Plans moving forward on Pittsburg’s first gated community

PITTSBURG, Kan. – More than 40 acres of green in Pittsburg will soon look much different.

“We’re on the home stretch,” says Quentin Holmes, Director of Housing and Community Development for the City of Pittsburg.

The Villas at Creekside will soon be under construction south of east 4th street and west of the high school, and will be Pittsburg’s first gated community.

“We like rural towns. Rural growing towns. And my initial visit, I could see where there was some visionaries in the city,” says Dexter Pearson with 3P Development Group LLC. “The gated community idea was brought up in initial conversation. I think there’s a high interest We sent out a survey to potential people in the area, and we had some on site meetings with people who may be interested in the community, and the gated community was very popular among the people who responded. We’re still kind of working out to details of the gates.”

It’s being developed in five phases, with the first phase set to begin some time in May. That first phase will include 29 units, a pickleball court, a bocce ball court, a dog park, and all of the infrastructure that’s needed for the housing.

“We’re actually bringing in water, sewer, gas, electric to the site. We’re putting in a road. Sidewalks, a traffic light. All the site work we have to do leading up to the development,” says Pearson.

At least part of the cost to put in the infrastructure will be covered by the city of Pittsburg though, using what’s called a Rural Housing Incentive District.

“It’s an infrastructure program passed down by the state that will allow us to use increase in property tax as a way to incentivize a developer to put in streets, curbs, guttering, all the infrastructure it takes to build a subdivision,” explains Holmes. “In rural communities it’s tough to grow. We don’t have the kind of money to be able to put infrastructure in like Johnson County or a larger metro area. So, using incentive tools like the RHID is what makes it attractive for a developer to come to our community and be able to build a subdivision.”

Who manage that infrastructure, specifically the streets that are within the gated part of the community, is something the city isn’t sure of at this point though.

“I’ve spoke with several different cities with gated communities, and it seems like every deal is different based on negotiations with the commission,” says Holmes.

The city hopes that the development will help address their current housing shortage.

“There is a huge demand for housing here. Of all ranges, from low income to high end,” says Holmes. “The demand is there for a senior community in Pittsburg of this caliber, and we’re excited to welcome it.”

Pearson explains the development company hopes to have the first 29 units ready for people to move into in the first quarter of 2022.

“We’re very excited to get going,” says Pearson. “And we hope that we can generate, hope we can generate a lot of regional interest and that this project brings a lot of alumni back to the Pittsburg area.”