While the pandemic has changed the economy in a number of ways, the housing market in the City of Cottage Grove continues to thrive. In fact, builders are now developing a wider range of housing options throughout the City, whether it be family apartments, new townhome products, entry-level villa style and express single family homes or higher-end single family homes. “Our strong housing market is a testament to our City as we provide options for life-cycle housing. We now have the ability to offer housing options for first-time home buyers, empty nesters and seniors,” Mayor Myron Bailey recently explained.
New home permits have increased every year in the past five years. In 2015, the City processed a little more than 50 permits; last year there were nearly 284 new construction projects, and in the first 11 months of 2020, 337 permits were processed. “Over the past 10 years, the City has experienced a 31% growth in market value and a $10.6 million tax capacity increase, allowing the City to reduce the tax burden on existing property owners while maintaining the City’s high level of services and amenities,” Community Development Director Ben Boike said. The City has focused on continuing to grow multi-family housing options, which includes several senior living facilities, allowing residents to transition to new living spaces and remain in Cottage Grove. There is also an influx of developers interested in new market rate apartment housing. Work continues on Grove80, a four-story, 120-unit facility located at the old City Hall site, and several other developers are discussing multi-family housing projects in town. Cottage Grove’s 2040 Comprehensive Plan also includes new “mixed-use” districts in the commercial areas of 80th Street and Highway 61, and Jamaica Avenue and Highway 61. Multi-family housing units in these areas should lead to higher interest levels from desired restaurants and retailers. So, what’s next? The City’s long term housing plan will be released to the general public in early 2021, featuring housing stock and demographic data as well as the City’s housing challenges and goals moving forward. The plan will also outline available housing assistance programs through the County, State and federal government. Needless to say, the City of Cottage Grove enters the year 2021 with great momentum and optimism.