By Jeffrey Steele, Contributing Writer
Watford City, N.D.—A pair of much-needed apartment communities are coming to North Dakota’s Bakken oil formation to serve the exploding need for housing in the region. Built by Champion Commercial Structures, a division of Champion Home Builders Inc., a producer of modular and manufactured homes and commercial buildings, the projects will deliver more than 100 apartments and townhomes to serve the communities of Watford City and Williston.
The Wolf Run Village custom townhome project in Watford City, developed by Bakken Housing Partners LLC, will include six buildings with seven units each. The 42 residences will be one- and two-bedroom townhomes and apartments.
The other project is the Prairie Vista Village apartment community in Williston, which is being developed by Bakken 42nd Street, LLC and Hybrid Core Homes. This development will serve energy workers and the existing community, and will include 144 individual bedrooms, which will hold a maximum of 288 people.
“With this project and others, we sometimes face an initial skepticism that modular homes will appear as high quality as traditional building,” Kevin Flaherty, vice president of marketing, Champion Homes, tells MHN. “People want to live in a structurally sound and also visually pleasing space, and they want a welcoming appearance to their neighborhoods. Any skeptics were quickly satisfied as the apartments and townhomes began to take shape. The warmth and comfort that exudes from their appearance is enough to make any block feel like home.”
The oil and gas boom in the 12-county Bakken area of North Dakota generated a severe housing shortage. Initially, the housing demand was from workers in the field, reports Phyllis Knight, president of Champion Commercial Structures.
“But now, the push is to build out permanent housing for families and key workers such as teachers, emergency workers and other essential people who were having trouble affording the few homes on the market,” she says.
When filling a housing void in a booming community, time is of the essence, Knight adds. “Champion’s modular apartments and townhomes at Wolf Run Village and Prairie Vista Village mean these hardworking citizens will have access to more affordable housing fast,” she says.