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Two new large developments coming to Kalona, Riverside

The outlined area shows the 21 lots included in Phase 1 of the Northern Heights development in Riverside. (Photo submitted)
The outlined area shows the 21 lots included in Phase 1 of the Northern Heights development in Riverside. (Photo submitted)

Two large-scale housing developments are becoming a reality in northern Washington County.

Lots are being sold for the first phase of the Northern Heights development in Riverside, while earthwork has begun on the North Ridge Subdivision in Kalona.

Apex Construction of Iowa City is the developer of the Northern Heights project.

The Northern Heights project is expected to eventually add more than 70 residential lots to Riverside, with 21 lots ready as part of the first phase of the development.

“We’re off to a pretty good start,” Apex Construction owner Steve Schmidt said. “We’ve already got one house under construction, and it looks like we may have another one planned in the spring.”

Initially, Phase 1 consisted of 14 lots, but Schmidt said they added additional lots because more of Yeggy Lane was completed than originally anticipated.

Jeff Edberg of Lepic-Kroeger Realtors in Iowa City, is the lead broker for the development.

“The typical lot is for a single-family home,” Edberg said. “There are four lots for zero-lot line construction.”

Schmidt said that Apex plans to build a zero-lot duplex on one of the lots as a spec home – a home built before there is a buyer.

Twelve of the 21 lots are open to all builders, while the remaining 19 are reserved for Apex to serve as the builder.

“There’s been a lot of interest,” Edberg said. “Northern Heights is open for business. We’re welcoming home buyers and other builders.”

Schmidt said he hopes to have Phase 1 built out in about a year’s time.

“We want 75 percent of the (Phase 1) lots spoken for before going to Phase 2,” he said.

In Kalona, the preliminary plat for the North Ridge subdivision of the Southtown area of Kalona – the site of the former Shiloh church – was approved by the City Council earlier this month, clearing the way for earthwork to begin.

The subdivision includes 64 lots on just over 56 acres. Of those 64 lots, 51 are zoned R1 (single family residential), 10 are zoned R2 (two-dwelling residential) and three lots are zoned R3 (multi-family residential).

“It gives us a little bit of diversity,” said Adam Kos of CJ Moyna & Sons, the project developer.

He said that the property features rolling terrain and mature timber.

“There will be some stunning lots when we get finished,” he said.

With work having begun this month, much of the site and infrastructure work will be done before winter.

“We like the way the timing is lining up,” Kos said. “It will set us up to get the heavy lifting done this fall.”

If all goes as planned, Kos said that the final plat will go before the City Council in the spring, and basements of homes could be in the ground by June or July, with families able to move in by the 2021 holiday season.

Development of the property will include a number of recreation features covering 103 acres, including trails, a dog park, a naturescape area, existing ponds and a nine-hole disc golf course.

As part of the development agreement, the land set aside for recreational purposes was deeded to the city of Kalona.

The city is crafting a 28E agreement – a cooperative agreement between government entities – with the Washington County Conservation Board for development and management of recreational features on the property.

“In early spring of 2021, the public will have access to some really unique amenities out there,” Kalona City Administrator Ryan Schlabaugh said. “We’re excited about the recreational opportunities.”