Here at Unity Homes, we are excited to have broken ground last week on the first of a dozen houses that we will be building at the Quechee Lakes community in eastern Vermont.
Quechee Lakes is a residential development nestled along a river and among the hills between Woodstock, VT and Hanover, NH. While the primary draw for this community is the area’s wonderful natural attractions—the Ottauquechee River running through nearby Quechee Gorge, endless rolling hills filled with trails for hiking, biking, snowmobiling and Nordic skiing, and numerous Alpine ski areas such as Killington and Okemo—the development itself offers amenities that are built on the area’s natural features, including a lake, a golf course, a ski hill and a clubhouse with a pool and tennis courts.
As with many other residential developments, construction activity at Quechee Lakes had slowed dramatically during the recession. However in recent years, real estate activity in the area has picked up to the point where local realtors feel that they do not have enough quality new housing stock to offer potential buyers.
The developer of Quechee Lakes, in an effort to serve the growing demand for new, high performance homes in the community, hired Unity to build twelve homes on some of the best remaining lots in the development. The choice of Unity was driven by several factors, including the high performance of Unity’s “product,” the compressed construction schedule made possible by off-site fabrication, and the assurance that Unity could provide about costs and quality.
For this project, Unity has created variations of its Värm design platform to accommodate both sloped and level sites, and has assembled a palette of finish and fixture selections specifically for these homes. The Quechee office of Masiello Group/Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate is taking the lead on sales for these new homes. The initial enthusiasm of the realtors for Unity’s homes was reinforced when one was purchased as a pre-sale.
Unity’s project manager for the Quechee Lakes homes, Brad Moore, views this project as the natural extension of Unity’s recent work at Dartmouth College, where he oversaw the construction of four new faculty homes based on the Värm platform: “By building variations on a theme, rather than making each house completely different, we see real efficiencies in how quickly and precisely these homes go together. And those efficiencies are reflected in the final cost.”
The twelve Unity Homes at Quechee Lakes are being built in three phases, the first of which is now underway. Ryan Lawler, who heads Unity’s project management department and who led the preconstruction phase of this project, expects that the first three homes will be assembled on site by early November, and should be completed in January. We anticipate breaking ground on the second phase of homes in mid October. The goal that Unity and the developer share is to complete all twelve of the homes by the end of 2017.
The project at Quechee Lakes represents a new phase of growth for Unity. We are eager to apply the lessons learned and the efficiencies achieved on this project to our work with other developers throughout the Northeast.