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Brandon developers opening land for 600 lots on city’s east side
By By Jill Meier
Challenger editor

June 14. 2013 9:24AM
Three Brandon landowners are working in cooperation to turn approximately 200 acres into 600 lots on the city’s east side.

Landowners Tony Bosch, Tom Howey and Jack Robbins have been working with city planners for about a year, and are optimistic that sewer work could begin this summer.

“We’ve got to do this together to make it work,” said Bosch. “We’ve got to open this east end up, which could be a good thing for Brandon.”

Dave Swier, city building inspector, said the endeavor has been in the works for about a year. The 200-acre development spans from Aspen to Redwood boulevards and from Chestnut Avenue to 484th Avenue.

The 200-acred development also includes 20 acres purchased by the Brandon Valley School District, which is intended for a future school building, most likely an elementary school.

“Six hundred rooftops would basically fill an elementary school,” Superintendent Dave Pappone said, adding the district builds its elementary schools to accommodate 550 to 600 students. “But if we build a 5-6 building, that would give us some breathing room,” he said.

“With the school there, what we’re trying to do is locate the park with the school,” Swier said, similar to the combined Fred Assam Elementary-City of Sioux Falls park, “so the taxpayers don’t have two major parks out there to pay for.”

Work is likely to begin this summer on extending the sewer trunk line to this area, Swier said. And that work will start on a 25-acre parcel of land Howey purchased from the Bethany Home organization.

“We’re hoping to start getting the street in and by the end of June-early July, have lots available,” Howey said.

While plans for the development are well along, Swier says it could be several months before any home construction begins.

“Builders are hard to come by because Sioux Falls is so busy and framers are three months out,” he said.

The last large housing development in Brandon – the Parkview Addition – was 13 years ago by developer Gene Johnson. That addition encompassed 100 acres and was filled in about five years, Swier said.

“But that’s when we were building 100 homes a year,” he said.

“There’s a nice uptick in the number of building permits for homes here so far this year,” Pappone said. “In the ‘old’ days we added about 100 homes a year, and we’d sure like to get back to that.”

In recent years, the city’s added 30 to 35 new homes a year.

Swier estimates the 600-lot development will take 10 to 15 years to fill up.

Within eight years, the 200-lot Sunrise Estates, also developed by Howey, was filled.
“It really goes faster than you think,” he said.

Presently, about 70 lots are fully developed in the city, according to data from the Real Estate Association of the Sioux Empire.

Johnson says, however, the city has a plethora of available lots, estimating the number at 150. Those lots, however, do not have utilities to them yet.

The east side housing development comes at a time when Brandon lacks a large supply homes on the market. Last week, the Real Estate Association listed 35 single-family homes for sale in Brandon.

“There’s not a ton of available lots for sale so this is good timing, as the ‘docs’ and Tony saw the need,” Swier said.

Kimberly Kremlacek of Keller Williams Realty-Brandon said the city has a limited supply of $150,000 to $180,000 homes on the market, and said the additional starter-home sized lots could help to ease that deficit.

“That’s our shortage in Brandon,” she said. “There’s lots to build on in Brandon, and nice lots, and we have some builders that are building spec homes but the waiting game could cost you.” A year from now, Kremlacek estimates those same homes will cost $10,000 to $12,000 more.

Howey said the new development will offer lots priced (lower to mid-$30,000 range) for first-time home buyers.

City planners say Brandon is poised to grow on it west and east sides. “We’ve grown some on the west and can continue to do as long as people are willing to sell (land),” Swier said.

The city’s master plan for the east side also includes bike trails and parks, both big priorities for the trio of developers.

“They want that kind of stuff, and actually, to the point they’re pushing the city,” Swier said.
Howey said the quality of life amenities are key to the development, and 40 to 60 acres of the development will be devoted to a park and walking-bike trails.

“What we’re really excited about is getting a park out there,” he said. “Our goal is have a walking/bike trail a couple miles long to connect to the planned trails at McHardy.”

Mayor Larry Beesley said the housing development comes at an exciting time for the city. In late May, Canada-based wind turbine company, Marmen Energy, announced they will begin manufacturing wind turbine towers here next month, and by the end of 2014, plan to have 250 people on its Brandon payroll.

“It definitely doesn’t hurt to have the developers decide to open those acres,” Beesley said. “So this comes at a great time, and to me, it’s good business sense.”

Adds Howey, “We’re hoping to get more lots available since the new company announced they’re coming to Brandon





Three Brandon developers are opening 200 acres on the city's east side, which is enough room for 600 homes. The Brandon Valley School District also owns 20 acres, which is intended for a future elementary school. Stockwell Engineers



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