HRA funds; $300,000 from the City of Duluth through their American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) fund allocation; and $150,000 from St. Louis County through their ARPA fund allocation.

Skyridge Flats is estimated to be completed and ready for occupancy by the end of 2024. The future location of the development will be 110 East Village View Drive.