Friday, November 14, 2014
Kris Pickett and Dan Hull, PE, Land Development
Sometimes, just having another set of eyes can lead to an even better product.
Faced with high infrastructure costs that were driving away potential homebuilders, Richmark Real Estate selected Olsson to take a fresh look at its housing development concept in Greeley, Colorado. This exercise led to potential savings of $2.5 million in infrastructure costs and created major development efficiencies.
When Richmark Real Estate purchased 64 acres of land in Greeley, the company had a goal of developing 200 homes. The land had been previously designed and approved for homes many years prior by a different owner, but the recession and a tough housing market put development plans on hold. The land was eventually acquired by a bank. With housing demand now on the rise, Richmark bought the land from the bank and was ready to bring on a homebuilder to start development.
The original lot design for the land had been zoned and approved for construction, but Richmark was having difficulties finding a homebuilder who would take on the project, since homebuilders quickly determined the original design had a prohibitively high per-lot infrastructure cost.
Richmark asked Olsson to look into it. The project team looked at the development plans with experienced and creative eyes and began to pinpoint many inefficiencies. With a deep understanding of subdivision design, Olsson developed a plan that took into account a thorough comprehension of the city’s codes and infrastructure costs and how to work with the existing physical landscape.
As a result, Olsson redesigned the 64 acres to more efficiently locate lots; roads; and water, wastewater, and stormwater systems. In addition, the new plan design made better use of the existing topography to minimize cutting and filling costs.
Further, the redesigned plan was able to accommodate a 15 percent increase in the number of lots on the site as well as a significant reduction in the per-lot infrastructure costs of 27 percent.
When construction is complete, the community will have 234 homes, and residents will have access to trails and usable open space. In addition, the majority of homes will back to open space, which offers a more desirable lot and higher lot premiums. The new Northridge development is expected to break ground in the fall of 2015.
The development redesign is a win-win situation for everyone. Richmark is able to move forward with a development that had been on hold for years, and Greeley will have new housing in a well-designed development that will be able to meet rising demand.
For questions about this project, or if you would like more information on effective land-use planning, call us at 970.590.6061.