MUNSTER | Upscale neighborhoods of primarily single-family homes began springing up in the southern portion of town in the 1980s and 1990s. While most lots had homes built on them, a few home sites in these subdivisions have remained empty for the last few decades.
David Katona, a second-generation residential contractor in Munster, is changing that with an in-fill strategy for his business.
He buys all or some of the remaining lots in such established subdivisions as Briar Creek, Cobblestones, Twin Creeks, White Oak Estates and Somerset and builds new single-family homes that blend with the existing houses but offer all the amenities families want today.
Most are pre-solds, and constructed to the specifications of the young families buying them, Katona said. His father, Les, started Katona Builders in 1969 and constructed town homes and single-family homes throughout Munster.
“As a kid, I worked cleaning up at those town homes that my father built 40 years ago,” Katona said, pointing to a multi-family unit in Twin Creeks directly across the street from one of his own new homes.
Munster’s established south side neighborhoods are experiencing a renaissance as families with young children move in to areas where generations of youngsters grew up, he said.
“People want this area, no question about it. They come for the schools and the amenities,” Katona said.
“We have a targeted business plan that goes along with all the positives that are going on in Munster now – Centennial Park, the redevelopment of Calumet Avenue,” he said.
“Katona Builders has been buying lots in Munster for more than 30 years because we feel Munster is the place to be. It’s next to everything,” Katona said. “We offer home and lot packages that range from the $400,000’s on up.”
That investment in Munster currently includes a dozen single-family home sites and 20 duplex lots in subdivisions throughout the southern and western portions of town.
Despite the Great Recession and precipitous drop in home prices in the recent past, “the land has never lost its value,” Katona said.
One of those lots is the final home site available in the Briar Creek subdivision. He said the pre-sold brick two-story, four bedroom home Katona’s crews are constructing illustrates what young families want in their dwellings.
“They want room to grow,” he said.
Katona also has single-family lots in the West Lakes subdivision located adjacent to the Lansing Airport and single-family and town homes lots in Community Estates located south of Hartsfield Village. Both areas are experiencing a new wave of interest and activity, he said.