Council clears way for new 'Fields of Woodbury' developmentIt’s official: “Fields of Woodbury” is now open for development.
By: Riham Feshir, Woodbury Bulletin
It’s official: “Fields of Woodbury” is now open for development.
Woodbury City Council approved the measure at its Wednesday, Nov. 14, meeting, marking an important chapter of the city’s Comprehensive Plan.
“This has been a long-term process,” City Administrator Clint Gridley said. “We’ve been really fortunate to work through the great recession and come out of it.”
“Fields of Woodbury,” also known as “Sub-Phase 2A,” is located south of Bielenberg Sports Center and north of Dale Road.
Opening up Fields of Woodbury for development allows the city to accept applications from various developers.
However, final approval will be dependent on making sure the development is not premature and adequate public infrastructure is available.
Major property owners in the development have more than 20 acres within Fields of Woodbury.
Mario Cocchiarella, of Maplewood Development, is one who spoke at last week’s council meeting expressing interest in moving forward as quickly as possible.
Before anything could happen though, the new Pioneer Drive extension has to be built, he said. But with his property being off of Dale Road, he could have access from there following the temporary improvements already set in place.
“This is a lot different than anything north of Dale Road, in my opinion,” he said of his property. “It’s a beautiful piece of property; it’s going to command higher prices, frankly.”
He added that his company relies heavily on the phasing schedule, and they would only need water main addition to the temporary upgrades of Dale Road in order to get going.
“Not everyone is going to want to live near the high school,” he said of East Ridge High School to the north. “I think it’s important to provide alternatives to really get things moving. We’re ready to go.”
The city’s funding analysis for the Phase 2 development assumes properties adjacent to the improvements will fund the majority of the roadway and infrastructure costs, according to city documents.
A section of the trunk sanitary sewer necessary to serve Fields of Woodbury was constructed through the East Ridge and Bielenberg Sports Center sites in 2007.
Last year, construction began on the Phase 2 trunk sanitary sewer project from Woodbury Drive to about 2,800 feet south of the connection at Pioneer Drive.
Construction of this section is complete for the most part and ready for service, and the remaining section will be installed with development.
City staff said they’ve met with the major property owners within Fields of Woodbury to discuss timing and needed infrastructure. Given the interest, it appears that lots will be available for construction in 2014 and beyond.
Community Development Director Dwight Picha said development interest in the southern part of Woodbury has increased as the city’s lot inventory continues to diminish.
“We’re seeing significant interest going into a new area of the community,” he said.
Developers and property owners of Fields of Woodbury are eager to start working on the project to bring more residential housing to the city’s south side.
Tim Thone, a real estate developer who owns 107 acres within Sub-Phase 2A, said he plans to bring in housing similar to Stonemill Farms and Dancing Waters.
He said development plans were stalled when the housing market crashed about four years ago, and now is the right time to start.
“We’re excited to get going,” he said.