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The village of Necedah found a new purpose for the inactive golf course Oak Grove Resort. The course will begin to be developed into a residential area with 17 cabins approved for construction by Sparta-based Star Log Cabins.

Oak Grove Resort has been unused for about seven years. The first cabin sold in December, and Necedah Village Administrator said as many as 100 cabins could ultimately be built.

The 750-900 square foot cabins will be sold for about $130,000 with water and sewer already installed and appliances included.

“They’re built just like a regular home,” said Star Log Cabins Owner Jim Schmitt. “They’re going on concrete block foundations.”

Juneau County Economic Development Corporation Executive Director Terry Whipple said the cabins will supply an underserved part of the housing market in the county.

“We’re lacking in mid range homes and we have citizens (who) can afford those mid range homes, but they’re not there,” Whipple said. “And we haven’t been able to get older people to downsize (and) move out of their homes. So we haven’t had that natural turnover that you normally have in a healthy housing (market).”

Whipple said the cabins could be appealing to older people looking to downsize, especially if they stay in Juneau County seasonally.

“They’re definitely, I think, going to be higher end craftsmanship,” Whipple said. “Their energy efficiency is incredible.”

Schmitt said the prebuilt cabins are able to be constructed more efficiently than traditional homes.

“It would cost a lot of money to send carpenters over here, and then the electricians (then) get the plumbers here,” Schmitt said. “It takes a lot of effort when you start going to a mid size home. You need all these people to make it happen and then you’re fighting the weather conditions. Here, it’s -20 degrees and we’re working on these cabins… it makes it economical.”

Necedah as a location also has major appeal those seeking a recreational property, Schmitt said.

“We’re 30 miles from the Dells, we’ve got two of the biggest lakes in Wisconsin right here, we’ve got the national wildlife refuge, we’ve got some great cafes right here in Necedah,” Schmitt said. “We’re only two hours from Madison… most people that have a cabin do not want to go past three and a half hours.”

Herried said one of the appealing aspects of the development is the cabins being located wooded area while also being in the heart of a municipality.

“If you look at where he put his cabins in, he left a lot of the mature trees around,” Herried said. “It’s basically a cabin in the middle of a community.”

Schmitt agreed.

“They’re kind of in the woods, but they can still take their golf cart and go down to the café,” Schmitt said. “When people get older, they don’t want to be isolated 20 miles out on a piece of property (with) nobody around.”

Schmitt emphasized Star Log Cabins is a family effort.

“My wife and I are both totally involved,” Schmitt said. “If I wasn’t here she couldn’t do it, and if she wasn’t here I couldn’t do it. And actually, my daughter is involved too… we’re totally in it together.”

Two cabins are currently being built and Schmitt is confident more will follow shortly after.

You can reach Jake Ekdahl on Twitter @JakeaEkdahl or contact him at 608-697-6353

Reporter

Juneau County Star-Times reporter