Eudora housing starts slow as lots become scarce

photo by: Elvyn Jones

Houses in various stages of construction line a street in the Shadow Ridge subdivision in Eudora on Saturday, June 29, 2019.

The city of Eudora has had just six housing starts thus far in 2019, despite city officials regularly fielding calls from individuals interested in building homes.

“The demand is there,” said Eudora City Manager Barack Matite. “Our planning department is getting calls from interested home builders all the time. We just don’t have the lots.”

This year’s new housing starts seem destined to fall far short of the 32 permits for new homes issued in Eudora in 2018 or the 21 in 2017, Matite said. Nearly all the new homes of the last two years were built in a phase of the Shadow Ridge subdivision south of Kansas Highway 10 and west of Church Street.

Developer Roger Johnson bought the platted but inactive subdivision phase two years ago and then put in the streets, sidewalks and other infrastructure needed to support development, Matite said. Now that phase is nearly built out, leaving Eudora temporarily with only a few available lots to build on.

“Nearly all the lots in Shadow Ridge have been bought or are being built on, and we have very limited opportunities for infill development in Eudora,” he said.

Johnson’s development group has indicated an intention to move on to the final phase of the Shadow Ridge subdivision, which would make about 50 additional home lots available once the necessary infrastructure is in place, Matite said.

Other subdivisions will have to be platted or become active if Eudora is to keep up its recent housing-start momentum once Shadow Ridge is built out. Matite said there was one 44-home platted subdivision south of K-10 and east of Church Street and lots of land in the area suited for residential development.

Eudora Mayor Tim Reazin said the completion of Shadow Ridge could spur developers by demonstrating the demand for homes in Eudora and reducing the risks involved in investing in infrastructure while in competition with an existing, successful subdivision.

“That’s the hope,” he said. “I think developers will see the success of Shadow Ridge and opportunities here in the community and develop some of the land nearby.”

The new home starts in 2018 contributed to an 8% increase in Eudora overall valuation, Matite said. That will have positive implications for taxpayers and the mill levy as he develops the city’s 2020 budget over the next few weeks, he said.


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