Construction of a low- to moderate-income housing project planned for downtown Jamestown has been delayed until next year, according to Tyler Sheeran, development associate for the Commonwealth Companies of Wisconsin.

The groundbreaking and construction of Eagle Flats were planned to begin at the end of summer 2020 with construction slated to began at that time. Plans for Eagle Flats include 33 apartment units to be constructed at the site of the vacant Eagles building in downtown Jamestown.

"We couldn't get our ducks in line with all the COVID things going on," Sheeran said.

Sheeran said breaking ground and starting construction later this fall did not make sense given the colder weather anticipated through the fall and winter.

Under the revised schedule, Commonwealth Companies anticipate taking title to the Eagles property in October and closing on construction financing in April 2021. Project completion is now slated for the spring of 2022. Other than the timeline, there are no other major changes anticipated in the project.

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Project plans include parking on the ground level under the building which would have 33 apartment units on three floors. There would be a mix of one-, two- and three-bedroom units in the secured building which would be within walking distance of downtown stores, Jamestown Middle School and some employment opportunities, said David Klein, director of Great Plains Housing Authority.

"There is still a need," he said. "A very big need for families for three-bedroom units."

The planned project also would provide more accessible housing for families and individuals.

"Older homes and older apartments are not always accessible," he said. "New units are sometimes more expensive and don't fit everyone's situation."

While the need continues, construction has been delayed on many projects.

"It has been standard for projects to get delayed with the COVID pandemic," Sheeran said. "The industry as a whole has seen deadlines pushed back."

In September 2019, the Jamestown City Council granted a payment in lieu of taxes agreement with Commonwealth setting the property tax due against the property at $35,000 per year for 15 years. Regular property taxes on the estimated $4.8 million value of the property would be about $79,000 per year.

The project has also received tax incentives through the Low Income Housing Tax Credit, a federal tax incentive for low-income housing developers administered by the North Dakota Housing Finance Agency.

At the time, Jamestown Mayor Dwaine Heinrich said even with tax incentives the new apartment complex would be the highest-paying property on the block.