Record rainfall dampens pace of home building

jmarks@lakewyliepilot.comJuly 16, 2013 

— The past few months haven’t exactly brought building weather, but several new neighborhoods see brighter days ahead.

On July 1 a new home information center opened at The Palisades to show off plans from four builders there. Fred Matrulli, director of master plan operations, said significant rain in recent months did push back planning a bit, but the communities are still coming along.

“It’s been a challenge,” he said.

Standard Pacific had two communities set for summer openings. Austin’s Creek is located off Grand Palisades Parkway in The Palisades. Rhein Medall Communities saw approval last year for 214 homes on 90 acres. Austin’s Creek offers six floor plans from about 2,000 to 2,800 square feet starting from the upper $200s, and six more from 2,500 to 3,400 square feet starting from the upper $300s.

Bear Creek, located along the golf course in The Palisades, also starts in the upper $300s. Four plans there offer three- to five-bedroom homes from 2,700 to 4,200 square feet.

But models there are still under construction. It’ll be the fall before they open in Austin’s Creek. The same is true in Bear Creek, though a Shea Homes model is open.

“We hope to have (the models finished) by the end of September,” Matrulli said.

Toll Brothers is finishing up its sales center for Regency at Palisades, with models to begin construction this week or next. The first phase there is 55 homes. Plans also show an amenity center and tennis courts off of Grand Palisades Parkway, at Lake Ridge Road.

During the next five to 10 years, Toll Brothers plans to work on 422 home sites. The first phase has two sales already.

“We really want to get started as soon as we possibly can,” said Kim Anderson, community sales representative.

There’s also plenty of planning for the future at The Palisades. There are 154 acres already owned and another tract of land under contract for future development. New construction likely is years away, there.

“Between those two, that’s probably another 580 lots or so,” Matrulli said.

Standard Pacific also is working on 83 new sites in Chapel Cove. According to James Martin, vice president with developer Crescent Communities, rain has caused delay with the newest phase of Chapel Cove but work on the 83-site project is progressing. A 5,000-square-foot amenity center once had a spring, then summer target for completion. Now it’s on pace to open by Labor Day.

M/I Homes planned summer construction for a phase of 59 new homes at Huntington Forest in Steele Creek. Ranch and two-stories ranging from 2,300 to more than 3,000 square feet will include three to six bedrooms, two or more baths and two-car garages. Homes will be priced in the $200s.

Tamara Lynch, spokesperson for M/I Homes, said nothing has changed about the plan except the timing of it.

“We’re hoping that we’ll be able to start construction no later than early September,” she said, citing the weather. “That definitely changed our timeframe.”

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