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Developers highlight vision for project


For David Krien, his dream of a western-Americana community is beginning to take shape. Josie Way, Harper Pass and Jake Trail, all named for his kids, soon will be flagged. Streets, curbs and waterlines are not far behind.

His development, DK Ranch, recently annexed into the city of Hays at 27th Street and U.S. Highway 183 Alternate, features 30 lots suited for building custom houses of 2,000 square feet and larger.

Krien envisions a rustic Old West motif for the homes, and dv8 Interior Design will provide design expertise for those who purchase lots.

"The houses will take on their own life, depending on the client," said Caroline Von Lintel, dv8 owner and designer. "We have design suggestions, so that when you look at it, it feels like a community and later down the road, it may be like its own little town, ... very rustic."

After purchasing the acreage, Krien enlisted dv8 staff to help formulate a vision for the development. Von Lintel, who has experience outside the Hays market, has worked with similarly-themed developments and suggested the western motif to Krien.

Using old barn wood and recycled materials, Von Lintel said the development will have a "very organic feel."

An architectural control committee will oversee building plans for the development to ensure design consistency is maintained.

"We just have suggestions for exterior surfaces to make it cohesive, but there's a lot of creative freedom with each home," said Lacey Ward with dv8. "It's going to be their home, but we just want to keep harmony with everybody else's house so it's not necessarily all over the place."

Krien said he was hoping for a warm, friendly atmosphere for his three kids to grow up in.

"I think we're going to encapsulate that community feeling of its own little world out there," he said of the development. "It's beautiful."

Large lots from .56 to 1.38 acre are being pre-sold, Krien said, with three already spoken for. Prices range from $49,000 to $100,000.

"You're getting a view and an acre," Krien said. "And your own little community."

The process of annexation and platting of the property has taken about six months. Although in the early stages, Krien said, the Hays Area Planning Commission was hesitant to approve a 30-lot single home development, citing a preference to follow comprehensive plan recommendations of encouraging the building of multi-family units. The planning commission, however, approved the development in February.

"Stormwater became the primary issue in the end," said John Murphy of dv8. "And when the city commission voted for the final plat, they thanked us for making the effort we did to address some of the problems."

Murphy said he hopes to see infrastructure improvements under way by the middle of the summer.

Down the road, Krien said he hopes to expand the ranch's western theme by adding a retail development west of the housing development. He said he would like to see a saloon/steak house, offices and small, family-friendly businesses locate along U.S. Highway 183 Alternate.