On pace and set to exceed: LCD Group now manages or owns 427 housing units across state

Brent Ekstrom likes where things stand for Lewis & Clark Development Group’s Property Management Services.

“We’re on pace with where we thought we’d be one year into providing the service,” says LCD Group’s executive director.

The organization launched property management services in December 2020. At the time, LCD Group had put plans in place for staged and measured growth.

“Our goal when we started last January was to have 500 or more units by the middle of 2022. We now own or manage 427 units and are easily on pace to meet and exceed our target,” says Ekstrom.

LCD Group recently topped 400 units with the addition of three new properties. Late last year, 36 units came online when LCD Group acquired both Juniper Ridge and Nordic Hills in Tioga. Within the last month, Fleck Properties also hired LCD Group to manage its eight apartments in Steele.

LCD Group Multi-Family Housing Director Paulette Paulson says Fleck Properties is one of many property owners seeking LCD Group to manage their housing units.

“There are many owners like Fleck Properties that make it their mission to provide housing for lower income families and individuals or seniors on fixed incomes. LCD Group’s mission matches up with their own mission or goals. We’re compatible,” says Paulson.

While there is typically not a lack of well-meaning individuals willing to manage properties, the unique factors involved in affordable housing makes it a challenge to go with anyone other than those experienced in working with federal and state agencies. This challenge is especially pronounced in small towns.

“Small rural communities really struggle to find professional management experienced in managing affordable housing,” adds Paulson. “USDA Rural Development and HUD lean towards individuals and organizations that have expertise in managing these types of properties. There’s a lot of paperwork involved and program requirements to meet. Lewis and Clark Development Group really fills the need for these owners and communities.”

Fifteen North Dakota Communities and Counting

Ekstrom reports that nine more properties in three new communities are in the pipeline in the coming months. Once they come online with the organization, they will join the 427 units in the following 15 communities that are currently being served by LCD Group Property Management Services…

Bottineau: Bottineau Townhomes (12 units), Oak Manor (30 units), Oak View (12 units)
Devils Lake: Dakota Manor (24 units), The Freemont (40 units)
Dunseith: West Haven Apartments – 8 units
Saint John: Glasner – 16 units
Grafton: Grafton Living Center – 16 units
Belfield: Greenfield Heights – 12 units
Watford City: Hillside 1 and 2 – 39 units
Williston: Legacy – 44 units
Wilton: Wilton Community Progress – 24 units
Washburn: Park View Manor – 18 units
Langdon: Park Village of Langdon – 32 units
Rolla: Munro 8 Plex (8 units), Sandlot Apartments (47 units)
Tioga: Juniper Ridge (10 units), Nordic Hills (26 units)
Steele: Fleck Apartments – 8 units

“I’ll be frank, there are not many property management groups that will go into a rural community. It’s all dollars and cents to them as it should be. We’re financially prudent as well but we are also driven by our mission to meet North Dakota’s affordable housing and community development needs,” says Ekstrom.

“When we go into a small community to buy or take over management of a multi-family housing property, we are supporting that community’s quality of life. When we provide an affordable home for someone of working age, we’re helping to support that community’s economy,” notes Ekstrom.

Renovations are also well underway for Boulevard Apartments in Bismarck, which is slated for completion later this spring. Upon opening, LCD Group will own an additional 120 units, which will meet a critical need in the Bismarck-Mandan area.

Making an Impact

“It’s amazing people don’t understand the impact that you can make with a family when you can give them affordable and safe and affordable housing,” says Paulson.

“We have a lot of North Dakotans that can be described if not as working poor then certainly as housing insecure. On top of that are many seniors on fixed incomes who want to downsize. By providing affordable apartments we can then open up houses that can be filled by other families in the community. In many ways it is a win-win,” states Paulson.

LCD Group Property Management Services is offered through CommunityWorks North Dakota, which is part of the Lewis & Clark Development Group. CommunityWorks North Dakota is the state’s only network member of the NeighborWorks America®. NWA is congressionally chartered and dedicated to creating opportunities for people to live in affordable housing, improve their lives, and strengthen their communities.

For more information on property management services and available properties, visit the property page on LCD Group’s website or contact Paulette Paulson at (701) 667-7606 or at paulette@lcdgroup.org.