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Farm fields sprout home lots

A field on the eastern edge of New Richmond city limits is being groomed for a huge housing development.

Whispering Prairie is the next in a methodical progression of growth along County Road K.

JEO Consulting Group, Inc. has been working to bring the development to reality for about a year and a half.

They are overseeing one of the lengthiest city water and sewer extensions in the city's history. About two miles of water pipe are currently being installed, along with more than a mile of sewer line.

"I don't think people realize all what's going on out here," said Bob Barbian, the city's planning and economic development director, as he toured the area Friday. "It's significant. Some of the city's best work goes on underground."

In fact, a scan of the horizon at Whispering Prairie, and the nearby Fox Run development, can be mind boggling.

A second phase of Fox Run is being readied, which includes 100 more lots for single-family homes. Once the three-phase Fox Run is completed, 450 homes will be included in the development.

Whispering Prairie's first phase includes about 100 lots. Plans call for 193 lots in three phases, all on 70 acres of property.

"This is a good sized project," said Jerry Ripley, branch manager with JEO Consulting Group in New Richmond.

With all the work that has occurred to this point, Ripley said it's a relief to break ground and begin to install all the required infrastructure for the development.

The developer, Copar Companies based in Lake Elmo, Minn., is hoping to feel similar relief once lots begin to sell. The company, which also has purchased the Fox Run development, is seeking approval for a temporary sales office to help begin marketing its lots.