Berkley Heights Development in the Heart
of Spirit Lake

There are numerous housing options in the Iowa Great Lakes region but few quite like the homes being tucked behind the Highway 9/71 hub of Spirit Lake businesses.

The Berkley Heights Residential Development is being built in the heart of Spirit Lake, and once complete, the area will feature a clubhouse and single-family one-level patio homes, in close proximity to amenities like Lakes Regional Healthcare, Spirit Lake Noon Kiwanis Trail system, and Hy-Vee.

The stress-free patio home living entices people of all ages, whether the homeowner is looking to downsize or desires a quality new home built at an affordable price.

There are three home design options and countless features incorporated into the housing project being built by Leiss Builders and designed by Posh Designs. The homes are listed  for sale by Okoboji Realty.

“Our area needed more high-quality housing at an affordable price point,” said Mickey Harrington of Okoboji Realty. “We wanted nicer end furnishing in one-level living, eliminating extra stress and maintenance for a homeowner.”

The Berkley Heights Residential Development has been in the planning stages for several years, incorporating numerous local businesses for the goal of creating high-quality, low-maintenance single family housing. Developer Lee Seemann purchased the land along Highway 9 and 71 in 2017, and Beck Engineering Inc. (BEI) began developing the area shortly after.

The Berkley Heights project started in May 2019 and included multiple phases, with BEI taking the blank landscape and constructing a water main, sanitary sewer, site grading, storm water detention pond, storm sewer and a concrete street.

“This was an exciting project to be involved with. Lee Seemann is a first-class developer and anytime you can collaborate with other local companies to address a need in your community, it is extremely meaningful,” said Brad Beck, BEI President.

Once the groundwork was complete, Jesse Leiss of Leiss Builders, along with Mickey Harrington and Amy Maris of Okoboji Realty, began brainstorming three different patio home styles. Cathy Burrell of Posh Designs was asked to create a variety of design options for homeowners, allowing each buyer color and design selections. Groundbreaking took place in May 2019.

“We researched one-level living and wanted the housing development to be in the heart of Spirit Lake,” Maris said. “We also wanted to put forth a quality product and it’s why we brought in Jesse and Cathy.”

There are three designs being built, providing a homeowner options depending on desired space.

The Crescent style is a two-bedroom, two-bath home, with 1,333 square feet and an insulated two-car garage. The model was one of the first patio homes Leiss Builders built and is the first blue home to the west and available for viewing.

The Sunset is a three-bedroom, two-bath option and has 1,478 square feet with an insulated two-car garage. The Hayward design is slightly less space but also includes three-bedrooms and two-baths, as well as an insulated two-car garage. Some of the homes on the east side showcase a pond view with a private patio enclosure.

“Each home is designed to be stress-free and includes maintenance such as snow removal and lawn care,” Maris said. “Each lot will also have landscaping with sod and a sprinkler system.”

The patio homes have an open floor plan and include nine-foot ceilings. There are features such as R21 insulation, maintenance-free LP smart siding, as well as laundry in the master suite. Personalized upgrades and comfort features such as stone on the outside, pond settings, a fireplace, and granite are also available to each buyer, allowing them to easily turn the space into their own personal haven.

Throughout the entire process, Leiss Builders has put great care into details and finishing touches. Jesse and his crew are known for using quality products, such as solid wood doors, and nice windows. The garages are insulated, sheet rocked and have cement flooring. The homes also all have complete closet organizers and air exchangers.

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Despite being a slab house, which can typically have cold floors, Leiss used luxury vinyl plank that incorporates a cork mat and backer into the product, eliminating the extra chill. Heated flooring can also be added as a warmer luxury.

Consumers Lumber is providing all of the quality building materials, and Leiss has been using all local sub-contractors to complete the project.

“This way it’s easier to keep a high-quality product throughout the housing development,” he said.

For design purposes, Burrell of Posh Designs put together a warm mix of grays, rich taupes, and soft whites to be used throughout each home. She handpicked everything from the hardware to the lighting and mirrors, paying personal attention to each display. There are options for those who like darker or lighter colors.

“The color palette continues through each unit by blending paint colors, counters, flooring, and cabinetry to generate a complete feeling of harmony,” she said. “The design options allow everyone to pick what fits their personality.”

Everyone on the Berkley Heights team has enjoyed the collaboration of talents and working together.

“We get to use our own talents and pick out things, but work together to put forth a quality product,” Burrell said.

Harrington and Maris have enjoyed showing the model and future homes to clients.

“They come into the model not sure what to expect and each one has a ‘WOW’ factor,” Harrington said. “They come in pleasantly surprised.”

The first phase will have 19 homes completed by this spring, with a total of 60 housing options and a clubhouse being built in the future. If a client is interested in a home or to view the model, they should contact Okoboji Realty at (712) 332-4000. During the building stages, a client would be included in some of the decision-making, such as cabinetry, trim, and other design features, as well as possible upgrades.

The clubhouse will be built soon and will include a kitchenette area and space for a larger family gatherings and extra parking. There will also be a safe room for homeowners to use during severe weather situations.