Strange-But-True: A Different Sort of Lake Side Community

You’ve probably heard that if you buy a new home in a planned community, you can choose one that suits your lifestyle.  There are communities built specifically for families with plenty of green spaces and play places. Developments for active people have trails for biking, walking, and running.  Some neighborhoods are built specifically with seniors in mind.  Now there is a new type of community being built in Minnesota, adding to its 10,000 lakes.

Trophy Lake Estates in Center City, Minnesota, is one of three gated communities built around man-made lakes designed for water sports like skiing and fishing. Although new-home sales are slow, ground has been broken on a fourth “lake side” development in New Germany. The concept, which is popular in other states like Florida and California, is relatively new to the Twin Cities area, probably because we already have so many lakes.  But with all that lakeshore property snapped up, I suppose this as naturally the next step.

The developments are aimed to appeal to homeowners who want the fun of a lake cabin without having to travel long distances, spending money on gas. Additionally, it saves on maintenance, because one only has to care for a single property.

The development also has other features, like basketball, volleyball and tennis courts, play fields, and trails. The lakes are stocked with fish, so Trophy Lake residents can fish off the docks on their own shoreline.

tournaments on private man-made lakes in housing developments from Florida to California. He hadn't seen anything like it in Minnesota.

Specialty housing projects have been successful for golfers in the past. These communities, plus other “lake side” communities in other states, were the inspiration for the Trophy Lakes Estates projects.  The first Trophy Lake Estates, built on 66 acres in Glenwood in 2000, has 16 lots that line the shore of a man-made lake engineered specifically for recreational water sports. It has a permanent ski jump and slalom course. The lakes in all the developments are about a half-mile long, 250 to 350 feet wide, 10 feet deep and wide enough at each end for a boat to turn around.

Trophy Lake Estates in Pine Island and Center City followed. The latest project is a 120-acre development in New Germany, about a half-hour west of Minnetonka.  It will be the largest Trophy Lake venture yet, with 60 lots surrounding two lakes and a swimming pond. The project will be done in phases, to ensure that lots aren’t standing empty.  Most of the 30 powerboat lots in the first phase have already been reserved. Lot costs range from $75,000 for off-water to $195,000 for a powerboat lot.  That is pretty cheap compared to the prices of lakeshore real estate in the Twin Cities metro area.

The man-made lakes follow a standard design, but owners can build a wide range of house styles and sizes. They can choose their own builder or from a list of preferred builders offered by developer Grant Hustad, but each design must be approved by an architectural review committee.

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