Local developer Chad Wachter is digging in on a development two times larger than any other he’s ever done.

Spanning 1,120 acres, Silver Ranch would add 2,800 homes to northeast Bismarck over the next 20 to 30 years, creating a neighborhood twice the size of the city of Lincoln.

“It’s huge,” Wachter said.

Crews were working on the land for phase one of the three-phase project, connecting the area to water and sewer services, as Wachter spoke to supporters on the roof of the new First International Bank & Trust building.

With the addition of those utility lines, Wachter said his development will open the entire northeast side of Bismarck for growth.

“That’s a huge accomplishment for the community,” he said.

Development will start on the land south of 43rd Avenue and east of 52nd Street, east of Sunrise Town Centre and north of Interstate 94, and will continue further north between 43rd Avenue and 57th Avenue. Wachter wants the development to include walking paths, parks, mixed-use commercial development, a community center and maybe a school one day.

“This isn’t just a real estate project to the Silbernagels,” he said.

The family wants others to enjoy land they farmed, ranched, grew up and raised children on over the past 50 years.

“Now this land will become a community for families,” Nadeane Silbernagel said.

Axtman + Associates is drafting a master plan to be submitted for city approval in April 2019.

“I can’t stress enough how wonderful a project like this is,” said Bismarck Mayor Steve Bakken, adding that Bismarck has a number of little communities throughout the entire town and this could be another.

Bismarck-Mandan Chamber of Commerce and Bismarck-Mandan Development Association President Brian Ritter spoke to the small crowd about where he grew up in Bismarck.

“It’s a fantastic neighborhood; it’s a Wachter neighborhood,” he said, adding that, with Wachter’s vision, Silver Ranch has the potential to help make Bismarck better.

Wachter said the development will be accompanied by 22 miles of street and will bring in nearly $1 billion in tax revenue, including $45 million in sales tax.

And as far as a potential school site, Bismarck Public Schools Business and Operations Manager Darin Scherr said northeast Bismarck is one area of town the district continues to monitor for growth.

Scherr said the district is preparing to start a Strategic Facility and Operations Plan, which will help the district identify “trigger points” to determine when and where they need to consider a new school or change boundaries to fill those more inner-lying schools back up. He said they expect to have something complete in the spring.

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Reach Jessica Holdman at 701-250-8261 or jessica.holdman@bismarcktribune.com