It's not every day that 236 acres of prime city property go on the market. But on Aug. 26, a big chunk of west Maize will be auctioned off for commercial and residential use.
The Paul "Pat" Ewertz farmstead at 12500 W. 45th St. North, between 119th West and 135th West, will be auctioned at 7 p.m. on-site by Don Burford of Jeff Lange Real Estate.
The land, zoned single family, has been the Ewertz family farmstead since 1917, Burford said. It includes the family home, a Montgomery Ward catalog house ordered and built in 1926.
"It's been agricultural land and their family farmstead forever," Jeff Lange said. "Obviously, Maize is growing quite speedily out that direction, so we think there are several different opportunities on this land."
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Burford said the versatility of the property, which is class one soil, makes setting a target price impossible.
"It's extremely unusual to have this much land available in a city," he said. "The ground is tillable and it's been excellent farm ground for the family. I'd love to farm the ground myself.
"But it could go commercial, for sure, and it could go residential real quick and easy. The way the Maize school system is growing, they may want it. There's a ton of possibilities with this property."
Maize Administrator Richard LaMunyon said city officials think the property has great residential potential.
"We expanded our city limits awhile back to 135th West at a time when there was a developer who
wanted to do a residential project on the northwest corner of 45th and 135th," he said.
LaMunyon said the city wants to keep its industrial areas north of 53rd Street, so residential with some light commercial uses along 45th and at the intersection of 45th and 119th are the land's preferred uses.
In the meantime, the store-bought house where Ewertz and several siblings were raised "is quite well maintained and quite livable," Burford said.
And there's an oak tree nearby that's worthy of note, Burford said.
"In one of those Montgomery Ward crates was an acorn," he said. "Paul's parents figured they might as well use it, so they pressed it in the ground. The result is a great big oak to the immediate east of the house that is as old as the house is."
Burford said Ewertz's 19 heirs sought the auction as a quick way to move the land.
"At auction is a great way to sell this land," he said.
"There are so many variables involved that I have no idea what this land can bring. We're getting a huge farmer interest, along with pretty good interest from developers and investors."