STILLMAN VALLEY – Denny Harms is not a man to give up easily.
When the economy tanked in 2008, Harms hung on to land he had started to develop into condominiums in Stillman Valley and waited for things to turn around.
“We held onto this,” he said of the little more than three acres he is developing on Pershing Street. “It was tough. We weathered the storm.”
The “we” are Harms, his wife Kim and their partners, Bob and Genrich.
Cardinal View Villas is the development and construction is again underway after stopping in 2008, although the condominiums are now duplexes. The first unit was actually finished in 2007 and sold.
When the development is completed, there is the potential for 12 homes in six buildings in the development. There are two units per building, sized at about 1,340 square feet. The basic model is two bedrooms and two baths, but they are customizable. They are priced starting at $182,900.
After a long draught, there is now construction in Stillman Valley, and Dave Bowers of Gambino Realtors of Rockford said plenty of people will be attracted to the area. He said they could come from Rockford, DeKalb, Rochelle – even the western suburbs.
“It’s amazing,” he said. “We’re seeing the migration of the people from the suburbs coming out this far.”
And it is not only friendly real estate prices that will attract people, but the local school system.
Denny Harms said the Village has been great to work with and has made the process – both back in 2006 when he took out the original building permit – and now that they are back to building.
“The village is 100 percent behind us” he said. “From the zoning board right on through to the board itself. Everyone has been very helpful.”
Harms said they have built other developments in the area, and that he did not ever consider selling the land after the economy took a sharp downward turn. He said some wanted to buy the land and develop a “lesser product,” but he wasn’t having it.
He said the area means too much to him.
“I came here because it was a personal thing,” he said. “It’s a quiet bedroom community. It’s a place I always remember having a great time at. I had a lot of good friends here.”