National homebuilders are ramping up development in the Twin Cities, and one city in particular is attracting them like a magnet.
Each year since 2013, Lakeville has led all metro-area cities with the most permits pulled for home construction. In 2016, builders pulled 401 permits in Lakeville, the most of any city during that four-year period. Blaine finished second with 309 permits, followed by Plymouth with 286, Woodbury with 270 and Otsego with 214.
There are 1,967 single-family lots in development in Lakeville, with another 607 pending, and most are for neighborhoods being built by national brands. Examples include D.R. Horton, which recently paid $3.7 million for 107 single-family lots in the Chokecherry Hill development; Mattamy Homes, which has a 205 single-family-lot project in the works; and Lennar, which has seven neighborhoods in development for a total of 203 lots.
Other national builders working on project in Lakeville include CalAtlantic and K. Hovnanian Homes, while Pulte Homes is opening a community there in March. Minnesota-based builders like Robert Thomas Homes, Homes by Tradition and Country Joe Homes are also active in the city.
The south-metro suburb also has 609 multifamily units in development. David Olson, Lakeville’s community and economic development director, said builders are attracted to the city’s proximity to Interstate 35, express transit service it offers commuters to downtown Minneapolis and Lakeville’s school district. He added that the increase in residents is having a positive economic impact. “It keeps our tax rates lower because we’re continually expanding the base.”
On the other hand, the city doesn’t want to be known as just a hub for home builders, Olson said. The City Council envisions attracting commercial developers and companies looking to move into the area. “We don’t want to be a bedroom community,” he said. “We have one of the largest industrial parks in the state in the southern part of our city and we’re also trying to attract other types of businesses that provide head-of-household-type jobs. Rooftops can certainly drive retail, but we’re also trying to get office and high tech business and other types of companies that provide those types of jobs that, if people choose to, they can live and work in the same city.”
That streak may continue in the coming years. “We’re only about two-thirds or three-fourths developed,” he said. “We’ve got a lot of developable land in Lakeville. That’s not the case everywhere else, either. Whether it’s for residential development or commercial industrial development, we have available land. For the most part, we have most of the infrastructure in place to serve and allow that land to be developed.”
Published January 27, 2017 by the Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal
- On January 31, 2017