Cirrus Housing Support
Tuesday, January 31, 2023
In October, APEX, Cirrus Aircraft, and the Duluth Airport Authority coordinated a targeted housing development initiative based on the housing demand of Cirrus’ current and prospective workforce. With Cirrus’ recent acquisition of the former AAR facility and the announcement of its impending conversion to an innovation center, Cirrus shared a hiring plan to recruit approximately 160 new employees to the Twin Ports. Cirrus reached out to APEX to help identify housing solutions. To help us understand our region’s developable potential, we hosted a series of events to explore what housing solutions are offered in our community.
In November, Cirrus presented its three-to-five-year local expansion plans to communities. Then we heard from representatives of Canosia Township, Duluth, Rice Lake, Cloquet, Fond du Lac, Hermantown, Proctor, Superior and Thompson-Esko, who detailed opportunities and challenges surrounding their housing development and site readiness plans. The group also began discussing which and how housing/property developers should be brought into the conversation.
In December, we hosted a Community Solutions Meet & Greet. After building a robust contact list of state and local developers and builders, APEX re-convened with the communities. Cirrus provided an update on workforce housing needs and their commitment; pitches from Twin Ports communities, including land, resources and incentives available; followed by a Q&A with developers.
In January, we held a Major Employers Roundtable to provide an update on land and housing project opportunities, identify current and future employee housing needs, and brainstorm private/public partnership options to support such development projects. Additionally, Matthew Johnson, Director of St. Louis County Planning and Community Development, shared a Housing and Redevelopment Authority Development Fund proposal for market-rate housing and economic development projects.
APEX is generating ideas and finding solutions to spur new housing projects in our region. This requires community and industry buy-in, and there’s no time to waste. Cirrus has major growth plans in our community and insufficient housing is an impediment to recruiting and filling positions. Other employers are facing similar challenges. This is a broad-based multi-community problem and we look forward to working with our investor-members and community leaders to work through solutions.
For more information about this housing development initiative, reach out to Ian Vincent, APEX Director of Business Development, at firstname.lastname@example.org.