What’s Going Up: Q&A with Spicer

Kelsey Olson Marketing and Communications Specialist with KCED sat down with Denny Baker, former Mayor of Spicer, over pastries and coffee at Westwood Café to learn about his work starting the city’s current housing projects.

What are the two housing developments that are going up in Spicer?

Ryan Koosman, owner of RAK Const., LLC, is building two separate projects. One is a group of four 3-plex buildings, with a total of 12 units south of United Prairie Bank. This is the Southern Bluff project and these units will be available for rent. The other project is the construction of 10 townhomes across from Zorbaz, called Windsong II (listed by Lakes Area Realty, Inc.) and those are available for purchase, four have already sold. There is the possibility of additional housing opportunities by Koosman as well.

When were these projects first brought to the City of Spicer?

The location across from Zorbaz actually started 4-5 years ago, that is why I’m sitting here telling you about it as it started when I was mayor. The city already owned that lot, and it is in the city limits, Koosman came to the city to see about developing it. The process was slow as you have to go through getting the proper concept for the capacity, bring that to the DNR and the Spicer Planning and Zoning Commission. Then if a change needs to be made, start over again. It isn’t a fast process! It takes time.

What about the location near United Prairie Bank, how did that project come to fruition?

That one started about three years ago. Two different parcels were bought. The one behind the current construction was in the city, so it already had sewer and water hook-up. The current construction site was actually out of the city, so it needed to be annexed in; 11 acres total.

What were some of the challenges faced with this construction?

Bringing new housing in can always be a challenge, whether with permitting, financing, or concept. These projects needed to balance the capacity the sites could hold. Then the permitting processing takes some back-and-forth. The Southern Bluff site has some TIF financing with the City of Spicer. Overall, the increase of new housing is worth it.

I (Olson) like the slogan ‘Here We Grow Again’, where did that come from?

The Spicer EDA came up with that one! Spicer was ready to take on some new housing projects and with city-owned land available where Windsong II is located it made a good start. Working with the developer to annex more land into the city really helped this to be an attractive location. I’m as happy as a lark with the new development.

The Southern Bluffs housing complex pictured above

This article first appeared in the April 2024 KCED Newsletter

Scroll to Top