Parade of Homes marches into Mequon
Highlander Estates may boost enrollment in M-T schools

By Gary Achterberg - News Graphic Staff

August 8, 2017

 Five builders will showcase homes they have built in Highlander Estates. They include this one by Victory Homes of Wisconsin. The subdivision is on Wauwatosa Road just south of Mequon Road.
Photos by Gary Achterberg

MEQUON — It is fitting – and a welcome side-effect – that homes sprouting on land previously intended for a never-built high school likely will help boost declining student enrollment.

The Highlander Estates subdivision – on Wauwatosa Road between Mequon and Donges Bay roads – will be showcased starting Saturday as part of the 2017 Milwaukee Builders Association Parade of Homes.

The Mequon-Thiensville School District sold the 112-acre property to developer Neumann Homes for $2.91 million about two years ago. When fully built out, it will have 111 single-family homes. The district originally acquired the land in the 1960s with an eye toward a second high school.

That never happened. In fact, enrollment has fallen over the last decade. The just-approved school budget assumes another drop of 49 students, although school officials are optimistic new families moving into the district – in Highlander Estates and elsewhere – may reduce that.

 The subdivision includes common areas for all residents,
including playground equipment and a fire pit.

Photos by Gary Achtenberg

Being included in the Parade of Homes is significant. Hawks Glen was featured in 2014. Prior to that, it had been eight years since Mequon was a stop on the Parade. The city of Mequon worked with Neumann to ensure building permits were issued in time for the event, which is expected to draw more than 30,000 visitors.

Homes from five builders will be featured in Highlander Estates. They are Kings Way Homes, Victory Homes of Wisconsin, Steeple Pointe Homes, Tim O’Brien Homes and Hillcrest Builders.

John Stoker, president of Victory Homes and a longtime member of the Mequon Planning Commission, said there is “a strong need” in Mequon for homes like this. The lots – some are a half acre – are smaller than most in Mequon. Homes with the lot are selling for about $500,000.

Stoker bought five lots in the 36lot Phase 1, which a Neumann representative said has been completely sold. “When this subdivision came along, I became a strong supporter,” he said. “We needed this in Mequon. They’re more affordable than most of the homes I’ve built in Mequon.”

Stoker said the homes are attracting younger families, many of whom are likely to stay in the community and potentially upgrade.

“Once you get people into the community, they’re going to want to stay here,” he said.

Stoker’s Highlander Estates model home sells for about $600,000 with the lot. It is 2,480 square feet with a theater area in the finished basement. There are four bedrooms and 3 1/2 baths. He added that “a big selling point” for Highlander Estates is that it is on city water and sewer.

“They’re not McMansions; they’re good stock for this community,” said Stoker, who also is president of the MBA and has had models in every Parade of Homes since 2004.

Neumann Homes, which was started in Janesville in 1986 by Mark Neumann, who later served in Congress, has been selected as a Parade of Homes site in seven of the last nine years. The company, which has improved more than 3,500 residential lots, is now owned by Neumann’s son, Matt, who expanded the firm into the Milwaukee area.