The transformation of a wooded ravine immediately north of Park Tudor School into an 11-lot gated community will bring to market a rare commodity: a cluster of new-home sites in densely populated Washington Township.
Groundbreaking is set for early July on Grace Hill, which is being developed by local ophthalmologist Dr. William Nunery.
Nunery has owned the 6-acre site just north of 75th Street and College Avenue for about 30 years. He bought it from Park Tudor and lived on the property for more than a decade until his home was destroyed by a fire in 1997.
Now he and his wife, Mathieu, live on Park Avenue immediately behind the site, near where his parents once lived. His mother, Grace, died about three years ago and is the inspiration for the name Grace Hill.
Mathieu Nunery said her husband fielded many requests from people wanting to buy the site. “He was anxious to do something constructive” on the property and decided to develop it, she said.
By Thanksgiving, roads and infrastructure will be installed and lots will be turned over to buyers.
The lots, which are all less than a half-acre, are listed by Encore Sotheby’s International for between $325,000 and $395,000. A sign went up advertising Grace Hill around the first of the year, but the plat was just approved earlier this month. Now the developer is free to sell the lots, two of which are reserved.
Buyers can hire any builder they want, but an architectural review committee that’s being set up has to sign off on designs, according to Grace Hill sales materials. Houses have to be a minimum of 3,000 square feet above grade and protective covenants exist to preserve mature trees on the property.
To prevent speculators, construction must start within a year of closing on a lot and must be completed within 18 months of the start of construction.
Homeowners will pay association dues that will be used for snow removal and maintenance of an interior road that will run through the property. The money will also be used for upkeep of streetlights and common-area landscaping.
Grace Hill lots are being marketed by Mark Zukerman and Jeffrey Cohen of Encore Sotheby’s International Realty.
Zukerman thinks the development will appeal to a range of buyers, from families with children at Park Tudor to empty nesters who want to downsize but stay close to family and friends in the neighborhood.
“There are not a lot of places today where you can buy a lot in a gated community in Washington Township and build a brand new home,” Zukerman said.
Up until the economy soured a few years ago, he said, there were instances of people buying homes in the area and tearing them down so they’d have a buildable lot.
Valenti-Held is the general contractor doing the infrastructure work. Smock Fansler is doing the common-area landscape installation. And Williams Creek Consulting is the project engineer.
The project is employing green building standards, such as the use of pervious concrete for the road that will snake through the site.