BY GABE LICHT
DELANO, MN When people think of townhouses, they likely don’t think of detached, single-family homes, but Wright Neighborhoods LLC is trying to change that in the Willowbrook neighborhood.
After building eight homes in the twinhome format in 2015, Wright Neighborhoods decided that detached homes would be the way to go moving forward.
“A lot of buyers liked custom features,” developer Ed Briesemeister said. “We couldn’t give them as much flexibility as we wanted to if we were always building in pairs. The market that was coming to us was a little more upscale than we expected. The market would pay a higher price for a detached home.”
Individuals can choose from five different models, starting with the Willow for $282,500 up to the newly approved Maple for $388,500.
“Right now, we have five floor plans,” Briesemeister said. “Two of the five can be converted to three-bedroom plans. A couple of the five have an option of adding a den off the bedroom. That gives nine basic plans.”
“They can customize the whole house on the inside,” added builder Dale Dingman, of Dingman Custom Homes.
Most of the homes have three-car garages that are two stalls wide, with a third stall in front, which can be converted into a third bedroom upon request.
Realtor Linda Splettstoeszer classifies the homes’ standard features as upgrades.
“We’re not the type of builder where it’s a certain price, and then you add features and it’s $50,000 more,” Splettstoeszer said.
“Our strategy is to offer a high-end product with most of the options people would select anyway,” Briesemeister added. “If they want it less expensive, they can lower some of the finishes . . . Nobody has done that.”
The one-story homes have been popular with some clientel.
“People really like the one-level living because it’s hard to find,” Splettstoeszer said. “They like the character in the neighborhood. It’s not all cookie-cutter houses. They like the upgrades and the quality of the customizable options, the amenities close by, and the smaller town feel in Delano. The feedback has been positive on pretty much everything.”
While the homes may not look like traditional townhouses, they still come with the benefits of an association-managed community in which homeowners have no responsibilities for the exterior of their homes.
Many buyers have been empty nesters.
“We had a strong response from empty nesters,” Briesemester said. “Now that it’s better established, and we’re coming out with a two-level plan, we may see more interest from young families. The new plan is 3,000 square feet, which is more space for a family.”
Willowbrook is within walking distance to the schools, the clinic, and several shopping and dining options.
To date, 14 homes have sold, leaving 15 remaining, with plans for 10 more lots to be developed in the future. Plans call for Willowbrook to be fully developed in 2019.
Models are open for viewing 4 to 6 p.m. each Thursday and 1 to 4 p.m. each Saturday and Sunday.