NORFOLK — The Norfolk City Council unanimously approved the first reading of a proposed annexation during their meeting Monday night.
Norfolk Medical Real Estate, LLC. has proposed a multi-use development at the southwest corner of Highway 275 and 37th street, which would require the city to annex 55 acres of land at the site. The development would feature apartment complexes, assisted living and health care services.
Manager of Norfolk Medical Real Estate Mike Anderson said the group’s hopes are to begin construction sometime in late summer, pending necessary city approvals. He said they will first build 80 apartments and use the market to determine what type of apartments to build next and when to build them. The group plans to build 250 apartment units in total.
Anderson told the Council that the proposed development is entirely contingent upon the ability to secure Tax Increment Financing. He says one reason the group is pursuing TIF is because Norfolk is a tight market.
“The cost to build in Lincoln, Omaha and Norfolk is about the same,” Anderson said. “But the rental discrepancy is huge between the communities.”
In addition to rental rates, he cites the need to fill ground because the property sits low as another reason to request TIF.
Anderson lives in Phoenix, Arizona but is from Norfolk originally. He says he thinks this development could be a start in fixing the city’s housing crisis.
“It’s going to take a project of this size and scope, I believe, to get the apartments launched in Norfolk,” Anderson said.
The annexation request must be heard at two more meetings before it can be approved. All of the councilmen who spoke were positive about the development.