Housing development in Deadwood, will it be affordable?

Published: Sep. 15, 2022 at 1:37 PM MDT
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RAPID CITY, S.D. (KEVN) - Development in the Black Hills is still booming; with developers pushing forward in Deadwood, despite economic worries.

Housing development in the Black Hills is breaking records and what some call a hidden spot in the Black Hills is no longer a secret. Deadwood is a tourist destination, rooted in history. As more people visit, more people want to call it home.

“We’re really going to see a boom and, basically, our building stock double in the next five to ten years,” said Kevin Kuchenbecker, Deadwood’s historic preservation officer.

While Deadwood is a tourist town, some people call the area home year-round, and others keep a second house there.

“94 percent of our workforce commute into Deadwood and we’ve known that we need workforce housing and so each of each one of these developments has a component for the workforce housing,” explained Kuchenbecker.

Most people who work in Deadwood can’t afford to live in town or there are not enough rental options. Major housing developments could balance the scale. The South Dakota Housing Authority advises developers to keep housing under $340,000, which the authority deems as the maximum purchase amount for first-time home buyers.

As South Dakota’s gambling town, the people going to Deadwood are ready for the risk. What is the city betting on now? “I think the biggest risk for the city of Deadwood is, as we expand with these new developments is making sure that we can maintain those streets, those roads, that infrastructure with a proper tax base,” confessed Kuchenbecker.

As for developers, they are optimistic despite the economic downturn. Bill Pearson, a developer, says many people moving to the area are from different states. He adds they sell their homes for more money elsewhere, and often buy homes in Deadwood for cash. In order for everyone to find a place to live, Pearson wants to have affordable options in the planned developed communities.

“Housing is number one right now because you can’t get workers without housing and we are so short of workers in all areas in Deadwood and Lead, right now,” expressed Bill Pearson, managing partner of the Summit at Stage Run Road. Pearson is working on Phase 3 of the Summit at Stage Run Road, which will include affordable housing options.