BAXTER -- The $5 million project Arbor Glenn housing project on Excelsior Road, near the Paul Bunyan Trail, is expected to be ready for a move-in date on May 1, 2003.
Passers-by can see the individual villa rooftops from the road and construction is under way on the nearby 62-unit apartment building. Eventually the earthen mound visible in the center of the housing project will be home for an assisted living project, expected to be developed this fall.
"We've had some delays with the rain this year, but the interest has been high and now people will be able to see the finished product and we expect to be a very successful development," said David Carlson, spokesman for Baxter Development LLC, Arbor Glenn developers.
Arbor Glenn requested and received 15-year, pay-as-you-go Tax Increment Financing at 8 percent. One of the terms for the TIF agreement with the city of Baxter is that a percentage of the apartments will have to be occupied by persons of less than the median county income.
Carlson said they have been taking names on a waiting list for the apartments.
An Arbor Glenn open house is set 1-5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.
The Arbor Glenn development, located on about 10 acres, will include 25 villa homes. The apartments range in size from 600 to 1,200 square feet in size. The building includes heated underground parking. Carlson said apartment rent is estimated to range from $600 to $1,200 a month. Thirteen units in Arbor Glenn were to be set aside for people making $16,500 or less.
The villas range from $140,000 to $200,000 with the smallest at 1,145 square feet. The largest villa plan has is just less than 1,700 square feet on one level. Carlson said the assisted living unit will have about 60 beds.
At this time there are no further plans for another similar senior housing project, Carlson said.
When the project was in construction last year, a delay occurred for a wetland violation. The Crow Wing County Soil and Water Conservation District approved Arbor Glenn's wetland replacement plan application in Sept. 18, 2001.
The SWCD board approved filling of up to 10,100 square feet of wetland on the property's southern side and 2,200 square feet on the northern side. The northern fill portion application came after the fact and the area was restored to meet the amount approved for filling. A payment was also made to the SWCD to be used for wetland creation that may be involved in the Northland Arboretum project with the city of Baxter.
Arbor Glenn also reduced the effect on the wetland by choosing a different driveway alignment and reconfiguring the storm water retention pond. Wetland filling was also mitigated by buying credits from the Thompson Wetland Bank site in Aitkin County.
Carlson said everything regarding the wetland issue has been resolved. Original plans called for 26 villas and one was eliminated to make room for the wetland. The entrance to underground parking was also rearranged to save wetlands, he said.
Carlson said they had to make a small contribution to the state's wetland bank. Existing wetland around the site will remain, he said. Carlson stated the delay occurred after a misunderstanding.
"We got it resolved," Carlson said. "I don't really want to get into it again."
As far as the building project, Carlson said Arbor Glenn is appealing to seniors because of its heated underground parking and one-level maintenance free living. He said a major point is that the villas are separate units and not like townhouses with shared walls between homes.
Target market for Arbor Glenn residents runs from the mid-50s to 80s, and includes the empty nester crowd, Carlson said. He said interest has come from a blend of people, those tired of putting out docks at lake homes and those wanting to leave the Twin Cities to retire in the area. Carlson said Arbor Glenn's strengths -- beyond the living areas -- come from its location close to shopping, the movie theater, golf course and recreation from the nearby Paul Bunyan Trail and the Northland Arboretum. Estimates for Arbor Glenn's population once it is completed is about 100 people in the apartment building, 37 people in the villas and about 60 in assisted living.
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