Bliss Pointe: A community effort

The latest housing development Vermillion is proving to be a community-wide effort brought about by a unique partnership between local banks, businesses, city government, and the hospital and university foundations.

This partnership was in response to a community wide survey conducted in late 2012. The survey, titled “City of Vermillion Talent Attraction Strategy and Workforce Housing Solutions,” provided recommendations as to what action should be taken by the community to attract businesses and recruit and maintain workers.

The survey identified housing as the key factor in attracting businesses and workers to Vermillion, stating that workforce housing is the linchpin to any economic development or community advancement strategy for the future.

In response, the Vermillion Area Chamber and Development Company (VCDC) purchased approximately 46 acres of land on the west side of the city for a new housing development, which when completed, will provide lots for 114 single-family and townhome lots. Road and infrastructure work for the development, which will be known as Bliss Pointe, began in December 2013.

To fund the infrastructure and land development costs for Bliss Pointe, the VCDC worked with the City of Vermillion to create a Tax Increment Financing district (TIF). A TIF district utilizes the increased property taxes generated from the final development to repay bonds sold to provide the initial revenue for site work, roads, and infrastructure.

In a show of community pride and support, local entities stepped forward to purchase the bonds enabling the project to move forward. The entities include: the University of South Dakota Foundation, CorTrust Bank, First Bank & Trust, First Dakota National Bank, and the Dakota Hospital Foundation.

The first phase of the project, which will open up 71 single family home lots, is expected to be completed in the summer of 2014; however, lots may be reserved on a first come first serve basis beginning on Feb. 4. Sealed bids at or above minimum list price and in compliance with purchase criteria will be accepted immediately to be considered on Feb. 3 at 3 p.m.

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