City Administrator Todd Prafke says, "We need housing in all different kinds of areas and all different types and kinds of styles."

But a recent study found the city of St. Peter was in desperate need of more apartment buildings, reporting a rental market vacancy of less than one percent. Prafke says, "Less than one percent means that there's a stranglehold on the marketplace and there is many folks that want to get in than there is availability for."

So the city of St. Peter decided to do something about it by teaming up with the Southwest Minnesota Housing Partnership in building a new multi–home housing project called the Park Row Crossing. The project will consist of 40 moderate–income housing units, in the hopes of attracting young families to the area. Prafke says, "It's really well set up for a family where maybe the husband is a mechanic and the wife is still in school."

St. Peter mayor Tim Strand says, "We like to draw new people to town. We also like to keep them."

The hope is that once the young professionals spend some time in the community they'll buy and house and become lifelong members of it. Strand says, "They might look at it and say this is a pretty nice place to live and to raise my family. So I'll stay here."

Construction will soon start on this strip of land and if all goes as planned people will be able to move in as early as next summer. Prafke says, "You know we have a lot of things going for us and we hope that that translates into folks wanting to continue to come to St. Peter."

And with a growth rate faster than most of its surrounding cities, this town of 11,000 says the sooner new buildings like this are built, the better.