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HOUSING

Rowland plans town homes in Scranton with ambitions for more Greene County living space

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SCRANTON: In a plan that would bring some of the first new rental housing to Scranton in years, Rowland Real Estate, which has filled 10 of its 12 recently constructed town homes in Jefferson, is eying a summer building start for four town homes in Scranton, just west of the community center and former school building there.

They could be complete and ready for tenants in early 2021.

“We always wanted to have an opportunity to have some housing considered for our smaller communities,” said Sid Jones, president of the Greene County Development Corporation.

The project would be developed on city land and would involve two ranch units and two two-story units, each with a two-car garage. The structure would be identical to the town home complexes Rowland, a West Des Moines-based company, recently built on the 500 block of North Olive Street in Jefferson. Rowland also has town homes in the sprawling Des Moines suburbs of Waukee and Bondurant.

The town homes have two bedrooms, washer-and-dryer hook-ups, two-car detached garages, refrigerators, stoves, dishwashers and microwaves.

Rents in Scranton will depend on a number of financing factors but are expected to be lower than the $780 to $880 per month rates in Jefferson, rents based on term of lease and other considerations.

Andy Rowland, president of Rowland Real Estate, said he would look to fill the Scranton town homes, expected to be complete by March 2021, and develop even more in Scranton.

“Demand will dictate that,” Rowland said in an interview. “It’s a strict supply-and-demand thing.”

Ken Paxton, executive director of Greene County Development Corporation, said the town homes would be the first prominent new rental development in rural Greene County in decades.

“This is a test case for other communities,” Paxton said.

Rowland has ambitions to build more units in rural Greene County.

“I would love to keep spreading out throughout Greene County,” Rowland said. “Everybody in Greene County has been great to work with.”

On Tuesday, Greene County Development Corporation unanimously approved a $5,000 grant to assist with the Scranton town homes. Scranton Manufacturing is assisting financially. Additionally, the project has support of the city, which is providing a 10-year tax abatement. On June 1, the Greene County Board of Supervisors approved $10,000 in funding for GCDC to boost Rowland’s Scranton project.

“I’m happy to hear how full the Jefferson units are,” said Greene County Supervisor Peter Bardole, a Rippey farmer who lives in Jefferson.

Rowland applied Monday with the state for a workforce housing grant.

No pets or smoking are allowed in the units.

The apartments are market-based with no government subsidies involved in the lease arrangements.

Two-story homes have 1½ baths. The ranch units have one full bathroom.

Rowland will handle yardwork and snow removal.

For more information or to make a rental application for Jefferson or Scranton town homes, visit RowlandRealEstate.com or call 515-978-1490.

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