Developer looks at turning proposed townhomes into single-family lots

by Joni Astrup

Associate Editor

A developer is looking at converting proposed townhomes in Elk River to another use.

Source Construction Capital in Plymouth had planned to build 48 more townhome units in the River Park development in Elk River. But now Chase Peterson of Source Capital said they would rather convert that land to 17 new single-family lots.

“Redevelopment of this site into single-family homes will bring life back into the River Park neighborhood,” Peterson said in a letter to the city. “We are confident that this conversion from townhomes to single family is the best use of the site and also the quickest way to get this development to the finish line.”

The City Council has reviewed the concept and generally seemed to be in favor of the idea, according to Mayor John Dietz.

But before it could move forward, there would need to be a formal application and a public hearing.

The River Park plat was originally approved in 2005 and included 80 townhome units and 36 single-family lots, according to City Planner Zack Carlton. To date, 32 townhome units and 23 single-family homes have been built.

The site is located off Twin Lakes Road, near Twin Lakes Elementary School.

This is the second time in recent years that a developer has converted proposed townhome units to another use.

Last year, the developer of Kliever Lake Fields in Elk River converted 42 proposed townhome units into 21 detached single-family townhomes.

Meanwhile, Mark Urista, owner of Coldwell Banker Vision in Elk River and chair of the Elk River Area Chamber of Commerce, said the townhome market right now is very good. Units that had been selling for $70,000 to $80,000 a few years ago as bank-owned homes are now selling in the $130,000 to $140,000 range, he said.

Single-level units and townhomes for people age 55 and older are especially in short supply, he said.

City officials estimate there are about 1,000 townhomes in Elk River, which is about 12 percent of the housing stock, according to Carlton.

The townhome building boom in Elk River occurred in the mid-2000s, specifically 2003 to 2005, he said. There were 608 multi-family units — townhome and apartment units — built in Elk River during that time.

Elk River also experienced a single-family housing boom during that same period, Carlton said.

New multi-family housing permits* in Elk River, 1996-2014

1996 ………………………… 0

1997 ………………………. 19

1998 ………………………. 29

1999 ………………………. 28

2000 ………………………. 86

2001 ………………………. 76

2002 ………………………. 32

2003 …………………….. 228

2004 …………………….. 235

2005 …………………….. 145

2006 ………………………. 98

2007 ………………………. 12

2008 ………………………… 0

2009 ………………………… 4

2010 ………………………… 0

2011 ………………………… 0

2012 ………………………… 0

2013 ………………………… 0

2014 (YTD) ………………… 0

*multi-family townhome and apartment units

Source: City of Elk River

 

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