Centralia’s development potential is there, just waiting for the right circumstance to appear, but one of those circumstances, space, is a challenge.
That is one way of describing a talk local developer Boyd Harris gave at a meeting of the Centralia Kiwanis Club the afternoon of Sept. 24.
He used his long-running, now almost complete, development Southwest Country Estates as an example. In the 120-home development, Harris said, 60 percent of those living there were not originally from Centralia.
“We had originally expected to sell it to locals. People want to live here, but we are running out of space to develop within or adjacent to the city limits… The housing demand is here, but land is tight.”
On the other hand, Harris said, his newest development, catering to those 55 and older, Riley’s Park, on the outer edge of Centralia’s northwest quarter, is not moving as quickly as he expected, but that might have something to do with the Coronavirus’ unpredictable effect on the market. He took a moment to describe the new style of construction used at the development.
“The duplexes are built from insulated concrete forms,” he said. “They are insulated concrete all the way up to the eves. The roof trusses are held on by hurricane straps. They are classified as tornado resistant.”
One development challenge not unique to Centralia, Harris said, is the sharply rising cost of building materials. “From February to now, the price of raw lumber has risen 90 percent. It’s become absurd and a big challenge and getting lumber and other stuff in from Canada is also a challenge… Meanwhile, residential demand is good.”
Harris predicts, in Centralia at least, the market will see an increase in old homes being purchased for demolition, rebuild and resale, or remodel and resale.
Commercial demand is there as well he said, giving the recent sale of the former Dollar General building on Highway 22 East to the Purler wrestling academy as an example.
For the complete article, see next week’s edition of the Centralia Fireside Guard.