Meet Kelly Gentrup, GFDC’s Dodge County Housing Program Manager
31 Dec 2018
Kelly Gentrup has joined the Greater Fremont Development Council as the Dodge County Housing Program Manager where she will be managing the Dodge County Investment Fund. She has had a diverse career in economic development that includes working for the Kearney Area Chamber of Commerce and Cuming County’s Convention & Visitors Bureau. Immediately prior to joining GFDC, Kelly was the Executive Director for Cuming County Economic Development, after having previously been their grant writer.
We spoke with Kelly about her recent move to Fremont, goals for the Dodge County Investment Fund and the ideas she has for the future.
What excites you about working for GFDC?
I am most excited for the continued growth and progression for Fremont and Dodge County. There are some really exciting, diverse projects going on right now that include new housing developments, new businesses, new jobs and new people. This is a great time to be a new resident of Fremont. Living in Northeast Nebraska for most of my life and recently moving to Fremont, I am thrilled to be able to use the experience I had in my previous roles to assist GFDC’s efforts in growing Fremont and Dodge County.
Why is the housing initiative so important to the future of Fremont?
When employers are looking to start or expand a business in a community, they not only will look at if employment numbers will meet the demands of the job but also if there is enough housing to accommodate their workforce. Right now, Fremont and Dodge County are not where they need to be in terms of housing. In order to get to where we need to be, approximately 858 housing units (both owner-occupied & rentals) need to be constructed. Additionally, up to 1,500 homes could be rehabbed and another 260 could be targeted for being demolished.
What role will you have in the implementation of the housing initiative?
I will continue to come up with creative programming that will benefit the community. This could include programs for rehabilitation, down payment assistance or to pay for the demolition of dilapidated structures. I am here to be a resource for developers and employers alike.
What will the overall impact of the housing initiative be on the community?
The overall impact of the housing initiative is simple, creating more housing. Our goal is to make sure we can keep people in Dodge County which will assist in boosting our economy.
What has it been thus far?
Currently, we have two applicants under the Dodge County Investment Fund that are looking to provide unique developments within Fremont. One of the first applicants, Morningside Crossing, will consist of a 300-unit one and two-bedroom apartment complex, of which, 108-units are planned for the first phase. The site will also include a walking trail, dog park and other amenities as well as commercial development. We held a groundbreaking event in the beginning of November at the future site of Morningside Crossing, which is located near the intersection of Hwy 275 and Morningside Road. Governor Pete Ricketts and many other community leaders were in attendance. This is a great first project for the new Dodge County Investment Fund. We are excited about the potential of this project and what the fund will bring in the future.
What can the community do to support your work/GFDC?
The community has been very supportive. We encourage everyone to continue to be open to new programming and ideas for how to address housing so that we can meet this critical demand.
What ideas do you have for moving Fremont and Dodge County forward?
Some ideas I have are to look at creating a land bank county investors can “put” money or lots into. This land bank can create unrestricted opportunities for housing programs. My objective is to look at the existing housing stock in each community and being innovative in making sure the house or lot can be used for future redevelopment.
GFDC is Expanding the Team for the Benefit of Greater Fremont
Kelly Gentrup is one of the new staff members who is working with GFDC to implement the programs necessary for moving Fremont forward. There is significant momentum in Fremont and a lot of incredible changes are underway, including the development of much needed housing. We welcome Kelly and invite anyone with questions about the Dodge County Investment Fund to contact her at (402) 753-8126 or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.