Park improvements under way in Heritage GreensHeritage Park in the Heritage Greens neighborhood will be much greener next summer. One hundred eleven trees were planted in the park in recent days. By next spring, an irrigation system and all of the planned perennial gardens will have been added.
By: Randy Hanson, Hudson Star-Observer
Heritage Park in the Heritage Greens neighborhood will be much greener next summer.
One hundred eleven trees were planted in the park in recent days. They include over-story shade trees; shorter crab apple, serviceberry and Japanese lilac trees; and Black Hills and Colorado Blue spruce.
By next spring, an irrigation system and all of the planned perennial gardens will have been added.
The improvements are the result of the neighborhood’s developer, Anchor Real Estate Group, generating funds from the sale of multi-family residential building sites, and a decision by the neighborhood’s homeowners.
Members of the Heritage Greens Community Association voted overwhelmingly to drop the plans for a swimming pool and clubhouse in the original neighborhood blueprint, according to Nick Hackworthy of Anchor Real Estate. Instead, they opted for the more modest improvements to Heritage Park that won’t require a boost in association fees.
Hackworthy said $230,000 that is already on hand will be spent on the improvement project, which also includes new sidewalks, a 30-by-30 foot picnic pavilion, benches and soccer goals.
The park already has an outdoor basketball court with a state-of-the-art polypropylene floor, a softball or baseball backstop, and a play structure and equipment.
“It’s a big new step for the neighborhood,” Hackworthy said of the project. “It’s just another positive step forward that we’ve had going out here.”
The Heritage Greens neighborhood, located between Stageline and Hanley roads on Hudson’s southeast side, is coming up on its 10th anniversary.
Hackworthy said building activity has resumed in the planned development after the slowdown that followed the 2008 financial crisis.
“It’s going well. It’s definitely the most active place in town right now,” Hackworthy said.
A 32-unit senior apartment building is nearing completion and construction just began on a 15-unit complex for adults with physical disabilities.
About a dozen new houses have been built in the past year, according to Hackworthy.
“We have six or seven builders out here right now, just on the residential side,” he said. “We’ve been selling lots that we own, and the banks are selling lots.”
Banks acquired parcels through foreclosures that were part of the economic downturn.
Heritage Greens single-family home lots are now selling in the $30,000 range. The most expensive single-family lot in the neighborhood is listed at $49,900.
Hackworthy said the lower lot prices (which he calls the “new normal”) are part of the reason for the rebound in home-building. But he believes people are choosing Heritage Greens because of the “character and theme” of the neighborhood.
“Obviously, there are tons of lots (available) all over St. Croix County, but there’s been a lot of (building) permits being pulled here,” he said.
Heritage Greens was designed to replicate a traditional city neighborhood, with sidewalks on both sides of the street, front porches and garages set back from the property line. The curvy streets slow traffic.
Hackworthy said Royal Credit Union still intends to build in the Heritage Market commercial district at the south end of the neighborhood.
The Eau Claire-based credit union purchased a site in the fall of 2008, he said, and each year says it is hopeful of building an office.
RCU acquired 11 AnchorBank offices in late 2009, he noted, which probably affected its planning.
“They’re still planning on coming, it’s just a matter of when they are going to start,” Hackworthy said. He’s confident the go-ahead will come as the economic environment improves.
Hackworthy said he’s also working with a couple of other prospective businesses for the Heritage Market commercial district near the Hanley Road entrance to the neighborhood.