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As housing market thaws, Hampshire Grove 55-plus plan back before village

Updated: November 22, 2012 6:32AM

HAMPSHIRE — The proposed Hampshire Grove subdivision that first came before the village board in 2006 has once again become a subject for discussion.

Arthur Zwemke, manager of Robert Arthur Land Co. Hampshire LLC, noted at Thursday night’s meeting that the development originally was going to be built by Orleans Home Builders. The project at that time would have included 774 age-restricted, active-adult homes and 109 traditional homes. The project was cancelled due to the economic downturn.

Robert Arthur Land Co. now is interested in making Hampshire Grove a reality.

“As you are aware, we tabled our efforts during the Great Recession and the extended housing slump,” Zwemke said. “The housing market is starting to thaw. We sense that the economy in general, and the housing market in particular, will continue to improve.”

The proposed development as it stands now would be designed only for older adults.

“Our target demographic of age 55-plus households appears to be ready to move forward with the next chapter of their life cycle as they have digested the impact on their 401(k)s and the new value of their existing homes,” Zwemke said. “Del Webb’s Sun City Huntley is nearing completion. There is an opening for an age-restricted, active-adult community in the I-90 corridor. We are providing an update to refresh memories and reconnect our efforts to complete the proposed annexation and zoning.”

According to Zwemke, the proposed development would be built on 451 acres that is bounded by Higgins Road (Route 72) on the north, Big Timber Road on the south, and Harmony Road on the west. The site is bisected by Widmeyer Road.

“We are proposing 848 single-family detached homes,” Zwemke said. “A community center for Hampshire Grove residents could have an indoor/outdoor pool, tennis courts, exercise rooms, kitchen, and meeting rooms.”

Zwemke said that water and sewer lines for the proposed subdivision would come through the Prairie Ridge property, south of Big Timber Road.

“The retirement of the Crown Development bonds allows us access to their property for this improvement and allows for a credit against water and sewer connection fees,” Zwemke said. “Subject to additional engineering, we have estimated the cost of the oversizing of the sanitary sewer interceptor through our property to be $1 million. This interceptor allows the village to abandon a lift station on Higgins, west of Route 20, and provide additional capacity for development north of I-90.”

While no action was taken, the proposal is expected to be discussed again by the board in the near future.

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