Winneshiek County Development and Tourism (WCDT) officially announced the award from the Iowa Economic Development Authority’s (IEDA) Workforce Housing Tax Credit Program to Echo Development for the 46-unit apartment project slated to be built in the Decorah Business Park in a news release July 30.

Construction on the project is planned to start fall of 2020.

In July, IEDA announced Echo Development was awarded a tax credit of $1 million. There was a total of $10 million in funding available to Iowa development projects throughout the state for the 2021 fiscal year. The project was one of 19 projects awarded through the program. The announcement released stated “Echo Development proposes to use a vacant 5-acre parcel of land, with a large woodland area to the southeast, within the Decorah Business Park and near Toppling Goliath Brewing Company.” Phase one of the project will consist of one building, with 46-units. The building will be three stories in height and consist of 18 studio units; 22 one-bedroom units; along with five two-bedroom units. Echo Development plans to include a lobby area and rooftop deck. The building will have a minimum assessed value of $3 million.

In her July 30 announcement, Stephanie Fromm, Executive Director of Winneshiek County Development and Tourism stateds “We’re ecstatic to hear about the project being awarded to support the workforce housing initiative. A multifamily housing project in Grinnell was the only other fully funded project, according to the IEDA announcement. The program is highly competitive and many projects are often put on hold if not awarded. With the support of the City of Decorah, Decorah Jobs and Winneshiek County Development and Tourism, among others, this is a job well done by all parties involved.”

The Workforce Housing Tax Credit Program is a program providing tax benefits to developers to provide housing in Iowa communities, focusing especially on those projects using abandoned, empty or dilapidated properties. The total program benefit is limited to $1 million per project.

Fromm added “Housing is an integral part of economic development and in order to stay a vibrant and sustainable community, affordable and high-quality housing is necessary. Our area employers depend on it to attract and retain workforce.”

IEDA received 84 applications requesting $34 million in tax credits. Projects are scored competitively based on readiness, financing, need, and local support and participation.