Fairfield Ledger
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Mt. Pleasant News   Wash Journal
Neighbors Growing Together | Jun 25, 2018

North Campus Village continues growth

Developer Martin Brett plans 55 more units
By Andy Hallman, Ledger news editor | Mar 21, 2018
Source: IMAGE COURTESY OF MARTIN BRETT This aerial map shows the next planned expansion of North Campus Village, Phase 6, west of the expansion under construction and now mostly completed, Phase 5. When Phase 6 is complete, North Campus Village will have 180 units.

Martin Brett of Vastu Partners LLC has announced yet another expansion to North Campus Village.

The housing development, a joint venture between DRB Contracting Inc. and Vastu Partners LLC, began in 2002, will add 55 units during the next three years in what will be Phase 6 of North Campus Village. Phase 5 began in 2016 and includes 56 units, most of which have been completed and turned over to their owners.

“When we advertised Phase 5, we had an explosion of interest in Fairfield and around the country,” Brett said. “We quickly sold out. We didn’t have anything left to sell, but we told people we’d build something, and now we’ve got a waiting list.”

Upon the completion of Phase 6, North Campus Village will boast 180 units. It will have tripled in size from the start of 2016 when it had about 60 units.

Phase 6 will be west of Phase 5, where there is room for more development. Brett said it will offer a wider range of options than Phase 5. He said condominiums of 1,000 square feet of living space will be offered again, as well as units both smaller and larger than that. A group of people approached him during construction of Phase 5 to tell him they liked what they saw, but wanted something bigger.

Doug Bachar of DRB Contracting Inc. comes up with the design concepts and works out the final product with architect Henry Dearborn.

“Doug and Henry have a long history of working together,” Brett said. “We can go from customer input to finished design very efficiently. They came up with a [plan for] three bedrooms, 1.5-3 bathrooms and a basement that the group really liked.”

The large townhomes range in size from 1,600-2,200 square feet. Brett is planning six of those larger triplexes, and has received deposits on nine of the 18 units.

Another group of people approached Brett requesting smaller homes. They needed only one-bedroom units, and were willing to give up living space in order to create a common area for socializing. That area would have a kitchen and dining room for group events. Brett said he’s already taken deposits on the smaller units, even though plans for them aren’t finished. They will likely be 650-700 square feet with eight units per building.

The “middle” range of homes will be similar in size to those of Phase 5. They’d be 1,150 square feet with two bedrooms and 1.5 bathrooms. Unlike the current development with three units per building, the new buildings would accommodate five units.

Single-story townhomes are in the works, too, with three units per building. Each unit would have two bedrooms and one bath.

“Phase 6 won’t look identical to Phase 5 because we want some architectural distinction,” Brett said. “We’ll do more half-stories on the second floor instead of a full two stories.”

Bachar said the 1.5-story building design will enhance the “curb appeal.” In a 1.5-story home, the second floor has angled ceilings.

Brett said the homes are being sold below cost thanks to state and local incentives for affordable housing. He said Fairfield Economic Development Association executive director Joshua Laraby was instrumental in organizing the planning necessary to obtain the incentives.

“The city and FEDA are dedicated to bringing in more houses,” Brett said. “We couldn’t have done it without them.”

Brett said DRB Contracting has built hundreds of homes in Fairfield, and has assembled a good team for production building. Combining that with the city’s help in connecting builders with state incentives and MUM’s international draw for retirees has created an unusual opportunity to quickly build and sell many new homes.

Other upcoming projects include enhancing the trail system to campus and paving Park Avenue, the main east-west road that runs through the development.

Brett said Maharishi University of Management is a big draw for his customer base, and many people move to Fairfield to meditate in the domes.

Bachar estimated that one-quarter of homebuyers are coming from out of town, and the rest are those who want to sell their old homes in favor of new furnishings.

“A lot of them are retirement age, and they’ve come to Fairfield many times over the years,” Brett said about those moving to Fairfield. “Most of them know people here, so it’s more like they’re coming home rather than moving to a new retirement community.”

 

 

 

 

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