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South Hastings sees major residential development

The following is the first of two stories about current residential and potential commercial development in south Hastings:

In Hastings, there are basically only two directions for growth ... west and south.

To the south, major housing developments are under way and grading for another large-scale development began earlier this month at the end of 31st Street and Spiral Boulevard.

Combined, the developments as planned will mean more than 1,300 housing units in south Hastings alone.

The Century South development has been under way for two years. When complete, Century South will have about 385 units, including single-family homes, townhome units and quadplexes. Lyman Development Company, a reputable firm based in Excelsior, is the developer of Century South.

Jim Johnston, Lyman Development vice president, said the market is strong in Hastings, with a variety of housing clients, including singles and empty-nesters.

"(Hastings) is a fabulous town," Johnston said. "The city has character and good leadership. People gravitate to a home with character."

South Oaks is located between Century South and the established Riverwood Addition. Greg Jablonske is the owner, developer and builder of South Oaks, which will include 35 single-family homes and 60 townhomes (120 housing units).

Also near the Century South and South Oaks additions, a 17-lot development is planned, just south of 31st Street. Frank Sieben is the project developer who plans to build nine single-family homes and eight twinhomes on property that has been in his family for many years. Sieben said the Highview Estates addition will be developed in three phases. Sieben said, as of now, the finished project will have 26 single-family homes and the eight twinhomes that will be built in the first phase, although the plans are subject to change.

"(Development) is market-driven," Sieben said. "We want to offer something first-time buyers can achieve."

South Pines

Ed McMenomy Jr. is part owner of the South Pines development. The first three phases located east of Highway 316 are complete. Phases four through six, located on the west side of Highway 316, began late last year. McMenomy said when phases four through six are complete, in about five years, there will be about 332 units (single-family homes and twinhomes). The property on which 56 twinhomes will be located has been sold to Pulte Homes, a national firm, for development.

There could be much more to come, as well, as McMenomy and partners have been in discussion with two landowners about 160 acres of property between highways 316 and 61.

The hope, McMenomy said, is to have Tuttle Drive be a connection between the two highways. The 160 acres could potentially lead to at least another 400 housing units.

"It's just a concept at this point," McMenomy said. "We've only talked to the city once on it, and the city is not on board. It could be 10 to 15 years out."

In addition, the land would have to be annexed from Marshan Township.

Glendale Heights

The latest development is Glendale Heights, which will be located between the end of 31st Street and Spiral Boulevard and Glendale Road (County Road 91). The property is in the process of being sold to Ryan Contracting, which will develop the infrastructure and then sell much of the land to the D.R. Horton national building company for residential development.

McMenomy, who is working on development with Ryan Contracting, said Glendale Heights will have about 580 housing units when finished.

Don Patton, manager of land development operations for D.R. Horton, said Glendale Heights will be a mixed residential site. D.R. Horton will be involved in the development of 128 villas, 128 coach homes and 44 twinhomes. There are also 280 apartments planned.

Patton said he believes the project is good for Hastings because it offers more affordable housing. The villas, for example, will run in the $100,000 to $150,000 range. The twinhomes will be comparatively average in price (upper $200,000s) but could be more if buyers want to add various options. The twinhomes are planned to be part of associations.

In addition, the affordable housing units have a good view of the ravine bluffs between the Hastings Business and Industrial Park and Glendale Road.

"We're excited to offer this in Hastings," Patton said. "Hastings is a very good market. There are great schools, shopping, large employers, and it's a strong full-standing city."

Patton expects the first building permits for Glendale Heights to be issued in December, with coach homes to be the first scheduled for construction. The entire development is planned for completion in late 2005 or in 2006.

Jablonske said the pieces for development in south Hastings have been in place for years, but the high demand did not reach the city until the past few years.

"All these project areas have been owned by the developers for years," Jablonske said. "These are good developments, and now there's an awful lot of demand. For years, Hastings didn't grow and didn't grow because it's a smaller community, but the demand for housing in the Twin Cities has reached us."

Meeting the demand for housing could be followed by traffic concerns and a demand for more commercial business in south Hastings. Part two of this series will address these issues.