A master conceptual plan for a massive housing development on 275 acres of farmland in the middle of Pleasant Prairie is on its way to clearing Village Board approval.
The development, which calls for 489 single-family lots, 85 duplexes and 38 two-unit condominium buildings to be constructed on land immediately west of Green Bay Road, north of Highway 165 and south of 93rd Street, recently received unanimous backing from the village’s Plan Commission. Construction would occur in phases over the next 5 to 15 years, village documents state.
Called Highlands Estates the project is being pitched by developer Sanjay Kuttemperoor of ZL River Development, LLC.
The Village Board is slated to consider the master conceptual plan for the development on Monday.
According to village documents, the 489 single-family lots proposed for the development would range in size from 0.16-acre to 0.713-acre with homes ranging in size from a minimum of 1,300 to 2,800 square feet. Larger lots would abut existing single-family subdivisions and smaller lots in the center areas of the development. The developer anticipates the homes being priced between $450,000 and $700,000.
The two-family duplex lots, consisting of 170 housing units, would be constructed in two different areas within the development, south of 93rd Street at 57th Avenue and north of Main Street at 62nd Street and are expected to be priced between $450,000 to $579,000. Each building would be around 3,000 square feet in size. The plan is to require that at least one of the units be owner-occupied, with that owner renting the other unit out to create wealth for themselves, and the other unit could be rented by the property owner.
Twenty-one of the 38 two-unit condominiums would be generally located south of 93rd Street at 55th Avenue, with the remaining 17 being constructed north of 104th Street (state Highway 165) as 62nd Avenue. Each unit would be approximately 1,400 square feet and range in price from $450,000 to $579,000.
Several new roads would be built as part of the development, and several existing roadways would be altered or extended. The development also calls for the creation of parks and greenspace to serve the new community.
Village water and sewer services would be extended to serve the sprawling subdivision.
The first phase of the seven-phase project would include the development of 135 single family lots, 11 two-family lots, and 42 condominium units in the northeast section of the property.
Phase one would also include the construction of Cooper Road from 93rd Street to 97th Street, and a connection of 57th Avenue to 93rd Street with a new public roadway connection to 95th Street.
Home cost and financing
Although a home costing between $450,000 and $700,000 is not what most people would consider to be affordable for a working or even middle-class family, the developer explained that with the price of land and construction already at a premium, and the prices for existing homes already at record levels, selling the homes for less than $400,000 would not be economically feasible.
According to Kuttemperoor, home ownership has become unaffordable for a significant number of creditworthy families that have the net income, but not the net worth (a.k.a. down payment) needed to get into a home with an affordable monthly mortgage payment.
To solve the issue, the developer told officials that he has developed a unique financing program. The product – developed by Kuttemperoor’s other company WikiRealty – would help credit-worthy buyers raise the down payments for their homes and get them into homes that they otherwise would not be able to afford.
The goal, according to village documents, is to allow homebuyers to get into homes that they otherwise would not be able to get into with an affordable monthly payment and investors get access to a “secured real estate investment with an attractive yield in owner-occupied real estate.”
“The developer has studied Kenosha, Lake, Racine and Milwaukee counties’ data and determined that there are over 110,000 families that earn between $95,000 and $145,000 per year that could be homeowners but fall within the 30%-40% mortgage-income ratio and these families would be given the opportunity to buy a home with the developers under this new financing mechanism,” village documents state.
Given its location directly to the west of the existing Village Green Heights and Devonshire subdivisions, several residents from those neighborhoods expressed concerned during the more than three-house public hearing about impacts to traffic, wetlands, and wildlife in the area.
Others seemed dismayed by a development with such expensive homes on smaller lots.
Former village administrator and current vice chairperson of the Plan Commission Mike Pollocoff explained however, that with the village penned in by a state-imposed levy cap, and a stagnant shared revenue allotment, developments like the ones being proposed by Kuttemperoor were the only way to grow both its tax base and population, while providing money to pay for ongoing operation costs and services for the entire village populace.
“We don’t collect enough money on really nice houses on bigger lots, because the economics are out of whack,” Pollcoff said. “So, when we have development we have to make sure it pays for itself.”