Washington Evening Journal
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Home / New town houses in the works on East Monroe Street
A slew of new town house residencies are in the early building stages on East Monroe Street in Mt. Pleasant.
The new homes will be primarily geared toward older adults. It's for people that want to downsize but still want a nice place to live.
"It's for those that don't have to worry about mowing the lawn or snow removal," state Rep. Joe Mitchell said.
Mitchell, who owns several rental properties on the street, is acting as the project manager for the new homes.
The project is an idea that was created by Mitchell's parents, who wanted to diversify their investments.
Mitchell said this is an excellent opportunity to add more homes to the area, precisely because of a lack of affordable housing in the area.
"I know from my position in the statehouse that there is a lack of housing, both affordable and for folks on a fixed income that are older," Mitchell said. "So the idea was to develop the field that's been sitting there for a long time."
The hope was to create the houses with a plan that was as affordable as possible. COVID-19 made it a hindrance by increasing material prices, but Mitchell was able to make it work within a reasonable budget.
The plan is to build a dozen condos in the area eventually. Right now, concrete is being poured for two fourplexes, and a third is in the discussion.
Mitchell hopes to have two units done by late next spring, with the third starting next summer if the price and market are right.
Each of the units will have two bedrooms.
One bedroom is a master bedroom with a handicap-accessible bathroom and a walk-in closet. The other bedroom will be a smaller-sized guest room. There is another half bathroom.
A small patio will be located on the back of the unit. A washer and dryer are included.
All of the units will be an open floor layout. The living room, dining room, and kitchen will be open to each other. There will be a one-car garage included with each unit.
With the increase in population in Southeast Iowa, more housing is needed, Mitchell said. It's great that people want to move around the area.
"Historically, for the past 10 years, folks our age move off and go to college," Mitchell said. "They will go to Chicago, Minneapolis, Kansas City or Des Moines. That's where you see these developments grow. Now, in Southeast Iowa, we see this sort of reverse trend. Folks are wanting to come back, but one of the challenges of that is that they don't have housing."
"So what we're trying to do is free up housing by having older folks that are able to move into these nicer units come in. That frees up housing for these younger families.“