Anoka to sell land to high-end home developer

Anoka has agreed to sell 22.5 acres to Landmark of Anoka for a high-end home development north of Bunker Lake Boulevard.

The developer will work with Hanson Builders and Jonathan Homes on the signature neighborhood that will include 44 single family homes, ranging in price from $400,000 to $700,000, according to Erik Thorvig, Anoka’s city planner and community development coordinator.

This development will be west of the Rum River Library and will back up to the Anoka Nature Preserve.

The city entertained proposals from two different developers but opted to work with Landmark Development.

Councilmember Mark Freeburg called Landmark’s plans a flagship development.

“A lot people have said they have had to move out of Anoka because there was no place to invest in a house like this,” said Freeburg. “It’s very unique and surrounded by amenities nobody else has – rivers and parks and trails and schools and 200 acres of nature preserve, hockey arena and ball field. The list goes on and on.”

Councilmember Jeff Weaver said the development of this particular piece of property will have a big impact on the area.

To serve this new neighborhood, the city plans to put in a signalized intersection from Bunker Lake Boulevard, which will also be expanded with a south leg to connect to 40th Lane and provide access to Castle Field and Anoka High School.

That location of that intersection was determined through a traffic study done in 2012.

“We’re looking at moving forward with construction of that yet this year,” said Greg Lee, public services director and city engineer.

The city has been in discussions with Anoka County on the intersection.

The service road extension is planned for 2014, according to Lee.

“When you look at the benefits of just 22 acres to the safety of the school, access to the ball park, safe access to the Anoka County Library – kids aren’t going to be doing U-turns on Bunker anymore,” Weaver said.

The developer will pay for half the signal cost, with the city picking up the remainder of the tab.

The developer will also pay for all of the infrastructure within the development as well as a connection with Sixth Avenue, Thorvig said.

The sale of the property is contingent upon the council’s approval of a development agreement for the neighborhood, as well as the planning approvals required before constructions begins.

The developer will be on an aggressive building schedule to meet plans to have homes available to tour on the fall Parade of Homes this October.

The city is selling the property for $440,000, or $10,000 for each lot.

If the number of lots changes, the purchase price will be based on the per lot fee.

“The commitment by the developer is far greater than $440,000 if you start talking about sewer and water and streets in there,” said Councilmember Steve Schmidt. “It’s a huge project for them and for the city.”

The council is expected to consider the planning approvals and development agreement June 17, which follows a June 4 public hearing with the Planning Commission.

Along with the housing development, there are also plans to include a trail head to the Anoka Nature Preserve.

“As part of the planning process, the park board is also looking at developing a trail head in concert with that (development),” Lee said. “There will be park dedication fees as part of this development and we want to put that towards a trail head for this project.”

Mandy Moran Froemming is at [email protected]

  • mwallek

    Typical of todays way of thinking. It would be ridiculous to sell any land to someone who stated they wanted to build homes for not wealthy people. What we really need is more McMansions, fast. The well heeled are clamouring for investment properties and we need to empower them.

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