HUNTERTOWN, Ind. (WANE) — In what could be a new local trend in housing development, a developer is planning to build about 100 homes around a 41-acre “forever preserved” wetlands area.
The Fens, a 764-lot subdivision accessed from Woods and Hand Roads, offering single family homes with the possibility of several creative sub-developments. Homes will range from $250,000 to $1 million, developer Ric Zehr, said Tuesday.
Zehr said 745 of the lots will be inside the subdivision with 19 outlots. Homeowners will be the closest to Lima Road for highway travel.
Contiguous to The Fens will be The Farmstead at Carroll Creek with 61 lots. The entire development sits on 438 acres of land currently being farmed, said Zehr, a representative of the Northeastern Development Corporation.
The project is bordered on the north by Woods Road; west by Hand Road and south by Hathaway Road. The east is most likely bounded by the border between Perry and Eel River Townships. Water and sewer will be provided by Huntertown and public education by Northwest Allen County Schools. Aspen Meadow Elementary on Hathaway Road shares the same border with the project. Carroll Middle School has an entrance west on Hathaway Road as well.
“With a project this size, there’s going to be an opportunity for every price and every builder,” Zehr said. “A builder can buy a single lot or a cul de sac and brand it for their own sections.” A section for villas is possible.
Zehr foresees bulk sales to a builder, the advantage being a section “set aside for just them to be able to build homes, instead of being interspersed (with other builders).” That option would give builders more control under their own brand.
“We’ve created a lot of internal areas that an individual could purchase and create their own little community,” Zehr said. Those would be a small subset community within the larger Fens, Zehr added.
The 41-acre wetlands would be preserved under the federal Wetland Reserve program and would offer “an unobstructed view forever preserved,” Zehr said.
According to a report issued by the International Association of Certified Home Inspectors, incorporating natural surroundings into residential properties can add value “up to 28% while also enhancing the quality of life.” This kind of development also has environmental benefits, the report stated.
Because of the housing shortage, interest has come from builders outside the immediate area, Zehr said.
The project will be in front of the Allen County Plan Commission on Feb. 17. Ultimate approval will come from the Allen County Commissioners. Home construction would start by late summer, if approved.
“It obviously illustrates that there is a significant demand,” Commissioner Therese Brown said.
Zehr, director of New Venture Development, said The Fens and The Farmstead will be the largest development in Allen County since his company developed Copper Creek in 2018.