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Signs of life in a dormant development

When Tim Giles took over the development now known as the New Sunrise Addition, there were few signs of life. There were nine occupied houses, and a lot of weedy lots.

Started 10 years ago as Sunrise Ponds at the height of the local housing boom, the project had stalled and gone into foreclosure. Giles, a longtime developer in Farmington, bought it a few years ago from the bank and started making changes. He increased the lot sizes and did away with plans for an alley running behind the houses. That allowed him to push the homes farther back into the lots.

He also started tending to the unbuilt lots, mowing the weeds and making the entire property look more presentable.

Now there are signs of life again at the east Farmington property. Giles dug his first basement at the site 16 months ago, and he’s sold seven houses since. There are crews working on multiple homes, and there are nine houses pre-sold.

“I think people kind of forgot we were back here,” Giles said.

They’re rediscovering the development now. Just last week Giles sold a home to a family from Hopkins. He sold two more to families who were moving out of townhomes. One new resident is relocating from North Dakota.

The houses in the development are designed as starter homes, but there is room for a lot of customization for buyers who want a fancier kitchen, or who want their basement finished.

On nights and weekends, streets in the neighborhood are busy with homebuyers out scouting the area.

“In the last three months it’s ramped up considerably,” Giles said.

Giles is moving quickly toward filling the 25 lots in the development’s first addition. When that’s done, he’ll move on to a second addition with another 25 lots. He expects to be done with everything in two years.

“It’s a nice area,” he said. “Once it’s done, it’s gonna look decent.”

Nathan Hansen

Nathan Hansen has been a reporter and editor with the Farmington Independent and the Rosemount Town Pages since 1997. He is very tall.

(651) 460-6606
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