A concern in Waconia in recent years among builders, realtors and potential home buyers has been limited lot inventory.
But that is starting to break open with the authorization this year of three new developments in the city, a total of 170 building lots. Two other development proposals are on the horizon. Here’s a quick look at recent developments around the city.
As reported last week, Woodland Creek, a 37-acre parcel of property south of the Sierra neighborhood proposed for 59 single-family homes, recently received preliminary plat approval from the Waconia City Council. That project still requires a developer’s agreement and final plat approval, so earthwork and construction are unlikely to begin until next spring, according to Lane Braaten Waconia community development director.
Another development approved in September where earthwork has begun is the Shores of Lake Waconia. That development is on the southeast side of Lake Waconia adjacent to the regional park on just over 50 acres of land north of Highway 5, bisected by County Road 92/Laketown Parkway, known as the Anderson property. That property was annexed into the city earlier this summer and opened up to development with the extension of utilities through the park.
The developer of the property, Rachel Development, is proposing 87 single-family homes for the property with three different lot sizes – 55, 60 and 65 feet in width, including 16 lakeside villa lots. Anticipated price ranges are $600,000-$700,000 off the lake to $1.2 million to $1.6 million on the lake.
Closer to downtown, Legacy Heights is starting to take shape on the hill at Main Street and Vista Boulevard. WoodRidge Homes, a local builder, is proposing 24 townhomes on the six-plus acre parcel, which had previously been authorized for a 42-townhome development that never materialized.
Utility work and considerable landscaping were completed this fall, according to Braaten, and the first model home could be coming soon.
The builder has previously noted that the Legacy Heights project is intended to bring more affordable housing to the community.
Just across Main Street, construction of Vista Ridge Apartments, a three-story, 51-unit apartment building targeted at lower income households, also is under way.
Two other potential new developments are in the conceptual or “sketch plan” stage and are just coming before the planning commission for the first time.
One is proposed on the west end of town, south of Highway 5 and the Waconia High School campus. Known as the Fabel and Peitz family properties, that parcel is being considered for 114 homes, according to Braaten, and is incumbent on approval of the city’s 2040 Comprehensive Plan, which is still being reviewed by the Metropolitan Council.
On the other side of Waconia, a concept for another 65 homes is being considered for property east of town off County Road 10 near the existing Interlaken neighborhood.
“It’s interesting that a number of different projects are being proposed on every side of the city,” Braaten said.
Meanwhile, the Burandt property, a 70-plus-acre parcel just west of the city that had been the focus of a 234-single family home plat proposal last year, remains open for now.
Finally, with regard to existing developments, neighborhoods like Stonegate are built out; however, a few like Somerwood, Windmill Creek, Interlaken and others still have a few lots left.
The recent developments haven’t translated into a lot of new building permits yet, Braaten notes. The city has processed about 70 home building permits so far in 2019, consistent with recent years. But if new developments take shape as proposed, Waconia could be in store for breakout building years not seen since 2003, before the last financial recession and building bust.