Aug. 21, 2006

New Germany's Black Forest Estates

By Jenni Sebora

“We welcome growth,” New Germany Mayor Franklin Schoenke said.

Schoenke, along with the other New Germany city officials, have extended that welcome to the new housing development on the northeast side of town, Black Forest Estates.

Growth it will be. When all is said and done, Black Forest Estates will offer 182 homes when completed, which will double the current size of New Germany. Currently, the development is in phase one, with 40 lots and five model homes presently built.

Six or seven years ago, the concept of Black Forest Estates development began when developers Clay Montgomery and his father, Sam Montgomery, met with New Germany city officials. The development actually got going two years ago.

“We (father and son duo) have a good relationship with the city (New Germany). The city embraced the idea of the development,” Clay said.

Clay and his father are not new to bringing and adding growth to an area or city, as they have developments in other communities such as Watertown and Hutchinson.

The father and son duo are farmers and developers in St. Michael, who initially would sell their land to other developers, but decided then to develop their land themselves – thus Montgomery Properties.

The Montgomerys don’t plan on stopping development in New Germany. They have also purchased land on the south side of town that will lead to a development housing 300-400 units, containing single-family homes and town homes, which Schoenke agreed is a need, especially for the retired population.

This development is just in the planning stages. But as Schoenke conveyed, the city welcomes growth and needs growth for its infrastructure.

One of the things the city needs to help handle the growth is a new well. The project is presently underway.

“Growth takes time,” Schoenke added.

What brings Montgomery and his father to New Germany?

Montgomery says there are a number of reasons why New Germany is a good place for new housing developments.

A primary reason, according to Montgomery, is affordability. The current price of a Black Forest Estates lot is $48,000. The lots are sized between 10,000 and 12,000 square feet.

“We have priced ourselves between Lester Prairie and Mayer,” Montgomery said.

A small-town country atmosphere close to big city amenities is also a plus, Montgomery added.

The local schools are another major attribute, Montgomery feels, and Schoenke agreed.

New Germany is in the Waconia school district and the Watertown district is close by too, Schoenke noted. Parochial schools are also a choice, as well with St. Mark’s Lutheran School located in New Germany.

There are currently three builders within the development, local builder John Maetzold, Frank Spedling, and Ray Drake, who Montgomery noted are “three good builders,” and pluses to the development.

Schoenke, who has toured the houses currently built in the development, agreed that the builders have done a good job with the construction of the houses.

“The builders have done a nice job. The houses are well built – with three-car garages – nice houses,” Schoenke said. Some of these model homes have been sold, Shoenke noted.

Montgomery is also looking at adding other builders to the development, as well.

To add to all of these positive features of Black Forest Estates, there are ponds within the development, and a future children’s playground is planned.

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