Prairie Fire Residences, a new multi-family housing development at 1736 Paddington, will host a ribbon cutting and grand opening this week. 

There will be a ribbon Cutting on Oct. 25, with a Grand Opening Open House Oct. 27.

On Oct. 25 there will be a short open house from 11:15 to 11:45 a.m., followed by a presentation and ribbon cutting. A lunch will be served at Noon. 

Oct. 27, Prairie Fire will host an open house from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. The festivities will include giveaways, treats, tours of the home and food served all day. The menu includes burgers, brats and hot dogs. 

The City of Newton conducted a housing study in 2011, the results of which displayed a shortage of entry-level housing.

Prairie Fire responded with a proposed development that contains 63 housing units in 21 buildings. The company also owns a facility in McPherson and Moundridge. 

Groundbreaking for the housing development was Feb. 18, 2017. Coupled with another similar development — Cottonwood Crossing — the number of housing starts in 2017 equaled the number of starts the previous five years.

In 2016, The Newton City Commission created a Rural Housing Incentive District (or RHID) for the Prairie Fire housing development.

 City Attorney Chris Towle said at that time  an RHID is for rural cities and focuses on public improvements. Only cities with a population of less than 40,000, within a county with a population of less than 60,000, qualify.

After an RHID is established for a development, Towle said the developer is required to pay for the cost of building the new infrastructure.

The increases in the property tax for that development are first paid by the developer and then reimbursed for either 15 years or until all eligible costs have been reimbursed, whichever comes first.

Towle said Prairie Fire will still be sharing the cost of roughly $2,000 in special assessments, which pay for utilities or roads for new pieces of property.