By Alex Schuman
A West Des Moines development, still known to many as Michael's Landing, was left in the dust of an unpaved gravel road and the bankruptcy of major homebuilder Regency Homes.
Now if you drive by the area, renamed Woodland Hills, you will hear hammers pounding and see a new house pop up every couple of weeks.
"I'm eager for a sense of a community," said Gayle Lindell, who moved into her house years ago right before Regency Homes declared bankruptcy. "We were just by ourselves. Everything went into weeds and silence."
That peace and quiet is gone. Right next door workers started pouring concrete Friday, and across the street new neighbors spent the day touring their future home.
"It's a transition for us," she said. "We were used to the quiet, but we're ready for neighbors."
According to real estate agents selling the land, a freshly paved road, new Waukee elementary school and a hungry housing market in West Des Moines all came together to turn this failed development into a success.
So far, of 163 lots only 28 remain for sale. That is good for business, and for people like the Lindells who will gladly trade weeds for a sense of community.
"Transition happens," Lindell said. "You just kind of wait and see what develops around and live with the excitement of it."