Officials tour housing by potential builder

Article by Samantha Whiting of KPC Media

CHURUBUSCO — City officials, including Mayor Patty Fisel, toured a subdivison Monday that was built by Ideal Suburban Homes, one of the home builders who is interested in Ligonier.

“I felt like it was a great start,” Fisel said Monday.

Mayor Fisel was joined by Ligonier’s Water Superintendent Jeff Boyle, Building and Zoning Administrator Earle Franklin and City Engineer Rick Pharis. They met up with city and town officials from Albion, Avilla, Rome City and Kendallville at a newly-constructed home by Ideal Homes.

Ideal Suburban Homes builds approximately 100 homes a year, according to Mike Blee, the vice president of the company. They specialize in small communities, much like Ligoiner.

The city annexed 126 acres in 2017. That new ground – which the city doesn’t own, but wants to work closely with whatever developers might come in to build on – is a key focus of Fisel’s administration.

Ideally the city will be able to add new businesses along S.R. 5, then use the ground further back off the highway for new residential development. Ideal Suburban Homes is one of the two builders showing interest in some available space. The other is Granite Ridge Builders.

Most of the homes built by Ideal Homes average $115 per square foot. However, they start around $76 per square foot, before the lot or subdivision fees.

Representatives from Ideal Suburban Homes discussed their subdivisions and how they like to look into what type of housing the community needs before starting on a project.

For example, according to Blee, they are capable of building everything from first-time buyer housing, move-up housing, housing with three-car garages, single villas, duplex villas and even apartment buildings.

“We have to understand what the community wants because every community is different,” Blee said.

Franklin asked Ideal Suburban Homes president Kevin Biggs what their company looks for in the communities that they work with.

Communication, he answered.

When coming into a new community, Ideal Suburban Homes wants to make sure that everyone is on-board, Biggs explained. There are typically public hearings so the community has an opportunity to voice their concerns or needs.

By having subdivisions already built in the northeast Indiana region, including Churubusco and Angola, Ligonier residents have the opportunity to check them out themselves.

“If anyone has questions, we can point them to the product,” Biggs explained. “They can actually visit and see it and get more comfort in what’s coming.”