HJ/EDApril 24, 2006

A look at Prairie Ridge through two couples' unique journeys

By Jenni Sebora

Overlooking the picturesque Crow River, amidst rolling fields and a country atmosphere, sits the Prairie Ridge housing development at the southeast edge of Lester Prairie, on McLeod County Road 9.

What was once the farmland of Betty and the late Vernon Wroge has prospered into the location of 98 homesites in Phases I and II, with 27 of those lots available in Phase II of the Prairie Ridge development.

The developer of the housing project, Enterprise Properties, has plans for 40 more lots in Phase III, and 43 more in Phase IV.

When all is said and done, 179 homesites will be nestled in the Prairie Ridge development.

The rural, country atmosphere is what attracted Prairie Ridge homeowners Kathy and Jerald Ball and Sue and Ron Schrupp to move west and choose Prairie Ridge as their place to come home to.

The Schrupps, who previously resided in Norwood Young America on Highway 5, made the move west because of the atmosphere and privacy that Prairie Ridge offered.

“We used to drive around the development and look at it, and we always thought it would be a nice place to live,” Sue Schrupp said.

That thought transpired into reality when the Schrupps built a home and moved into the development approximately one year ago.

Their initial feelings “of a nice place to live” have been confirmed as well, Schrupp noted.

“I like the privacy and the country atmosphere,” Schrupp said.

The Balls also traversed west in the search of a rural setting that was close enough to amenities. They found that in the Prairie Ridge development.

Kathy Ball and her husband, Jerald, of 41 years, who came back to Minnesota from a 2 1/2-year residence in Florida, had lived in Victoria previously, and were looking for a place that offered more privacy and a rural setting.

“Victoria was too full, so we just drove west and found it (Prairie Ridge development). We love the rural setting. It’s perfect,” she said.

Besides the river and the rural setting, the development also offers the amenity of an 18-acre park that was given to city, which includes a trail to the park and a playground and picnic area.

What homeowners and David Segal of Enterprise Properties also appreciate about Prairie Ridge is the design of the development.

Segal describes Prairie Ridge as a “coved development with curved streets and lots whose front yards vary in setback.”

Segal noted that the development has a nicer appeal and is more attractive versus a cookie cutter project with straight streets.

The lots vary in size from one-fourth acre to one-half acre and are generally $41,000 per lot depending on the location, which Segal noted can equate to significant savings if homeowners are willing to drive.

Segal also noted that eastern neighboring community developments are approximately $10,000 to $20,000 more per lot.

These qualities are why Segal and Enterprise Properties bought the property for a housing development.

“It was an opportunity to provide economical entry lots to first- and second-time home buyers in a beautiful location,” Segal said.

Both Schrupp and Ball agreed that the lots and the location attracted them to the development.

“We liked the lot. There is nobody around us and a field right behind us,” Sue Schrupp said.

“We love the quality (of the lot). We live along the river – it is like endless space behind us,” Kathy Ball said.

Not only do the lots differ and add character to the development, the variety in the types and styles of houses that have been built add charm and character.

Although there are certain builders used within the development, the project is an open project, and for a premium of $2000, lot owners can choose any Minnesota-licensed builder to construct a home.

“This allows flexibility to the homeowners,” Segal said.

Segal also noted that no trailer-type systems are allowed in the development, but prefabricated homes, such as a Wausau home, are allowed.

Segal, Schrupps, and the Balls also view the city of Lester Prairie as a positive aspect and attraction to the development.

“The city of Lester Prairie will soon have a new medical clinic and currently has a full service grocery store, a meat market, hardware store, and a kindergarten through 12 school district,” Segal said.

Balls enjoy the small town atmosphere of Lester Prairie.

“We can’t wait to get acquainted to the city,” Kathy said.

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