Devloper Eyes Katie Hill As Integrated Area

Posted at 7:56 PM, Mar 24, 2016

A drive down Katie Street and Fern Avenue shows the disparity between old and new. Smaller, older homes sit in the shadows of brand new and pricey developments.

Katie Hill is what a seller's market looks like on the outskirts of downtown. Mike Beyer and his wife purchased their modest home a few years ago and they're constantly questioned about their property.

"We get all these cards in the mail that say, 'contact us about your property, its urgent, this will expire in 30 days,'" said Beyer. 

Property there is selling fast. Developer Matthew Strader began eyeing Katie Hill as a builder's dream nearly 10 years ago.  "At first I thought I was the smartest man in the world then I thought I'm the dumbest man in the world, what have I done," Strader joked. 

The number of homes under construction prove Strader made a wise business choice, but as new homes go up so does the property value and the prices of homes around them. Most Katie Hill residents rent.

"I feel like it could be a bit of a burden for the people who don't have a lot of money in the area," said Beyer. 

"As soon as prices go up they're going to kick their people out. They're not going to think twice," Strader said about the landlords in the neighborhood. 

However, he has an idea that could give those people a place to call home in the neighborhood they've lived in for years.

"We're working with metro to see if we can take some of the Metro properties and develop them into workforce housing," said Strader. 

Strader envisions a rental unit complex, around $700 for a one bedroom and up to $1200 for a 2 or 3 bedroom unit. He hopes to turn gentrification into integration. "To be able to have a full spectrum, from high end homes all the way down to workforce housing because we need all of it," Strader said.