As economic development continues to grow the Fremont area, with new businesses bringing life to the 23rd street corridor and the Costco/Lincoln Premium Poultry processing plant underway, there has come a need for more housing in the community.
In 2017, results from a countywide housing study completed by Hanna:Keelan Associates, P.C., highlighted the housing needs throughout the county and city during the next five years.
Countywide, the study calls for 1,508 new homes to be built — 786 owner-owned and 722 rental property. In Fremont, the total number of properties needed according to the study is 1,194 — 560 owner-owned and 634 rentals.
At a meeting held in late 2017, Mayor Scott Getzschman said the total amount of proposed Dodge County housing additions would bring $319 million back to the county.
“The information revealed the need for more housing with or without the Costco Processing facility,” Getzschman said in his State of the City address. “That being said, we currently have three developments locally on top of our existing developments.”
Those three developments include: SunRidge Place, Duke Estates and Gallery 23 East, which have been making headway toward providing some of the housing needed throughout Fremont during the next few years.
The Gallery 23 East development on the southeast corner of U.S. Highway 275 and U.S. Highway 30 broke ground in September 2017 and recently became Dodge County SID 8.
The developers of Gallery 23 East, which is owned by Cosentino Holdings, LLC., plan for the development to include approximately 39.5 acres (112 lots) for single family residences; 7.4 acres (48 lots) for duplex construction; 11.6 acres for multi-family residential (220 units) and 46.5 acres for approximately 480,000 square feet of various commercial uses.
According to Gary Kuklin, associate broker with Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Ambassador Real Estate, the development team is making a big push to get apartments built at the site in a time frame that coincides with the completion of the Costco/Lincoln Premium Poultry facilities.
“We are going to be moving forward very soon on trying to get some letters of intent in on the apartments, we want to start building those as soon as possible,” he said. “With Costco building, we want to try to have these things in place so that they are there for people to move in to when they need them.”
A wide array of price ranges will make Gallery 23 East accessible for many people, Mike Cosentino said during a previous interview with the Tribune. In addition, the property is home to a centrally located 14-acre body of water, being named Lake Galleria.
According to Kuklin, about 80 percent of grading to the property was completed in late 2017 and the development should start taking shape once the weather turns in the spring.
Other potential developments making waves include the proposed Duke Estates housing development and the SunRidge Place housing development, which are both in the zoning phases of development.
All that has taken place with the proposed Duke Estates development is a zoning change for the approximately 89.5 acres at 1045 W. South St., to move from RR Rural Residential and R-2 Moderate-Density Residential to PD Planned.
The zoning change was quite controversial, with the Fremont City Council ultimately going against the Planning Commission’s initial recommendation of not re-zoning the area.
Duke Estates’ development plan calls for a mixture of single-family residential housing, attached single-family residential, townhouses and cottage single-family residential homes ranging in price from $145,000 to $200,000.
Opponents of the development have spoken about numerous issues relating to the project including: more pressure on sewers, flooding concerns due to the area being in the floodplain and the property needing to be elevated with fill, as well as heavy traffic flow in and out of an area with already narrow roads and numerous children walking to and from Washington Elementary School.
For the project to continue moving forward, property owner Derek Kovick will have to continue doing his due-diligence in terms of coming up with constructive solutions to problems addressed, the Council said.
The proposed SunRidge housing development, which is being developed by Don Peterson & Associates, is also in the zoning phase.
“We are going through the permitting process with the city and the preliminary plat has been accepted and we are going through the zoning changes,” Developer Marlin Brabec said.
The multi-use development will include apartments, townhomes and duplexes to the south along Jack Sutton Drive, with single family houses along the northern border of Military Avenue and a small area of commercial space in the northeast corner of the property.
The entire development is bordered by Military Avenue to the North, Jack Sutton Drive to the South, Johnson Road to the East and Luther Road to the West, putting possible residents in walking distance to schools, parks and churches.
According to Brabec, the plan includes approximately 240 units of apartments, 75 townhomes, 46 duplexes and 112 single family homes.
“We have had a very good relationship with the people that we bought this property from; They are the same people that owned the land where Day Acres is to the north and to the east, as well as Heatherwood and part of Brentwood,” he said.
The SunRidge Place development, like Duke Estates, has experience pushback from area residents concerned with student safety, increased traffic and a proposed convenience store near the northeast corner of the development.
“We are listening to our neighbors, because those neighbors are also our customers,” Brabec said. “We built Day Acres. They are living in our subdivisions, but many of those are now understanding what we are doing and are becoming more receptive.”
Brabec pointed out that the City of Fremont and Fremont Public Schools have both been supportive of the proposed development and that SunRidge Place is the last piece of the puzzle in that area which includes past Don Peterson & Associates developments in the area like Day Acres, Day Acres East, Brentwood Park and Heatherwood.
"No matter what it will not remain just a cornfield. It just won't. We are very experienced in what we have done, and we have always had a good product and this will be a good product and I think it is important for people to remember that we don’t build junk,” he said. “This really is our town, and we are proud of our town. We’ve been a part of the community since 1957 when the company was established. We want nothing but good things for Fremont.”