Lewis & Clark Development Group is fortunate to benefit from the expertise of so many state and community leaders who serve on our three boards of directors. Their service and support allows LCD Group’s three entities – Lewis & Clark Regional Development Council (RDC), Lewis & Clark Certified Development Company (CDC), and CommunityWorks North Dakota (CWND) – to fulfill our mission and positively impact businesses, communities, families, and individuals throughout North Dakota.
This month we visited with Bismarck real estate developer and entrepreneur Chad Wachter, a member of the Lewis & Clark Certified Development Company (CDC) Board of Directors.
Wachter brought years of experience with him when he joined the Lewis & Clark CDC board in 2018. Over his career, Wachter’s projects have added more than $875 million in real estate tax base to the City of Bismarck. His current project in northeast Bismarck, Silver Ranch, will provide around 4,500 residential units phased over the next 30 years, which is projected to add another $1.8 billion to the city’s real estate tax base.
In addition to Lewis & Clark CDC, Wachter sits on several boards including the University of North Dakota Alumni Association and Foundation, the Bismarck State College Foundation, Bismarck Industries Inc., and Sanford Health.
Outside of the office, project site, or board room, Wachter can easily be found in the sky. Wachter enjoys aviation. He holds a private pilot’s license, is instrument rated, and is type rated to fly, among other aircraft, a Cirrus SF50 Vision Jet.
As a developer and entrepreneur, how is Lewis & Clark CDC impacting economic development?
The CDC has been a great partner for both developers and entrepreneurs. The resources and expertise offered by the CDC have been instrumental in the development of over $185 million in projects which represent over 1,100 new housing units throughout North Dakota.
The SBA 504 program, the North Dakota Opportunity Fund, the Regional Loan Programs offered by the CDC have helped many entrepreneurs obtain loans they might not be able to secure. These programs are a catalyst for creating new jobs and opportunities for our communities.
The CDC also provides two housing options: the DREAM Fund and the Essential Public Employee Program (EP2). The DREAM Fund makes home ownership a reality for many who require a little extra help with their down payment or closing costs. EP2 is a great program designed for North Dakotans employed in a city, county, school district, medical or long-term care facility.
From your professional perspective, what direction do you see both housing development and new business development going in the next three years?
North Dakota seems to be economically stable and robust. With COVID and some of the turmoil we have seen nationally, many North Dakotans who left our state are moving back to raise their families, seek employment, explore entrepreneurial opportunities, and eventually retire.
The steady growth that North Dakota continues to experience will provide a healthy housing market. The need for business expansion and development will continue, and with the use of technology, we can do many things in North Dakota that may have otherwise been required to be performed elsewhere.