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A big makeover: Schuett totally guts three apartment complexes in Grand Forks

Schuett, based in Golden Valley, Minn., started construction on University Square, Columbia Square East and Columbia Square South in August 2022.

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Tom Schuett, owner of Schuett Companies.
Kevin Fee/Grand Forks Herald
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GRAND FORKS — Schuett Companies is in the process of rehabbing three apartment complexes in Grand Forks.

Genia Jetty has spent the last eight years in the University Square apartments. The last few years, she said, were anything like home sweet home. But since Schuett Companies bought the complex in summer 2022, many things have changed.

“There’s somebody always to call, somebody to answer questions,” Jetty said. “The heating is tremendously different. There’s was never heating in the hallways or anything and those windows you couldn’t even see out them because it was so cold.

“We’re not neglected. I appreciate everything.”

Jetty is enjoying a complete makeover of her unit. Everything inside the 60-unit University Square apartments has been gutted and replaced with new appliances, countertops, cabinetry, windows, walls, carpet, flooring and lighting fixtures.

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“Everything in the units is being replaced,” said Peter Nelson, Schuett developer.

Schuett, based in Golden Valley, Minn., started construction on University Square, Columbia Square East and Columbia Square South in August 2022. The company hopes to complete the renovations by summer. The renovation project consists of 182 Section 8 units at the three sites.

Construction is 75% completed.

Each unit is receiving approximately $75,000 in updates. Schuett used funds from a HUD first mortgage, Housing Incentive Funds through North Dakota Housing Finance Agency and low-income housing tax credits to do the nearly $15 million project.

This isn’t the only project Schuett has done in North Dakota. It renovated the former Patterson Hotel in Bismarck, which was an existing Section 8 senior building in need of repairs. The oldest restaurant in North Dakota, the Peacock Alley Bar & Grill, remains on the property.

The company also has renovated properties in several Minnesota cities, including Thief River Falls and Moorhead.

University Square features two- to three-bedroom apartments. Columbia Square South has 72 two- to three-bedroom apartments and Columbia Square East has 50 one-bedroom apartments.

Columbia Square East is age-restricted.

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Schuett is partnering with United Way to help potential tenants secure housing in the units. United Way also will help with other tenant needs.

“This is another opportunity for us to get families housed,” said Heather Novak, United Way executive director. “We will be providing case management at each of the properties. Our staff will come on-site throughout the week to assist families, whether it’s getting housed or getting access to other services.”

Tom Schuett said his company was founded on the core value of providing housing for people in need.

“The neighborhood was suffering from neglect and oversight of properties,” he said, “so we really want to raise the profile of this buildings into something the adjacent properties can be proud of and not worried about.”

The newly renovated apartments have open units.

More from Kevin Fee
There’s good news in the forecast. Saturday, look for temperatures as high as 29 in Grand Forks, followed by highs of 20 on Sunday, 33 on Monday and 25 on Tuesday.

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Kevin Fee is a freelance reporter for the Herald.
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