Sable Homes to receive brownfield incentives for River Hills Estates development in Newaygo

Sable Homes, in cooperation with the City of Newaygo, Newaygo County and the Michigan Land Bank Authority has earned exclusive brownfield incentives allowing construction for a new home development in the City of Newaygo. The River Hills Estates brownfield incentives, approved by the Michigan Land Bank Authority on Nov. 10, can be used to pay for infrastructure and site preparation, and environmental costs.

Rockford-based Sable Homes and its subsidiary, North River Hills LLC, will use the brownfield incentives to build 16 new homes in River Hills Estates, a neighborhood offering housing for those who work and live in Newaygo.

“We could not sell home lots for a premium price to cover site preparation and infrastructure, so we reached out to the Michigan Land Bank Authority for support,” said Sable Homes and North River Hills President John Bitely. “With the land bank’s help and support from the Newaygo County Brownfield Redevelopment Authority and the city we’re using brownfield incentives for the funding gap.”

North River Hills and Sable Homes together took over the first phase of River Hills Estates in 2017 after it remained unfinished for 15 years. At that time, four homes had been built in the phase designed for 31 homes. Sable was able to revitalize River Hills Estates and finished construction of new homes on the remaining 27 lots earlier this year. Sable and North River Hills expect a complete land and home package to range from $190,000 to $250,000 in the new phase.

“Through our experience in the last three years, we know there is a continued need for new home construction in the Newaygo community,” said Karin Kay, Sable Homes’ sales manager. “With ground breaking for the first homes expected early next year, this collaborative public and private partnership is central to allowing the end user to realize homeownership while increasing the community’s stock of workforce housing.”


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Sable Homes will be reimbursed from the development’s increased property taxes for infrastructure and site preparation costs under a brownfield plan amendment, approved by the City of Newaygo, the Newaygo County Brownfield Redevelopment Authority, and Newaygo County.

“Homes in River Hills Estates are designed to be affordable for ‘missing middle’ home buyers who may be moving out of multi-family housing or a small first home into a larger family home,” said Newaygo County Administrator Christopher Wren. “The incentives will be passed along to home buyers by keeping overhead costs low. Maintaining home affordability helps Newaygo County residents.”

“We are fortunate to have Sable Homes and North River Hills invest in our neighborhood growth and sustainability with this new project,” said Newaygo City Manager Jon Schneider. “Team collaboration with Sable Homes, Newaygo County and the Michigan Land Bank Authority is what made this possible for our community. We look forward to seeing the progress of the second phase of River Hills Estates take shape.”

The River Hills Estates project also included additional collaboration by Fishbeck, for infrastructure design; and The Right Place, for economic development.