Housing project moves ahead in Blairsburg

Project would promote the sale of four city-owned lots for single-story homes

— Daily Freeman-Journal photo by Teresa Wood
Keith Halleland, general manager of Blairsburg Lumber Company, presented a proposal to the Blairsburg City Council on Monday night that would promote the building sites available in the community. The four lots for sale are located on a paved street with city water and sewer connections already in place. The lots sell for $4,000, far below the price of lots in Webster City or Ames, explained Halleland. The city council adopted the proposal which also re-establishes the town's building guidelines.

The Blairsburg City Council on Monday voted to promote town expansion by supporting a project to sell and build homes on four city-owned lots.

Blairsburg Lumber Company general manager Keith Halleland appeared before the council and outlined a project to promote the sale of the four lots located on McCarthy Boulevard in the northeast section of the town.

Halleland told the council that with the housing boom in surrounding communities, Blairsburg should “get into the game”. The city’s four lots already have city sewer and water connections and are located on a paved street. The lots measure approximately 120-feet by 150-feet on .6 acres.

Compared to the cost of lots in surrounding communities, the Blairsburg lots are affordable at $4,000, explained Halleland. Lots in Ames and Webster City cost $100,000 and $25,000, respectively, he noted.

“This is a big deal for a town of this size,” Halleland told the council.

Halleland’s proposal for the Blairsburg Housing Development included three promotional principles:

• Invite buyers to be a part of the one and only Blairsburg in the United States

• Build highly energy-efficient three-bedroom custom homes on the existing lots

• One story living with homes starting at $200,000

Halleland told the council that he originally priced newly constructed homes at $150,000 – $175,000 but he said new-build costs could not be accomplished at that price.

Additional details of the proposal outline include:

• Four flat lots

• Common covenants to insure long-term value to the neighborhood and community

• Engaging local builders and building suppliers

• Tax abatement for five years in a low tax-rate community

• Professional construction management

• A new Pre-K through Sixth Grade elementary school as part of the Webster City CSD

• Large, professional day care center in the community

• Amenities include a large city park and opera house for community events

• Located nine miles east of Webster City with access to grocery stores and health care

• Two established churches

Halleland asked the council to help support the project, not financially but through promotion. The council’s partnership in promoting the project would mean it agrees to growing the Blairsburg community.

“We want to grow,” said Halleland. “That’s a meaningful statement about our community”.

The proposal does not limit the type of home which could be built on the lots but it does put back into place the city’s restrictive covenants for new construction projects. While his proposal offers two home floor plans, buyers can use their own floor plan or even place a modular home on the lot, he said.

A stipulation of any sale is that buyers are required to build on the lot within 18 months of purchase, he said. Current lot owners are not required to follow that building requirement. The residential addition currently includes two constructed homes, two sold lots and the four unpurchased lots.

The council unanimously passed the proposal and designated Halleland, Lisa Marie Renaud, realtor with Renaud Realty of Iowa Falls and Tanny Miller of EXIT Realty Frontier of Fort Dodge as designated spokespersons for the project

“I think it would be great to get people in here to build,” said Blairsburg Mayor Troy Hassebrock.

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