Highland Acres is a housing development located in northwest Bismarck, southeast of Bismarck State College and southwest of Tom O’Leary golf course. It is often regarded locally as a prestige and highly-desired housing addition.
The Bismarck Veterans Home Owners Co-Operative Association – a veterans housing group consisting of 125 members, mostly veterans – proposed the development in 1947 to solve a severe housing shortage. With financing from the Bank of North Dakota, 125 acres was procured for $18,000.
The original plan set aside land for an elementary school, which would be developed in 1958, and a neighborhood shopping center that never came to fruition on the northeast corner of Crescent Lane and Avenue C. A formal association established and maintained strict development and appearance standards, including restricting housing to single-family units under two stories.
By April of the following year, twelve homes were under construction with nine more contracted. Later than year, the project received national attention when it was featured in a six-page picture spread in the national home planners magazine Small Homes Guide, who referenced Highland Acres as the “first successful large-scale co-operative home building venture.”