PELLA — Dirt is flying as ATI Group begins the process of constructing the new Prairie Ridge Development to address the need for workforce housing in Pella.
In May, the Pella City Council approved a development agreement between the city, the county and ATI Group (also known as PR DEV, LLC) to construct 93 single-family houses and 25 condo/townhomes, which are currently estimated at $180,000 to $250,000 each. The development will be located north of the west intersection of Fifield Road and Washington Street/Highway G28 in Pella.
Onsite public infrastructure costs are estimated at $4.7 million, which includes the extension of Fifield Road into the development to provide additional access, a force main, pumping station and storm sewer. An additional $1 million is expected for a water main extension, with the total cost of the project estimated at $5.6 million.
The Pella Shareholder Family owns 170 acres on the west side of town, which also included the location of the Prairie Ridge Development prior to its purchase from ATI Group. According to ATI Group Partner BJ Stokesbary, the Pella Shareholder Family intends to use the land for residential and commercial development.
“The overall goal is to create affordable workforce housing,” says Stokesbary. “We want to make sure the price point stays affordable, and that’s the $250k mark and under. There’s that pent-up demand now that we can hopefully address.”
A Marion County Housing Assessment conducted in 2018 identified an additional 966 housing units are needed by the year 2025 to meet the demand for housing in Pella alone.
Stokesbary says any developer can build on the property after being approved by the plan review committee, which includes representatives from the Pella Shareholder Family, the City of Pella, the Marion County Board of Supervisors and ATI Group.
“The purpose of that committee is to make sure no one can come in here and build whatever they want,” says Stokesbary. “We want to make sure there’s some type of integrity to them, and we want to make sure this is a nice neighborhood with quality homes.”
The project is slated for completion in phases, beginning in fall 2021. ATI Group Partner Casey Schafbuch says the community will begin to see homes going up in fall/winter of this year.
“These guys are moving quickly, and we’ve had great weather so far,” says Schafbuch. “This could speed things up a bit, but we’ll probably start going vertical sometime in November.”
ATI Group has renovated multiple buildings in Pella, including the current locations of Faux Paws Bakery, The Funky Zebras, Intellicents and Simple Treasures. The company also has experience developing residential and commercial real estate in Grinnell, Ames, Ankeny and West Des Moines.