(Thursday - January 21, 2021) - It's been no
secret that there is a serious lack of housing in the Twin Cities area,
and things do not appear to be improving in either Iron Mountain or
According to figures released by Iron Mountain Mayor
Dale Alessandrini on Monday, there was only $706,000 worth of
residential construction in Iron Mountain last year, and only $662,000
worth in Kingsford. Since there has been virtually no new construction,
most of the increase would appear to come from improvements and
expansion to existing properties.
Meanwhile, Iron Mountain saw a
robust increase in commercial and industrial development last year,
totaling $5,800,000. Commercial and industrial development in Kingsford
totaled roughly three million dollars.
Many see the lack of
housing as a major hindrance to economic development in the area.
Neither city appears to have any plan in place for additional housing
development at this time.
While there had been a plan in the
works to convert Iron Mountain's former Central Middle School to an
apartment complex, those plans never developed. The same thing happened
with regard to converting the former Birchwood Mall to a residential
Prior to the Coronavirus Pandemic, the Dickinson Area
Economic Development Authority was reporting more than 900 job openings
in Dickinson County, which is more than twice the total number of
individuals who were unemployed at the time. It is very difficult to
attract a labor force to the area, when they would have no place to
The Pandemic has, of course, badly skewed those numbers.