NORFOLK, Neb. -- Construction is beginning on a new apartment complex in Norfolk after the project was halted in 2023 due to rising interest rates, development costs, and inflation.

“It’s really exciting to have this kind of project be the newest addition to housing inventories in Norfolk,” Mayor Josh Moenning said. 

The Foundry Apartments will be a 178-unit complex, located on the north end of Big Red Restaurant and Sports Bar near Highway 275.

“It's exactly what we've been trying to do through economic development efforts is recruit new affordable housing options,” Moenning said. 

Norfolk has been growing rapidly, adding an estimated 150-200 units per year since 2016, according to Moenning. 

Being a much needed project, it is being funded through the Nebraska Department of Economic Development, City TIF support, and contributions from the Rural Workforce Housing Fund.

There were many hurdles that developers had to jump through before bringing the project to fruition. 

“This environment it's tough and challenging to build anything because of inflation, interest rates, all of those things,” Moenning said. “You add to that, this is a complicated piece of ground because it is a wetland but the developer found a way to work around that.” 

The ground, which is a part of Big Red owned by Bill Harvey, sits on what is considered to be a wetland. In accordance with laws protecting wildlife, developers managed to find their way around it.  

“Everybody’s pleased and going to mitigate the wetlands to be sure we, you know, save all the wetlands and mitigate them into the walking trail area and to the pond there,” Developer John Hoich said. “That's going to be beautiful. It's going to really look nice.” 

“Another thing I'm really happy about this project, it shows how Norfolk works together, the collaboration that came in place to secure the Rural Workforce Housing Fund,” Moenning said. 

The buildings are expected to be up in place by Summer 2025.