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Council approves Magnolia loan
February 13, 2014 Jerry Purvis   

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Members of the Gering City Council approved a $350,000 short term LB 840 loan to Magnolia Homes to complete a major project.

The company, purchased by Karsten Homes in June 2012, has been building $4.2 million of two-story apartment units destined for North Dakota, where housing is at a premium due to the energy boom in that state.

Harry Karsten, one of the company’s principals, told council members his company needed some help with operating expenses until the project is completed. While Magnolia has built one-story apartment buildings in the past, the current project calls for two-story buildings. That required the acquisition of new equipment to retool for the job. Plus, the new buildings need to be in North Dakota by early April.

Magnolia Home, located on Rundell Road, has 100 employees, 85 in the plant and 15 in administration. Karsten said they have lots of work lined up and are working toward getting more dealerships placed in the Midwest. That should guarantee additional work in the future.

The Gering City Council has extended similar loans to Magnolia in the past, which have all been repaid. This is the first one requested by the new ownership.
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