Aberdeen, Brookings, Vermillion seeing big demand for housingNavigant Constuling, with locations in Mitchell and Plankinton, is expanding to Vermillion.
SIOUX FALLS (AP) — South Dakota officials say they are hoping for more housing developments in Vermillion, Aberdeen and Brookings, encouraged by industrial investments that could attract hundreds of new workers to the cities.
Chicago-based Navigant Consulting, which has locations in Mitchell and Plankinton, now is expanding to Vermillion, creating as many as 120 jobs in the city of 10,500 people by the end of next year. That comes on top of major growth in manufacturing in the city over the past year that has added dozens more workers.
"What we need to do is create an environment where these employees will move and stay in Vermillion," Steve Howe, executive director of the Vermillion Area Chamber of Commerce and Development Co., told the media.
Howe hopes to have a plan in place for new housing development by year's end — possibly one that will entice developers responsible for much of the work in larger cities such as Sioux Falls.
"We just haven't had that profile in the past, but we would love it if this type of job growth creation will inspire one of those larger developers to make an investment in Vermillion," Howe said. "Our goal is to have the private sector take care of those things."
Aberdeen, a city of 26,000 people, also is seeing more housing demand than what is available, largely due to the Northern Beef Packers plant preparing to start up in a few months and employ more than 500 workers.
Aberdeen has seen nearly 700 single-family homes, apartments, condos and townhomes built in the past two years but there is a need for more because of the packing plant and growth at other businesses, said Jim Barringer, executive director of the Aberdeen Development Corp.
"We still have more work to do," he said. "We're keenly aware of what's taking place here, and we've made terrific strides in meeting demand; we still have to be diligent as the community continues to grow."
Brookings, population 22,000, soon will be home to a $100 million cheese plant that could employ 400 workers within five years.
"There will be a demand (for housing), and it will be a while for supply to catch up," City Manager Jeff Weldon said.