Road Trip

Tim Burg Economic Development, Monday Memo

We aren’t sure if we were just fearless this past week as we drove deep into the heart of Texas to look at a new housing concept, or based upon the current pandemic, if we had totally lost our minds and were tempting fate.

Either way, we joined others in our community who decided it was something we all wished to learn more about and made a short 12 hour plus trip in the middle of Texas to see what all the hubbub was about.

In the business of economic development one never knows if the next best thing is just around the corner and if we are doing our jobs correctly, we take the time to explore those possibilities to see if there is room for our community to be a player in something that is new and exciting.

What we looked at was indeed much different than anything that our community currently offers. To be truthful it was a concept home, which offers high energy efficiency, reduces a great deal of construction waste, was high tech, fairly low cost, extremely resistant to earthquakes, fires, high wind and for the most part easy to construct.

While some of the design, testing and production work is still under development, there is plenty of the work on this end to determine if this will work. That will need to include, can we create a business plan that allows for the development of a housing division or lots that can accommodate these types of homes?

Time will need to be spent on find funding, determining if the project has a sufficient amount of cash flow to service the debt, and to provide an enough revenue to the non-profit that has an interest in exploring the project. Plus, can those who need to find a suitable place to rent, afford the price point.

Nothing is easy anymore and those things that are, are rarely good. This can be a very good thing to those in need and to the non-profit that wants to explore those opportunities, but first a lot of brain power needs to be applied to determine if it will pass all of the feasibility tests.

And if it was easy, someone else would have already done it…