GRAND FORKS-In an effort to block construction of an apartment complex he feels would ruin the integrity of his neighborhood, a Grand Forks man has bought land near his home.
Brandon Bochenski said Wednesday, May 2, he and his wife, Jenny, reached an agreement with Deacon's Development this week to buy 19 acres of land near his home by King's Walk Golf Course. The Hampton Corp. of Grand Forks, which had proposed building six 24-unit apartment buildings on the property, withdrew those plans Wednesday morning in light of the purchase agreement, according to City Planner Brad Gengler.
The apartment complex was part of a proposal for a 35-acre piece of undeveloped land near the golf course. There also is land near the site platted for commercial use.
The Hampton Corp. had been waiting to buy the land until city officials approved their proposal, Bochenski said, but his family made an offer to buy the land to keep the apartment buildings from going up.
"We decided to just make sure and save the neighborhood," said Bochenski, a former NHL and international hockey player who had played at the University of North Dakota.
According to Zillow.com, housing prices in Bochenski's neighborhood range from $300,000 up to $700,000.
About 85 families live in homes near the property, including Bochenski, his wife and three children. The Bochenskis moved to the south Grand Forks neighborhood several months ago because they wanted to live in a quiet area.
The Bochenskis and their neighbors opposed the plans for apartment buildings, voicing concerns about increased traffic, potential impacts on property value and a fear the units would be too close to existing homes.
Bochenski said he hopes to use the land for single-family housing or duplexes, but not apartments.
Deacon's Development declined to comment. Representatives from the Hampton Corp. did not immediately return messages.
NeighborhoodScout.com lists the median home value in Grand Forks at $182,197, and the average rent at $1,046. Approximately 40 percent of housing in Grand Forks is single-family and apartment complexes are 42 percent of the market.