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New Woodbury developments put housing growth back on track

Residents have been enjoying the shopping at Woodbury Lakes, while in the shadow of TRIA Orthopaedic Center at CityPlace. (Bulletin photo by Mathias Baden)1 / 4
St. Therese of Woodbury is taking reservations for the next round of senior housing. (Bulletin photo by Mathias Baden)2 / 4
Open land along Bailey Road is the target of many a developer, and city officials are noting the uptick in development in the area known as Phase 2. (Bulletin photo by Mathias Baden)3 / 4
It's not your grandma's farm anymore. Woodbury could reach a population of 80,000 sooner than you think. (Bulletin photo by Mathias Baden)4 / 4

After a brief slowdown, Woodbury's housing stampede is about to resume.

Two projects with more than 700 housing units have been proposed — which would join seven other developments in the Phase 2 area south of Bailey Road.

The new projects will put Phase 2's growth projections back on track to reach 20,000 people by 2030.

If that happens, Woodbury's population is projected to hit 80,000. A city that size today would be the fifth-biggest in the state.

"We've had a great year," said Community Development Director Dwight Picha.

He said that in addition to housing, commercial development has blossomed, especially in the CityPlace project at Interstate 94 and Radio Drive.

The city's housing growth peaked in 1999, when 1,636 homes were built. That red-hot growth rate cooled off, although Woodbury has usually been included in the annual lists of the state's fastest-growing cities.

Growth suffered with the housing market crash of 2008. Since then, the city has maintained a rate of roughly 300 to 500 new units a year.

Now, said development director Picha, the city is poised for another surge.

With the Phase 2 projects, he expects that the number of new housing units will increase substantially in 2018.

Picha said the city is striving to reach a mix of 50 percent single-family homes and 50 percent other, more dense types of housing.

Picha said two projects have been proposed for Phase 2, but have not yet reached the city planning commission for approval. They are:

• A 383-unit project by national homebuilder D.R. Horton. It would include 199 single-family homes, 115 townhomes, and 69 "active adult" detached townhomes, which are free-standing houses on smaller lots.

• A 331-unit project by the Lennar Corp., roughly half of which would be single-family homes.

They would join other Phase 2 projects, including:

• Copper Ridge, a 107-acre development by D.R. Horton.

• Two other Lennar projects, of 107 acres and 39 acres.

• Bailey Park, a 77-acre development.

• Twenty-One Oaks, a 58-acre project by Tradition Development.

But there's more.

Other projects — which don't include single-family homes — will eventually add hundreds more residents.

The approved Woodbury Flats buildings are projected to have a total of 305 units, mostly apartments and townhomes. Work on that 9-acre project will begin in 2017.

St. Therese of Woodbury, which opened a 214-unit complex this year, is planning a second phase on a 147-acre parcel.

Overall, Picha is pleased.

"With the type of housing we are getting," he said, "I'd say we are still pretty much in line."

The Pioneer Press is a Forum News Service media partner.

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