News Release: LaGrange County Comprehensive Residential Market Study Underway and Seeking Public Input

10/07/2015

LaGrange County Comprehensive Residential Market Study Underway and Seeking Public Input

 

LaGrange, IN. (October 8, 2015) — The LaGrange County EDC entered into a contract with the Danter Company in August 2015 to conduct a study on the current housing market in LaGrange County. The study was officially launched in early September when the EDC and consultant met with stakeholders from across the County to discuss the reasons for assessing the housing market, the methodology that will be used by the Danter Company, and what the community should expect to see happen upon its completion.

Ryne Krock, President and CEO of the LCEDC believes that many of LaGrange County’s current challenges cannot be addressed without taking a look at housing. “As we look at the current and future employment outlook in LaGrange County, we are convinced that our community needs to see significant growth occur to meet employer demand. It’s impossible to attract high-paying jobs without an adequate workforce, which is what we are seeing in today’s market. It’s unreasonable to expect individuals and families to move to our community if they cannot find a place to live. This is one major concern that we’ve heard time and time again from business leaders as they search for employees.”

This study will arm the LCEDC with a valuable tool to address this major challenge. The Danter Company has deployed its team to gather and analyze primary data across LaGrange County and surrounding areas. Another key component to the study is to create a survey to solicit public input. This survey is now available online. In addition to assessing the current residential market, the Danter Company will identify the following: specific locations in the county where new developments would be successful; the type of homes or apartments for each location, including necessary amenities and price points; and other strategies for implementing the plan moving forward.

“The day we entered into an agreement with the EDC, we became a part of their team. It is not enough for us to simply gather and analyze data, present a flashy presentation and hand them a completed study. We will work with stakeholders to implement the strategies we recommend and ensure that it doesn’t sit on a shelf and gather dust. Any community that asks us to come in and identify challenges is prepared to tackle those issues. LaGrange County has proven to be no exception,” said Ken Danter, President of the Danter Company.

Upon completion of the study, the LCEDC plans to contact owners of parcels identified as potential locations for new residential developments to discuss acquisition or opportunities to partner. They also plan to market the results and demand to residential developers across the Northeast Indiana Region.

“If the demand exists, as we expect it does, we will aggressively market the opportunities for development to any and all residential builders across LaGrange County and Northeast Indiana. We are confident that folks will be eager to take advantage of new homes and apartments, especially if they already work in LaGrange County and can move to cut down their commute,” said Krock.

One industry in particular that has been impacted by a lack of quality residential options is healthcare. Rob Myers, President of Parkview LaGrange Hospital is encouraged by the positive direction this study and increased supply in homes could bring. “It is always difficult to attract the best healthcare professionals in a rural community, no matter where your facility is located. Unfortunately, despite LaGrange being a great place to live, work, and raise a family, we’ve lost several quality candidates simply because they could not find a place close enough to our facilities to live. The impact that more attractive housing has on our organization cannot be overstated.”

Schools across the county are also lauding this effort, as they face a reduction in funding and risk a reduction in enrollment. “Westview and the other two public school corporations in LaGrange County have some of the best facilities, teachers, and students, yet face challenges in maintaining and growing overall student enrollment. It’s undeniable that there is a shortage of housing in LaGrange County. I believe that tackling the issue of housing will be a huge first step in helping us sustain enrollment and continue to carry out our mission of empowering our youth by providing high-quality educational opportunities,” stated Dr. Randy Zimmerly, Superintendent of Westview School Corporation.

The LCEDC is calling on all residents, employers and employees, among others, to complete the recently published survey by going to www.lagrangecountyedc.com, visiting their Facebook page and clicking on the link under the heading “Countywide Residential Survey,” or by visiting http://bit.ly/LaGrangeCo. Anyone having difficulty locating the survey is encouraged to contact the LaGrange County EDC at (260)499-4994 or by emailing rkrock@lagrangecountyedc.com.

About the LaGrange County Economic Development Corporation

The LaGrange County Economic Development Corporation, established in 2009, is a 501(c) 3 corporation designed to assist business development needs.  The LCEDC partners with local, regional, state, and federal agencies to attract, retain, and develop new businesses and entrepreneurs in LaGrange County and its communities.  For more information about the LaGrange County EDC, please visit www.lagrangecountyedc.com or call at 260.499.4994

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