MICHIGAN CITY — A subdivision started more than 15 years ago, but never fully completed, is getting a long-awaited reboot thanks to a new development team.
“Mayfield Place on Tryon Road was a well-intended plan subdivision, a good concept,” said Michael Conner, managing partner of Mayfield Partners LLC, the new development firm. “There are some well-established communities out there and it was a good idea when they started.”
However, after beginning with lots of more than an acre, the original developer found that wasn’t what buyers wanted, so started over with smaller lots. Then, once construction was started and some homes finished, the developer passed away.
“His wife then lost the property and they never finished the road,” Conner said, “so those people who built expecting a city-grade road never got it.”
Those eight property owners have lived with an unfinished road for 10 years, he said.
Mayfield Partners bought the land from the bank and spent a couple of years negotiating with the city.
They committed to build homes on the remaining 22 lots if the city would complete and then take over the road.
The city of Michigan City and the Michigan City Sanitary District agreed to help existing homeowners and facilitate the process of bringing the unfinished road up to city standards and began maintenance, Conner said.
“The money is in the city budget for 2020,” he said, adding the lots already have city sewer and water service.
“We could no longer ignore the homeowners who have paid property taxes all of these years and did not receive adequate city service,” Mayor Ron Meer said.
“The city’s investment will be repaid quickly with the addition of 30 new homes which will add a minimum annual property tax revenue of approximately $75,000 a year. This is a great return on investment for the city,” he said.
Meanwhile, the total investment by the Mayfield Partners is more than $7 million and the economic impact will be realized in the community through the use of local trades and purchases from local suppliers, according to Conner.
“The city has been a great partner in helping move this project forward,” he said. “It’s been over 15 years that these existing homeowners have been without a resolution – and they’ve cumulatively paid over $100,000 in property taxes. We applaud the city for taking a stand to help these homeowners and making this project a possibility.”
Conner said the homes – two-story, Craftsman style but not all identical – will be 1,500 to 2,500 square feet, and will sell in the $225,000-$275,000 range.
“We have been waiting for the right economic climate and market demand to build houses and now is the best time to start,” he said.
While there is a good supply of homes available out in the county, Conner said those are all outside the city limits.
“When people talk about a shortage of housing, that’s a very Michigan City-centric issue. There are a lot of older homes for sale in the city, but no new homes are being built.”
That’s something he sees changing with projects like Mayfield Place.
“Not everyone wants to live down – that’s a younger, more urban crowd – but everybody wants to live close to downtown, close to the beach, and there is no product like that available right now.
“But I feel like there will be a ton of new developments for homes in this price range, homes for families or retirees, not vacation homes. They have Pottawatomie Country Club nearby and beaches nearby, and are very close to downtown. This market will want a lot more homes like that.”
Anyone seeking information on the development, lot choices and reservations, can call (312) 735-2912.