BY KAREN GERHARDINGER | MIRROR REPORTER — More than a decade ago, Tom Schlachter envisioned Waterville Landing, a development with 700 homes, condos and apartments, mixed in with retail and commercial buildings. That vision was re-adjusted due to the economic downturn, but as the president of Farnsworth Investors walked through the mud of Farnsworth Village Plat 1 a few weeks ago, Schlachter predicted an uptick in growth. “This is finally coming together, 10 years later,” said Schlachter, as he toured one of five homes by Doug Howard Builders along Blackhawk Drive. As he looked out at the stocked pond that will eventually have Plat 3 wrap around it, Schlachter said he’s excited to see rooftops coming in along Pray Boulevard, which will drive even more commercial growth. “Rooftops bring in retailers,” said Schlacter, who sold the commercial property to Devonshire REIT in 2013. Since then, the plaza has grown to include a shopping center and an expanding Kroger. Farnsworth Village is the first housing development, aside from StoryPoint Senior Living Community, to break ground along Pray Boulevard. Selling for $275,000-$350,000, Plat 1 will have 16 homes. Plat 2 is designed and will begin construction after farmer Lonnie Perry harvests the crops this fall. Across the street, ground is broken on The Colony, 108 rental units just east of StoryPoint. The 1,262-square-foot, single-story, two-bedroom ranches are handicap-accessible and each includes a utility room and garage. Similar to the Redwood apartments in Perrysburg and Sylvania, the apartments will attract empty-nesters or young professionals, renting for around $1,275 a month, said Farnsworth Investors’ Andrea Henline. Danberry National President Brian McMahon credits Schlachter for having the vision to create the Waterville Landing development. “People don’t appreciate the scale of this. It’s one of the largest mixed-use developments in this market,” McMahon said. The Kroger store is expanding to meet the demands of traffic that comes not just from the Anthony Wayne area, but also from the Roachton Road area and points west toward Napoleon, McMahon said. Meijer is expected to break ground by next year, and that will prompt more commercial growth in spaces on both sides of Pray Boulevard, as well as down US 24 around The Shops at Fallen Timbers, McMahon believes.