New-home building is speeding up in Blaine

  • Article by: SHANNON PRATHER , Star Tribune
  • Updated: March 13, 2013 - 10:12 AM

The city is processing more applications for new neighborhood plats than at any time in a decade.

With the Twin Cities housing market on the rise, developers are lining up new housing projects in Blaine at a rate not seen in nearly a decade.

The city planning office is working on applications for 15 neighborhood plats that include nearly 500 mostly single-family home sites. The city hasn’t seen that kind of activity since 2003-04, said Bryan Schafer, Blaine planning and community development director.

“Developers are all feeling the pinch of available lots. They are trying to look at their future and where are they going to be building in 2014 or 2015,” Schafer said.

There already are 240 unbuilt homesites in the city, Schafer said.

Officials anticipate a busy construction season. “My sense is this year is off to a good start,” said City Council Member Dave Clark. “In Blaine, we have a lot of very desirable property for building homes. … The fact that things are ramping up doesn’t surprise me.”

At its March 7 meeting, the City Council approved a preliminary plat that will include 74 homesites in Harpers Woods, second addition. The council also was expected to approve 35 new homesites for custom builder Hans Hagen Homes. The lots will be part of The Lakes development.

Patty Eastman, Hans Hagen Homes sales manager at The Lakes, said business has been brisk since the spring of 2012. The existing-home market has improved, which has bolstered new-home sales. Eastman said most of her prospective customers already own a home and are looking to upgrade.

“People are more confident they can sell their existing home,” she said. □

 

Shannon Prather • 612-673-4804

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