A developer is pushing forward with a potential single-family housing development that city officials said is the first significant projects of its kind in several years.
Lance Oakes, a manager for DDC Management, said the company is planning a single-family housing development on two tracts of land along East National Road near Walmart. He said a re-zoning request has been filed for 37 acres of property south of the Tuttle Road Walmart along with an additional 15-acre tract to the east of the Walmart.
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If the project goes ahead as planned, it could be the first significant development of its kind since the 1990s, said Bryan Heck, Springfield’s deputy city manager.
“It’s been a long time since the community has seen a major subdivision being built,” Heck said.
Years ago, there were plans to build a condominium development on the site, Heck said. But those plans fell through when the housing bubble burst and the site has been vacant since. Developing new housing stock was a key part of Connect Clark County, a recently developed countywide comprehensive plan for the area, Heck said.
Economic development officials in both Clark and Champaign counties have previously told the News-Sun a lack of newer homes has made it more challenging to draw new business and encourage skilled workers to live in both counties.
DDC Management focuses on developments in Columbus, Cincinnati, Dayton and Indianapolis although it has offices as far west as Phoenix, Oakes said. He said the firm saw an opportunity and a need for additional housing in the area in part because the area has been successful attracting new jobs, including recent investment from companies like Topre and Silfex.
“We saw it as a market that hasn’t done a whole lot in terms of new housing in the last 20 years,” Oakes said. The project is still in its earliest stages, but Oakes estimated there could be room for more than 200 single-family lots, with prices potentially in the low $200,000 range although its still early to say.
“We think there is going to be some pent up demand,” Oakes said.
He said the goal is to complete engineering studies and close on the property by the end of the year, and construction could begin as early as next Spring. He said the city has been helpful in moving the process along.
“They have an aggressive game plan in the city because they see the need for new housing,” Oakes said.
Heck said the site already has access to water and sewer. One of the challenges the city is facing is providing more attractive housing options to make living in Clark County more appealing, Heck said.
“This project is key for us as we grow our economy and try to attract jobs,” Heck said.