Development appears to be the future for one of Eden Prairie’s last farm properties: the 30.5-acre Marshall family farm at 9905 Dell Road in the city’s southwestern corner.
No plan has yet been submitted to the City of Eden Prairie for formal review, but a developer on Feb. 6 shared an early concept with city council members in order to get feedback before moving ahead.
The concept presented by Lake West Development, LLC during a Tuesday city council workshop shows 15 lots for single-family “villa” homes and four large, multi-unit buildings that together would hold about 90 townhome units.
Villa homes are typically one-level, small-lot, single-family homes for empty-nesters or others looking for a low-maintenance house without a shared wall with neighbors. They are scarce in Eden Prairie and growing in need as EP’s senior population increases.
The developer’s early concept plan also includes three lots for traditional single-family homes, one of which might be reserved for the existing Marshall farmhouse in order to preserve it.
A major feature of the concept is that almost 21 of the 30.5 acres would be green space – a combination of preserved bluff above the Minnesota River Valley, walking trails, open space separating the development from existing single-family homes to the north, and more than seven acres that could be used for community gardens. The farm also borders the city’s Riley Creek Conservation Area, and Riley Creek cuts through a corner of the property.
The developers are calling their plan “Marshall Gardens.”
Preserving that much open space likely comes at the expense of affordability: the developer said villa homes would probably be priced at $900,000.
The plan also varies from what the city anticipates for the property in its long-range Guide Plan, which is low-density, unattached housing. The city had input on a concept the land seller provided to potential buyers last year, when the property was marketed at $8 million. That concept showed 55 single-family homes, or 1.8 units per acre. By comparison, the developer’s concept presented Feb. 6 is 3.5 units per acre.
The new concept plan was part of the city council’s workshop agenda Feb. 6 because the developer was looking for early, “gut-level reaction,” Mayor Ron Case said. No vote was taken, and council members were asked to share only their initial thoughts about the concept.
Council members’ early reactions were mixed, with some suggesting the concept is a good starting point and others expressing concern with either the density of housing being proposed or the homes’ architectural design.
Looking ahead, the city council suggested the developer get some early feedback from nearby residents and return to the council for more preliminary, informal discussion. Once the developer decides on a plan, that plan typically is submitted for official city review, including public hearings and votes before the Eden Prairie Planning Commission and the city council.
The Marshall farm has a long history that is spelled out on the website for Marshall’s Farm Market, the business 2½ miles away at County Roads 1 and 4 that’s operated by family members. The farm itself was purchased in the mid-1950s, and George and Mable Marshall raised nine children there while operating a truck farming business. George died in 2013; Mable passed away in 2022.
We offer several ways for our readers to provide feedback. Your comments are welcome on our social media posts (Facebook, X, Instagram, Threads, and LinkedIn). We also encourage Letters to the Editor; submission guidelines can be found on our Contact Us page. If you believe this story has an error or you would like to get in touch with the author, please connect with us.