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Polaris donates big bucks to build apartments for workers in northern MN

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Polaris Industries needs workers, but has one simple problem: the small, northern Minnesota city it calls home simply doesn't have enough places for them to live.

The company's solution? Build more housing, of course.

The snowmobile and ATV producer's "philanthropic arm," the Polaris Foundation, donated $300,000 toward the construction of Tamarack Place, a 41-unit apartment building that is slated to open in Roseau next year, according to a news release.

The manufacturer hopes this alleviates a persistent housing shortage, which the Star Tribune says has forced Polaris and Marvin Windows (another local company) to put up workers in hotels or bus them in from as far as 80 miles away.

In one instance, the Minneapolis / St. Paul Business Journal notes, Polaris flew in a dozen "skilled workers" from Monterrey, Mexico, for a temporary assignment.

The Star Tribune adds the situation has also made it difficult for the companies to attract talent and keep it in town.

“A primary mission of the Polaris Foundation is Community Development in areas where Polaris has facilities and where our employees work, live, and play,” said Polaris Foundation President Stacy Bogart in the news release. “With Tamarack Place, the Polaris Foundation hopes to enhance the quality of life in Roseau and ensure the city has a vibrant selection of premium residential opportunities for a growing workforce.”

The release indicates the facility was designed to meet the sustainability standards of Minnesota Green Communities, and that one-, two- and three-bedroom units will be available.

A groundbreaking ceremony was held Friday, Aug. 25.

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