Meadows at Pine Ridge on the horizon | CraigDailyPress.com

Meadows at Pine Ridge on the horizon

Developer says 41 new homes fill a niche

Ben Bulkeley

With 41 units and a lower asking price, Darryl Merkel thinks The Meadows at Pine Ridge will be able to fill a niche in Craig.

Merkel, the president and co-owner of Live In Investments LLC, said the planned community will feature duplexes and townhomes, and offer an alternative to the current real estate choices.

“It will be a higher-end product than most of what you would see in the area,” Merkel said. “Our goal is to make a product that you can live in long term – not just short-term housing.

“They will have higher-end finishes, and optional upgraded finishes.”

The three bedroom, 2 1/2 bathroom duplexes and townhomes also will include an attached two-car garage.

“The garage will be big enough for a big truck, too,” Merkel said. “We know our customers.”

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The development, situated between First Street, Pine Ridge Drive and Douglas Street, will cover more than seven acres.

Merkel said the development will feature parks, to add green space.

“It’s not going to be a high-density area,” he said. “It will be medium density. We want to have a good transition from the family homes at the top of the hill to the higher density apartments at the bottom.”

The location also was given serious thought, Merkel said.

“From that space, people would be able to walk to the new movie theater – it really is a great location,” he said. “We think we’ve got a good community – people will be able to walk to local services.”

Because of the economic strain being felt by most of the country, the development has been delayed, Merkel said.

“With the economy the way it is right now we’re waiting a little bit,” he said. “Our original goal was to break ground this year, but we’re going to wait to see what the economy does.”

In early 2010, the plan is to begin working on infrastructure, and installing the first duplexes and townhomes, Merkel said.

“We could begin pre-selling at that point,” he said. “Craig is a thriving area – we still see it doing pretty well.”

Merkel said prices haven’t been determined for the houses yet, but he expects costs to be in the upper-$100,000s to low-$200,000s.

“They’re priced to be competitive in the Craig market,” Merkel said. “A lot will depend on the model and finishes.”

Merkel said his motivation for coming to Craig was because of a lack of affordable, newer housing options.

“This is a new area for us,” he said. “I’ve been there doing business before in the past, and I saw how the economy is growing and thought it would be a prime location for good housing developments.”

Merkel said real estate for sale in Craig also gave him reason to think the units would be attractive to buyers.

“I saw a real lack of quality housing in that price range,” he said. “There are a lot of older homes, smaller townhomes. But, we didn’t see a high-quality type of entry-level home with all the amenities.

“For that price you’re likely to get an older home, or you’ll have to move out of town. The whole place is a prime location for good quality product in that price range.”

The houses will be manufactured, which Merkel said would keep costs down.

“We will check with a lot of different manufactured home-builders,” he said. “But, manufactured homes are built better, they have fewer flaws, and they go up a lot faster.”

Continuing to use manufactured homes is something Merkel said has been a long time coming.

“We’ll start to see more and more manufactured homes – it’s the way they have been doing it in Europe and Japan for years,” he said. “We’re still building homes the same way we did 100 years ago. With manufactured homes, all the materials are kept inside, and it makes for a better product overall.”

By the numbers

• Forty-one new housing units to be built, starting in 2010

• Project covers 7.5 acres

• Prices expected to be in upper-$100,000s to lower-$200,000s

• Each development will have three bedrooms,

2 1/12 baths, and a two-car garage

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