Manchester developer moves forward with residential housing project

MANCHESTER, Iowa — For years, Wes Schulte went back and forth with various ideas he had for a major development in Manchester.

He had completed many other projects in the city, but he knew he wanted to bring more to Manchester and attract future residents to the area.

This year, work finally kicked off on what will eventually be the Meadow Brook Trail Subdivision on the east side of town. The multi-family housing development includes a mixture of residential properties, such as townhomes, duplexes and single-family homes.

“It’s a little unique in the sense that it’s more of an integrated housing (development),” said Schulte, of Merit Development LLC. “It sits on the eastern edge of Manchester, so it is right next to the Good Neighbor Society, which has a great campus there for assisted living.”

Schulte said 18 townhomes will be available for rent when they are complete, hopefully sometime next year. The remaining housing developments will be developed and sold over the course of about eight years. Schulte said he expects the total valuation of the property to be about $12 to $13 million by the time the project is complete.

The townhomes would be a good fit for someone just starting their professional life or for elderly residents wanting a home with minimal upkeep, Schulte said. They will be about 1,200 square-feet and include two bedrooms, one-and-a-half bathrooms and a garage.

“This is people that are looking to downsize that maybe do not want to have any upkeep but still (have) a front door to the outside world,” he said.

Manchester City Administrator Tim Vick said city officials assisted Schulte by agreeing to spend $172,198 to add infrastructure, such as sewers and streets, to the subdivision. The project was also awarded $552,000 in tax credits this year as part of the state’s Workforce Housing Tax Credit program.

“We are just excited to see this moving forward,” Vick said. “We really feel like this is a good location for this type of development, and it will bring some life back to the east side of town where we have seen some businesses close up.”

Schulte said the subdivision will connect to walking and bike trails, along with a pond he plans to build on the north side of the development.

“I hope it will benefit the community in continuing its momentum and providing great housing options to not only seniors but (people from) various walks of life, whether it’s a younger person or a single-family home at a moderate price tag,” he said.

More information about the up and coming development can be found at