September 2017

The Lakes at Stillwater

A groundbreaking is a tremendous time to reflect on the journey a project takes to come to fruition. Next week we break ground on The Lakes at Stillwater, a beautiful new senior living campus on Long Lake. It's hard to believe this project started nearly two years ago as a very modest 90-unit senior building located next to the highway and has evolved to nearly 300 units of Independent Villas, Apartments, Independent Living, Assisted Living and Memory Care campus in a gorgeous natural setting. This campus blends beautifully with its natural environment and places nearly 30 acres of natural habitat back into conservation, ensuring the public's enjoyment for generations.
The two-year effort included acquisition of several adjacent properties, restructuring the plan to better blend with the environment and finding the perfect operator to realize the vision and take on the challenge. This vision was daunting at first, and to be sure we questioned the viability. To see this realized is now exceptionally rewarding. The project began with Northland Real Estate Group, who developed the vision for this site and partnered with The Goodman Group to bring this project to fruition. Next week, The Goodman Group begins the multi-year effort to construct the three-phase project and bridge the deficit of senior housing in Stillwater, allowing hundreds of residents to move back home, or stay in the community they love.
Seeing projects like these break ground make the journey, no matter how challenging, well worth the effort and so rewarding as a design and development partner. We would like to thank Northland Real Estate Group for including us on this project from day one and we wish The Goodman Group and their operator, Intergenerational Living & Health Care, the best of luck on the construction and opening of this tremendous project!
 We look forward to the next site with these great partners!
Memory Care Garden rendering
Autumn means back to school for kids, but for the planners at Landform continuing education is a priority year-round! Our Planning & Urban Design Studio is committed to staying current on new legislation, court rulings and best practices. This autumn is a busy time and we want to take this opportunity to share a few key items with you:
  1. Planning staff will be at the APA Minnesota Conference in Mankato on September 27-29. This annual conference brings together planners from across Minnesota and the upper Midwest to learn about emerging technologies (like autonomous vehicles and web mapping), community engagement tools to help our private and public sector clients succeed and good design practices that we can incorporate into your next project!
  2. Transportation Impact Fees. On September 18, 2017, the MN Court of Appeals ruled that the City of Woodbury may not charge a developer for future off-site road improvements (Harstad v. Woodbury). At the time of this writing, the City still has the opportunity to file an appeal. This case has significant development implications and raises the issue of how infrastructure is paid for: by cities (existing residents/businesses) or by developers. We will continue to monitor this issue on behalf of our clients.
  3. White Bear Lake Restoration Association v. DNR. On August 31, 2017, the District Court ruled that the MnDNR's groundwater appropriations and management violated the Minnesota Environmental Rights Act, Minnesota laws and Public Trust Doctrine to the detriment of White Bear Lake. We believe the ruling could have significant implications for development across the state and for how Minnesota manages drinking water. This ruling was the final ruling issued by the Judge prior to retirement and the MnDNR is currently considering all options. We will continue to follow this case and its potential development implications. 
Our latest and greatest drafting tool - coordinate correct, up-to-date orthomosaic aerial images from our fleet of UAVs.
Drone Fleet
Our drone fleet is expanding! We are adding aircraft, FAA Part 107 Certified Pilots and expanding our offered services. Our crews are now flying the copters on every project that we can; saving time, return trips and recording what the site looked like at time of survey. What a great tool! We are excited to be on the cutting edge of new survey technology.
Construction is underway at Costco Wholesale in Woodbury, MN
Next phase of Catchers Creek!
Landform has once again teamed up with Mark of Excellence Homes to design the next addition of Catchers Creek in Andover. Nestled along Coon Creek, this single-family neighborhood blends nature and community together through preservation and buffering of natural resources to provide its residents with a well-designed neighborhood within the growing, high demand area of Andover. Adding to the existing 98 lots, Catchers Creek East is planned to add an additional 40 lots to the neighborhood. Our team is excited to be a part of the continued success of the Catchers Creek development. Construction is anticipated to start Summer of 2018.
New Hires
Our Survey Department has added new crew members to the team: Mike Flagle, Crew Chief; Joe Rankins, Crew Chief; Tony Krick, Survey Technician; Chris Olson, Survey Intern.

The Residential Design Studio welcomed Kevin Teppen, RLA as a Project Lead. Kevin brings more than twenty years of experience in residential, retail, office and industrial construction.

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