ASPEN PROPERTIES, LLC, with a strong local connection to the Durand community, won the bid on 190-acres of city-owned property and has now entered the early, conceptual stage in constructing an enormous new residential development that will potentially include apartments, townhouses and single-family residences – for the county and beyond.
Representatives from Aspen Properties, LLC, Durand City Manager Cameron Horvath and Shiawassee Economic Development Partnership (SEDP) President/CEO Justin Horvath (not related) have confirmed a large-scale residential development is in planning for the city of Durand.
On Wednesday morning, March 9, Cameron Horvath explained the city of Durand had purchased the 190-acre parcel in approximately 2004 – pre-dating his time with Durand – with the idea that the piece of land, adjacent to the city, would eventually be utilized as a housing development. The property, located along the southwest edge of the city, tucked along Reed Road on the west and the railroad line on the south, has garnered some interest over the years that the city has owned it, but nothing that came to fruition until now.
Cameron stated, “We’ve had different people come to council and propose different things, but nothing’s ever stuck.” He explained that the city recently put the property up for bid and Aspen Properties, LLC was the lone bidder at $950,000, securing the start of the housing development – the largest the county has seen in numerous years. The Durand City Council formally accepted the bid during the Dec. 6, 2021 meeting.
“Since that bid, they’ve been working on assembling their project team and getting it structured financially,” Cameron offered about Aspen Properties.
One of the representatives from Aspen Properties, requesting not to be identified yet, is extremely familiar with Durand, having many family members from both sides of his family living in the Durand area. He offered he knows many people in Durand and they have expressed their excitement on the project to him. He is extremely excited, as well: feeling committed to helping better the city and benefit the community.
Aspen Properties, LLC, working with SEDP, firmly understands the critical need Shiawassee County has for all levels of housing – at all price-points in the market. Currently, people want to live in the county, but there has been a lengthy housing shortage. In short, more people living in the county means more people are paying into the tax base and economy – and bringing more awareness to what the county has to offer, which is considerable.
In this case, the property located in Durand, has easy accessibility to downtown businesses, public parks and schools and is just off I-69, which is a boon for people commuting to work in Flint, Lansing and other places. Durand is centrally located: roughly a 12-minute drive from Owosso, 18-minutes to Perry and just over 21-minutes to Howell. It is also near to many colleges, including Baker in Owosso.
Regarding further housing development details, Aspen Properties, LLC emphasized they are at the initial stages in planning, so more will be announced in time. At this early point in the process, they hope to construct a mix of apartments, townhouses and single-family residences at assorted price-points. The new neighborhood will blend into Durand, with the development being a new arm of the community, but offering contemporary, new-build housing with modern amenities and conveniences.
Cameron loosely theorized that with Durand currently having a population of just over 3,000 residents, the city could potentially double in size, factoring in a possible 1,000 new homes at three people per housing unit. Regardless, new housing options will offer area residents additional housing opportunities while also encouraging people to move into the area.
SEDP President/CEO Justin Horvath, assisting in connecting the developers to the city of Durand, will continue to help with the ensuing process.
Justin shared that Aspen Properties is at the “due diligence” stage, engaging in the process of planning, looking for engineers and considering infrastructure. He believes Durand is “well positioned for future growth with many businesses and people wanting to be near the I-69 corridor.” Justin stated he is excited to support the project, recognizing it will be a multi-year project allowing for public engagement at different points in the future.
“It’s obviously very exciting for the community of Durand,” he said. “And for the surrounding area and for Shiawassee County. It’s a major investment that will create better housing options for residents in the area, bring new residents into the area, new kids to the school district, new shoppers, people that spend money and pay taxes. We know there is work to do and things that have to happen, but it’s a beautiful thing.”
Aspen Properties, LLC wishes to emphasize their “heart” is in this project. They are excited to assist the Durand community to “get to the next stage.”