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29-lot housing addition approved for Cottage Grove's Mississippi Dunes Estates

The Twin Cities housing market is slowly beginning to show signs of improvement, and Cottage Grove is following that trend.

The Cottage Grove City Council last week approved the final plat application for the fourth addition to the Mississippi Dunes Estates housing development.

The unanimous approval of the application allows for construction on 29 lots designated for detached single-family homes within the development located in the southwest edge of the city.

Cottage Grove Senior Planner John McCool said development of the single-family homes was initially approved by the city council in 2003 and because of a struggling economy the project was slowed for several years.

"The plan was to have these homes built within four or five years," McCool said. "So it would have been nice to have all these homes already built by now."

The development project was recently acquired by Meridian Land Company, L.L.C., a subsidiary of United Properties with an office in Bloomington and in Glen Allen, Va. The developer plans to build on the 38.5-acre plat and construct all utilities and public improvements, including street lights, street curbs, a sanitary sewer system, and a storm sewer system.

Specializing in revitalizing stalled communities by completing and selling new lots, Meridian Land Company is a reputable partner to handle the fourth phase of the development project, McCool said.

The approval of the final plat application authorizes city officials to draft construction plans and specifications. A representative for Meridian Land Company was not immediately available for comment regarding when the construction of the fourth addition could begin. However, the council is expected to enter into a development agreement with the developer at its regular meeting March 20.

McCool said the approval for construction on the final plat relieved Mississippi Dunes Estates and Townhomes residents who have waited years for its completion.

The first phase of development occurred in 2003 when 46 lots were developed. Phase two occurred in 2005 with the construction of 47 lots, and phase three occurred in 2009 with the construction of 12 lots. McCool said all phases of construction were single-family homes.

The project is not to be confused with the Mississippi Dunes Townhomes development, which in 2009 was left half-developed and went into receivership.

The Mississippi Dunes Estates final development project is the first of three major residential developments planned for the city of Cottage Grove in the coming years. The city council is also expected to approve new development agreements for 92 single-family homes in Ravine Meadows and 120 lots adjacent to the proposed Ravine Meadows neighborhood at its upcoming April meetings.

All three developments are expected to have models for the fall 2013 Parade of Homes.