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Storer Estates lots go to large Texas-based home developer

By Stephanie Wiechmann, IPR News | Published on in Business, Community, Government, Local News
Muncie's mayor toured a D.R. Horton project in Pendleton. (Photo courtesy of the Mayor's Office)

A subdivision taking shape where a Muncie elementary school once sat will be constructed by what city officials call the “nation’s largest homebuilder.”  As IPR’s Stephanie Wiechmann reports, city officials say local home builders weren’t interested in the project.

Storer Estates has 34 lots and Muncie Mayor Dan Ridenour says home builder D.R. Horton, headquartered in Arlington, Texas, will buy all of them for just over $1 million.  That’s a purchase price of $30,000 per lot.

As the Muncie Redevelopment Commission voted unanimously to approve the purchase agreement, president Jeff Howe said the price for the lots was fair and the builder had the funds to do the project.

“The need for housing is amplified, while the source of housing has not.  And so we need to – I think it makes sense to move on this.”

When Storer Estates was first announced in late 2021, the city wanted to sell lots individually.  At least one lot was purchased.  But the city had to buy it back last December when delays on materials for the subdivision’s streets meant the lot owner couldn’t begin construction when they wanted.

Ridenour told the Muncie Redevelopment Commission that he tried to get local home builders interested.

“Multiple phone calls, multiple meetings … and have requested builders do this.  The local builders made the decision, and I think interest rates have a part to play in that.  But they – we didn’t get any offers.”

D.R. Horton lists projects in about two dozen Indiana locations, including Pendleton and Fortville.

As for other progress with the project, Ridenour says all the streets are done in Storer Estates, but landscaping and Storer Woods Park still need to be completed.

The 1959-built Storer Elementary School closed in 2017, after Muncie Community Schools closed three buildings to fix a budget deficit and address declining enrollment.  Ball State University purchased the other two closed former elementary schools.  The city agreed to buy the Storer site in 2018 and demolishing the building took several years because of complications.

Stephanie Wiechmann is our Managing Editor and “All Things Considered” Host.  Contact her at slwiechmann@bsu.edu.