Old Cloquet Middle School to provide more workforce housing - KBJR 6 Your Weather Authority: News, Weather & Sports

Old Cloquet Middle School to provide more workforce housing

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Old Cloquet Middle School to provide more workforce housing Old Cloquet Middle School to provide more workforce housing

There is a clear shortage of affordable housing across the Northland, but that could be changing over in Cloquet.

With the Cloquet School District building a new middle school, there is now a vacant building where the previous one sits.

"We've had a developer step forward with proposal for workforce housing. And workforce housing is what is being proposed in this building and it's a huge need," City of Cloquet Community Development Director, Holly Hansen says. 

The new 57 unit apartment complex will be complete with and abundance of options.

"There one, two and three bedrooms. There's 12 market rate units in the project and 45 affordable units in the project," Roers Company V.P of Development, Paul Keenan says. 

Every single one of those units could be occupied.

"We surveyed 665 units in the city of Cloquet and we found one vacancy, which means the local markets at almost 100% occupancy, which means they need more units. They don't need units at the high end, they need units that workforce families can afford," Keenan says. 

That need echoed by the businesses community, and this complex, would also help boost the local economy.

"It's really vesting in our community. And so if we can find appropriate housing, and housing in general for those people then they will become residents and we will have them as community members,"  Cloquet Chamber of Commerce Executive Director, Kelly Zink says. 

Those employees range from retail workers to nurses... all of which, could be looking elsewhere for a place to live and work. 

"They don't want to have to travel. So we are losing people because of that to other communities," Zink says. 

With all of the financing committed, the hope is to get the ball rolling mid August, something developers say is a must with these types of buildings. 

"Vacant buildings attract vandalism. They also decrease property value. We've had one break in at the school. So I think it's really important we get this building back in use sooner rather than later," Keenan says. 

The cost of construction is set at ten million dollars, and the overall cost for the project is 14 million dollars. 

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