By Joshua Schuetz
Attracting new residents and creating more options for current residents is a cornerstone of housing policy in communities throughout Minnesota. In 2021, the City of Benson started conversations with developers about potential development in town. CEDA team member Hillary Tweed began talking with Cody and Sarah Nelson, co- owners of CS Nelson Properties, based in Sauk Center.
This January, five townhomes have opened up for new residents and more are on the way.”The site that this project went on was a site that was all but abandoned by a previous developer, so it sat with infrastructure in but with no progression for more than a decade,” Tweed said. “The city purchased that property, created a tax increment financing district and got the project going.”
A total of 13 townhomes containing 26 units will be built in Benson, all rented out at market rates. Construction on the first phase started last June and Nelson said while the doors have
just opened up on the first five townhomes, folks are already taking advantage of the opportunity.
“We’ve completed the builds and are moving people in, and I have no vacancies, they’re filling up as fast as I can get them done,” Nelson said.
Tweed said the demand for housing in Benson remains high and part of the project’s goal is to create much-needed flexibility in the city’s housing market.
“One of the main things we wanted to do was open up other housing options in Benson, so there may be people moving out of their homes who are looking for rental options like these townhomes,” she said.
Nelson praised CEDA and the City of Benson for their work in making the city a great place to live and work, saying that their advocacy and proactivity in developing the city made him and his
wife excited to invest and build in Benson.
“What Hillary and the leaders of Benson have done over the last three years is bringing in the important factors of a town: vitalization, housing and business,” Nelson said.