Huntington Homes is a family-owned and operated real estate and homebuilding company that’s been in business in Bismarck and the surrounding area for more than 30 years. Bismarck hosts nearly 74,000 City residents (a number that has grown by nearly 20,000 since 2000) and 130,000+ metropolitan residents. In 2018, Bismarck was named to Forbes magazine’s list of Best Small Places for Business and Careers. Huntington recognized an opportunity amidst this continued growth trajectory.
Many retirees are relocating to Bismarck due to its quality of living and medical offerings. However, in response to a lack of senior housing, Huntington kicked off a 55 and over cottage-style neighborhood housing development, the Huntington Cottage Townhomes. The goal for this development was to design and build 26 twin homes for the 55 and older independent senior living population.
Huntington found that most available land was vacant parcels, and were therefore in need of land development expertise as well as intimate knowledge of the Bismarck market. For 55 and over housing, land development and site planning are doubly complex as the development requires additional amenities like snow removal, lawn care and exterior maintenance. They also need to be located in reasonable proximity to medical care and other important services.
According to Hunt Boustead, who co-owns and leads Huntington’s operations with his wife Nicole Boustead:
“Oftentimes as a developer, you find yourself in a situation that’s difficult to understand. SEH made it extremely easy to work through those situations. SEH excels with assisting the developer in the difficult process of submitting a site plan for approval – including stormwater management, best use of the land, land planning, surveying, landscape plans, and the whole gamut of documentation that’s required.”
Huntington partnered with SEH for this effort based on the trusted relationships established over a number of years and projects, as well as the SEH team’s expertise in private land development. For this project in particular, SEH led civil engineering, stormwater management, planning and landscape architecture, water resources and stormwater management, surveying, site grading and utility design.
SEH also undertook the Bismarck platting, rezoning and site design process. The rural and residential land, prior to construction of the new homes, needed to be zoned R10 – a process SEH is adept in and was able to lead. Specifically, the City is divided into 20 classes of districts; R10 being the “Residential (two-family)” classification. These classes each bring a number of requirements that must be met and approved before shovels can hit the ground, including accessibility, intent, safety, parking, sound, number of buildings allowed, street needs and beyond.
According to Hunt, the complexity of the local housing market required tailored expertise: “We couldn’t have delivered such a fantastically tailored product to the market without the advice, assistance and support of SEH … just in terms of how the infrastructure is set up, every facet of the process, even the way the buildings face. As a young developer, you don’t necessarily think about the way the buildings face on your site. SEH understands the business of being a homebuilder and a developer.”
The Huntington Cottage Townhomes development now features 26 new twin homes in North Bismarck with four plans to consider (1,625-1,746 square feet), single-story for accessibility, patio-style living with two or three bedrooms, two bathrooms per unit, and two or four stall garages. Amenities include wider doorways, taller vanities and walk-in pantries with large kitchen areas. Each unit also includes a mud room off the garage entries and an optional concrete room for safety during storm situations.
Hunt Boustead’s father and spouse have actually moved into a home located within the Huntington Cottage Townhomes development – something Hunt attributes to not only the quality of product but the support and expertise lent by SEH.
Huntington Cottage Townhomes – Land Development
City of Bismarck, North Dakota
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