Commercial development begins at Heritage GreensThe final phase of development of the Heritage Greens subdivision is under way. After a longer-than-hoped-for delay because of the slow economy, the infrastructure for the remaining 31 acres of the planned neighborhood is going in.
By: Randy Hanson, Hudson Star-Observer
The final phase of development of the Heritage Greens subdivision is under way.
After a longer-than-hoped-for delay because of the slow economy, the infrastructure for the remaining 31 acres of the planned neighborhood is going in.
Driving the renewed development is Eau Claire-based Royal Credit Union’s plans to build a branch office in Heritage Market, a commercial district of up to 7.9 acres in size.
La Crosse-based Gerrard Corp.’s construction of 24 townhouses for people 55 and older is moving the project forward, too.
Also, the new company in charge of developing the remaining vacant Heritage Greens property, Anchor Real Estate Group, hopes that financing will come through for the construction of housing for low-income seniors and disabled people.
Accessible Space Inc. of St. Paul is seeking U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development funding to build 32 apartments for low-income, frail seniors and 15 apartments for low-income, disabled adults of all ages.
HUD will announce at the end of the year whether the company will get the funding. Accessible Space plans to begin construction of the two apartment buildings next spring if it receives the financing.
A ground-breaking ceremony was held Thursday, Dec. 4, to mark the start of Heritage Greens’ final development phase.
In reality, street construction and the installation of water and sewer mains has been under way since shortly after Royal Credit Union closed on a 2.5-acre site in late October.
The credit union will be at the south entrance to Heritage Greens, on the north side of Hanley Road and just west of the Hwy. 35 interchange.
According to Nick Hackworthy, vice president of Anchor Real Estate Group and the person in charge of Heritage Market’s development, all of the underground utilities are in and 98 percent of the excavation work is done.
The base work for the streets that will serve Royal Credit Union and Gerrard Corp.’s Heritage Cottages also is completed. The curbs and gutters will be added, and the streets surfaced, next spring.
F & K Excavating of River Falls is putting in the infrastructure.
Hackworthy said F & K owner Chris Kusilek has a reputation for getting a lot of work done in a short period of time. “And he did,” he said.
Two green areas at the Hanley Road entrance to Heritage Greens also will be developed next spring. Hackworthy said the southern entrance to the neighborhood will look much like the Stageline Road entrance when it is completed.
The larger Market Green – a throwback to the old town square – will be constructed as additional builders are found.
Hackworthy said the park will go in next spring if Accessible Space is able to proceed with construction of its proposed apartment buildings.
Construction on the Heritage Cottages townhouses has already begun.
The homes are located just north of the commercial area and along the west side of Hwy. 35.
Paul Gerrard of Gerrard Corp. says the first townhouses will be ready for occupancy next March.
They will include one- and two-bedroom homes in single-level, four-unit buildings with a “garden cottage” design, according to a Gerrard Corp. news release.
Each townhouse will have an old-fashioned, screen-in porch and a rear step-out sun patio for plants, the news release says.
It also says that the townhouses will feature electric in-floor radiant heat that will help keep tenants’ energy bills affordable.
Location, location, location
Hackworthy and Phil Dommer, Anchor Real Estate’s development director, are bullish on what the new 31-acre mixed use area has to offer to prospective builders and residents.
One of the things it has going for it is location, location, location, as they say in the real estate business.
Dommer said businesses that locate in Heritage Market will draw customers not only from the new adjacent residential neighborhoods, but from motorists traveling by on Hwy. 35.
“That’s what’s unique about this. It’s not just the Hudson people, but everybody that goes by to River Falls is a potential customer,” he said.
There are 5.6 acres of land in Heritage Market zoned specifically for commercial use. Another 2.3 acres is available for either commercial or residential use.
According to Hackworthy and Dommer, a total of 85,000 square feet of commercial floor space is possible.
While they are looking for investor builders to recruit businesses to the neighborhood, Dommer said it is a good location for a variety of traditional service and retail businesses, as well as professional offices.
A beauty shop, barbershop, coffee or ice cream shop, delicatessen, florist and boutique are some of the businesses that would be right for Heritage Market, he said.
Dommer said Anchor Real Estate has been talking to a builder who is interested in putting up a 20,000-square-foot, multi-tenant retail building.
“It would sure be good to hear from local businesses who would like to stay downtown and establish a new place farther out and grab the River Falls traffic,” he said.
A more ambitious goal for Hackworthy and Dommer is to bring in a national chain drugstore and market.
“Whether we can get them here in short order remains to be seen,” Dommer said. “Residents would like it.”
The remaining 23 acres of the new 31-acre development area is zoned for residential use.
“Heritage Market is for single-family builders, multi-family builders and commercial builders,” said Hackworthy. “It really has something to offer to most types of businesses.”
Dommer added: “It really hasn’t been on the marketplace as a viable location. And now it is. That’s what we’d like the business community to know. This is a location for people to establish or expand their businesses.”
For more information about Heritage Market, contact Hackworthy at (651) 501-6503 or nhackworthy @AnchorREG.com.