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Hartland Township to consider development with new single-family homes for rent

HARTLAND TWP. — Residential developers are eyeing land in Hartland Township for single-family homes, including some that would be for rent, and a commercial area.

Developers are eyeing land in Hartland Township for a potential 100-home development, Highland Reserve. Allen Edwin Homes

Hartland Township trustees and planners recently reviewed concept plans for Highland Reserve, a plan for 100 homes and about 1.9 acres of commercial space on the south side of Highland Road/M-59 west of Pleasant Valley Road, near Cundy Road and the Hartland Glen Golf Course. The approximately 39-acre site is currently undeveloped.

Mike West of Portage-based Green Development Ventures presented the concept to township officials to get feedback before proceeding with a formal proposal.

West told trustees during an April meeting that all 100 residences would be detached single-family homes.

“We think it’s a very unique concept, and it’s relatively new,” West said April 4. “We didn’t realize there was such a demand for new single-family homes constructed for rent.”

A conceptual site plan for Highland Reserve shows a basic layout for single-family homes, including owner-occupied and rental homes. Diffin

While people can rent older homes in the township, there are no newly constructed single-family homes for rent.

“It’s an amazingly untapped market,” West said.

According to early conceptual plans, 65 of the homes would be owner-occupied site condominiums with a homeowners association, which are anticipated to range in the upper $200,000s to lower $300,000s. The remaining 35 homes would be for rent for an estimated $2,300 to $2,600 per month through a management company.

“Our experience in this product has been, the same people that typically buy our homes, young professionals, young families, are interested in renting homes too,” West said. “The employment industry has changed. People don’t always stay at one place. … It’s a more mobile workforce.”

He also presented some architectural renderings of home types — one- and two-story dwellings of different sizes. West said they typically build 25-30 homes a year, and he expects construction to occur over the course of a few years.

In addition to homes, the developers are eyeing about 1.9 acres on the northwest corner of the site to reserve for commercial uses.

Township Planner Troy Langer said the commercial portion would have a separate owner. What businesses might go there hasn’t been determined.

Langer said the site was originally planned to be part of another potential development of homes and commercial space, Newberry Place, on the north and south side of M-59.

Trustees had a series of questions for West about the concept, including discussions about setbacks and how Highland Reserve would connect to other future developments.

Some trustees were more open to the idea of new rental units than others.

“I’d prefer to have the units the right size for young people to purchase their first home, instead of a rental. That’s my opinion,” said Trustee Denise O’Connell.

“I personally kind of like the idea of renting a house,” said Township Supervisor Bill Fountain. “In today’s market, there’s probably going to be (difficulty) for anybody that wants to feel like you’re living in your own home.”

Contact reporter Jennifer Eberbach at jeberbach@livingstondaily.com

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