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The Newton Housing Development Corporation (NHDC) has reached an agreement to purchase 70.7 acres of land in northeast Newton for future subdivision development. The land, owned by the Helen Barton Trust, has the potential to create as many as 155 new lots allowing for continued investment in housing.
"Looking at the 2017 building permits and the planned new housing starts for 2018, I believe that all existing lots in Newton will be built out by the end of 2020,” stated Bruce Showalter, Director of the NHDC. “Newton is in the beginning of a housing boom and we need to start planning new subdivisions now so we have buildable lots well into the future.”
Housing development has increased rapidly in the last several years. So far in 2017, the City of Newton has issued 11 single family building permits and 6 duplex building permits. The 23 total new units being constructed because of these permits is double the amount in 2016. Since the creation of the Newton Single Family Home Construction Incentives, there have been 32 qualifying homes built within city limits.
“The 23-lot subdivision that we are currently working on, Fairmeadows North Plat 8, is very popular,” stated Jennifer Cook, current President of the NHDC Board of Directors. “We are very excited to come to an agreement to purchase this new land adjacent to our current subdivision.”
The agreement will allow NHDC to purchase the land and approach the City of Newton to help build infrastructure in phases over the next ten years utilizing economic development grants. This is similar to the process that NHDC took with the development of Fairmeadows North Plat 8. NHDC will pay the City of Newton back with funds generated from lot sales and taxes from the Urban Renewal Area that is being created in this area.
The land, located north of Berg Middle School and Fairmeadows North, including the current Fairmeadows North Plat 8 subdivision, has been of interest to the NHDC for years.
“For more than 25 years we have identified this property as the next logical housing development in our area, but for many reasons, it was not a feasible option,” said Bev Price, who has served on the NHDC board since its inception. “With its proximity to our newest public school, Interstate 80, shopping and local parks we feel this property will enhance the already developing subdivision in Fairmeadows North.”
The City of Newton has already paved N 11th Ave E, Newton Waterworks has installed larger water mains, and with the recent completion of Fairmeadows North Plat 8, electric and gas utilities are easily accessible. The area also features easy access to the Hike & Bike Trail as well as is ideally located by Berg Middle School and Agnes Patterson Memorial Park.
A concept master plan was created several years ago and shows the possibility of dozens of new lots with green spaces, connecting trails and streets. This concept shows how the area could look in the future and how it continues to move forward the goal to provide housing as called out in the City of Newton’s Comprehensive plan.