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An artist’s rendition of the six villas at Smith Village in Eden Prairie. (Submitted image)

Were originally proposed as townhouses, but developer asks for villa construction

During its second virtual meeting over the past month, the Eden Prairie City Council approved a resolution that will set the wheels in motion for the construction of six independent villas at Smith Village located near the intersection of Highway 212 and Eden Prairie Road.

The project is the third piece of a larger development that will include a 100-unit cooperative called Applewood Pointe and 58 units of workforce housing currently under construction near the site of the new villas.

“The applicant is proposing to develop a 1-acre parcel as six single-family detached villas, and as I mentioned, would be part of the overall Smith Village project,” City Manager Rick Getschow said.

A short presentation about the project was presented by Mike Halley of Halley Land Corp. He came to the meeting with one request––to eliminate the common wall that would have attached the originally proposed townhouses.

Halley said that by eliminating the common walls of the six townhouses to transition the homes to six detached villas would allow them to be independent and free-standing.

“The net effect of deleting the common walls, ironically, is that we actually increase the green space,” Halley said. “We, of course, increase the privacy for the homeowners, and it allows us to increase the landscaping because we’re going to have more green space.

“I have to admit that we were caught a little bit by surprise because over the last several months it has become apparent to us that our prime buyers for these six villas are the children of the Applewood Pointe buyers,” Halley added about the potential sales. “We have not put these on the market, but through word-of-mouth more than anything we’ve been contacted and it turns out that perhaps 75 percent of the people are the children of parents who are buying one of the cooperative units at Applewood. To be candid with you, that was a real twist for me.”

The villas will be constructed by Hanson Builders, “one of the sustainable builders in the sense of they strive through the ‘green path,’ ... which are all good construction practices,” Halley said.

Hanson Builders has been in business for more than 40 years and is a designated Green Path Builder whose homes consistently achieve among the highest scores for energy-efficiency in the state. That includes high-efficiency appliances and mechanical systems, LED lighting, low-flush toilets and smart-controlled irrigation systems, Halley told the council.

The independent villas will preserve the same density as the six units, with the same access, the same amount of guest parking, the same landscaping features, and the same architecture, while offering a bit more diverse look.

The villas will be priced between $600,000-$750,000 and will be between 2,300 and 3,000 square feet each.

After the presentation, Councilmember Kathy Nelson asked Halley about the potential to include electrical wiring that would be necessary for charging electric vehicles.

Halley said that would be an option that could easily be included. But, because the city has been approached in the recent past about the same issue of allowing for electric vehicle charging stations within the garage homes, Mayor Ron Case asked that at future planning meetings with developers the option be considered from the start.

While conducting the public hearing via the online meeting, Case was careful to make sure that anyone who may be watching the meeting live be given the opportunity to provide live comments. However, there were no individuals interested in doing so.

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