Usable vacant properties in Holyoke as of Jan. 1, are indicated on a map of the city. Out of the 41 properties listed by the Phillips County Assessor’s office as vacant, 36 properties, totaling about 26 acres were identified as buildable by City Superintendent Mark Brown.

25-plus acres of usable Holyoke land offers room for development

    Although the City of Holyoke is the most populous it has ever been according to the 2010 census, there may still be room for growth within city limits.
    Vacant property in Holyoke totals about 27 acres of mostly residential land, according to a Jan. 1 assessment done by the Phillips County Assessor’s office, out of which City Superintendent Mark Brown said 25.7 acres could be developed for housing, businesses and other resources.
    The 36 viable properties are scattered throughout Holyoke and range from 1,700 square feet to approximately 2.5 acres.
    The need for housing in Holyoke and the rest of Phillips County is pressing, with many businesses struggling to recruit skilled candidates from outside of the community.
    At an Oct. 22 meeting hosted by Phillips County Economic Development, PCED board members and other major Phillips County employers described how available houses often sell within a short time and how the current market is not large enough to accommodate the various income levels of prospective residents.
    Still, development is limited, and the attendees agreed that the supply of finished houses lags far behind demand.
    PCED Executive Director Trisha Herman said the disconnect was in part due to the relative payoff for developers working in other areas like the Front Range compared to eastern Colorado.
    “We’re not the only community that struggles with this; every community struggles with this,” she added.
    Herman also mentioned that limited supply has led to people asking high prices for available properties, which is keeping out some developers, and that not all land which could be developed is on the market.

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