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Signs of life in local housing market

There was a time, not so long ago, when Farmington city officials had so many new housing developments being proposed, it was almost hard to keep them all straight.

Ah, the good old days.

Since the economy turned sour and the housing market came to a screeching halt, city of Farmington planners haven't seen many new housing development proposals. None, in fact, since the Dakota County Community Development Authority's Twin Ponds development was approved by the Farmington City Council in December, 2007.

But that changed last week. While the Riverbend Third Edition plat approved by the Farmington City Council last week only brings 23 new lots to the community, it's more than the city has seen in a long time.

Assistant city planner Tony Wippler said the new plat isn't necessarily a sign of more to come, but it does provide the developers with an additional inventory of lots for future development.

In approving the final plat, council members gave the nod to the development. The lots are not actually deemed construction-worthy until the final plat is recorded at the county. Once that happens, though, developers can start infrastructure construction, provided that the other items like the development contract and all associated sureties are approved. Those steps tend to happen fairly quickly, Wippler said.

The first addition of the Riverbend project was approved in early 2005, and the second addition was done in 2006. Until earlier this year, there hadn't been a lot of movement on the construction side, but now construction seems to be picking up. That's why the developers wanted to get the third addition going, Wippler said -- so they could start the road and infrastructure this season and have the lots ready for next spring.

Besides the Riverbend lots, Wippler said there are about 500 lots throughout several developments that are still open and ready for construction. Instead of trying to create more lots, most developers are starting to try to chip away at the lots they already have in place.

Michelle Leonard

Michelle Leonard joined the Woodbury Bulletin staff in November, 2014, after 14 years covering news for the Bulletin's sister publication, the Farmington Rosemount Independent Town Pages.  Michelle earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Mass Communications: News-Editorial from Mankato State University in 1991. She is an active member of the American Legion Auxiliary Clifford Larson Unit 189 of Farmington, and served as the 2014-15 Third District President to the American Legion Auxiliary Department of Minnesota. Michelle is also the volunteer coordinator for the Minnesota Newspaper Museum which is open annually during the Minnesota State Fair. She has earned Minnesota Newspaper Association awards in Investigative Reporting, Local News Coverage, Feature Photography and Column Writing. 

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