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Cook Medical buys 62 acres in Owen County for worker housing

Cook

(WFIU/WTIU File Photo)

Cook Medical has purchased 62 acres of land in Owen County to help reach its goal of building 300 homes across south-central Indiana.

The medical device manufacturer plans to build 90 homes for its employees on the Owen County property.

The goal is to start construction in the fall and completed by the end of 2025.

Ron Walker is the president of Workforce Housing LLC – a Cook-owned company. He said the company’s workers were having trouble finding affordable housing and wanted to find ways to help.

"We have experience in this across the Cook Companies, in building and in managing real estate," he said. "What we set out to do here was be the developer."

Walker said employees were mostly interested in owning single-family housing, which is what they plan on building in Owen County. The housing will be geared toward middle-income, hourly wage workers.

“We’re also in a tougher employment period, where we’re competing with others for a limited number of workers. So that puts them and us at risk of being recruited from another employer in another community,” he said.

Walker added that Cook was confident due to employee surveys that the homes would be filled. He added Cook hoped to keep the homes under $200,000, although it would depend on the market.

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