Officials in Lake Park announced plans for a new housing development just off of Lakeside Avenue in the city. It is the third housing development to be created in the town in the last 10 years, joining Silver Shores and West Bay Estates.
The new development will be named Frerichs Subdivision. The plot of land is owned by Silver Lake Land Company LLC and will span approximately seven acres. A total of 10 lots will be available -- including five lake-front lots on the west side of the development. Five lots off of the lake, and an area for future use east of the lots are also available for either family homes or a small commercial business.
"This is quite an accomplishment for our city," said Mayor John Engel. "The engineer, city employees and elected officials have put forward great effort to make the Frerichs Subdivision shovel ready and on target with no obstacles. Lake Park is proud to be able to make more full-time housing or second homes available to meet our growing needs."
City officials have said they expect the new development to bring a $3 million economic boost for the town. Commercial development could follow, according to city administrator George McGuire.
"I think it opens up a lot of avenues," he said. "It shows that developers continue to have a desire to develop in Lake Park and it also shows the city's utilities welcome new development and our willingness to work with them to make that happen. We are open for business."
The new development will help to physically link other areas of the town.
"The thing that is really important about this project is that it will connect this part of Lake Park to the rest of the town via the bike trail and the street," McGuire said. "Some people may look at the infrastructure of a development of 10 lots being a little bit small in nature but the impact it is going to have on our town will be outstanding and something that everybody in town will appreciate."
McGuire said the soon-to-be constructed paved road will allow families who live in the new development or south of it to utilize it as another option to get to school. Right now, kids who ride their bikes to school from the south end of Lake Park have to ride into town on M-27 -- a busy patch of road.
"It's going to create a better safety factory for our youth," said Richard Packebush, the manager of Silver Lake Land Company. "This will be a designated bike route and adult cyclists can get to the bike trail from here."
The property was purchased by Silver Lake Land Company in March 2011. The last 18 months have been spent getting everything lined up and squared away and trying to find the most use out of the property.
"I think quite a few people are already aware of the development," Packebush said. "At this point, there has been a lot of interest in the property. I think as a whole, the community is very receptive and excited about it. In a small community like this, word of mouth is the best advertising there is."
McGuire also mentioned how important it is for the city of Lake Park to continue to expand and offer options for residents.
"I think any community that wants to continue to thrive they need to continue to develop," McGuire said. "Years ago, our economy was dominated by agricultural and it is still heavily influenced by it. But, as people continue to move to more urban areas, it is important for us (as a city) to be aggressive to give people opportunities to live here."
Work on the property was set to get under way over the weekend.
"One of the things that I've learned since I've been here is that people are interested in Lake Park for a lot of reasons," McGuire said. "One of the reasons is the great natural resource of Silver Lake. There is good fishing and people like it because it is away from the heavy traffic -- it's a safe place for them to boat and for those that like a slower pace, it's desirable."