Community Spaces in Development: More Important than Ever

We’re all seeing it: the Zoom calls, car parades, and balcony gatherings. People are supporting local businesses, showing thanks to those on the front lines, and donating to those in need. 

Even though we are physically separated, our communities are growing stronger than ever. It’s made us think about the growing trend we have seen in new developments – one that will likely continue long after this has passed. 

Master Planned Communities

From developments with single-family homes to mixed-use construction, developers have been focusing on incorporating more community spaces over the past few years.

At 66 High Street, the pool, once installed, will be a gathering place in summer. Before the current health crisis, residents often walked downtown together, and met up in each other’s units for a glass of wine and some conversation.  

At Overland Lofts in Springfield, community spaces will be available for residents only. Since the building is mixed-use, there will also be stores, cafes, and restaurants that people from all over downtown can enjoy together. 

Developments all over the country have already started adding in more community spaces. Why? Because it brings people together. Now, more than ever, we see how important connection is. 

What to Watch For

One thing we’ve all learned recently is that connection can still happen when we are separated. While we know developers will continue incorporating spaces for gathering in person, we anticipate that builders will also start thinking about how to integrate technology. Here are some things to watch for in development, according to Best in American Living:

  1. Personalized concierge sales experiences, including a mix of technology and human interaction.
  2. New ways to access amenities so people can gather utilizing technology. 
  3. Tech-enabled events and participation, such as online book clubs, art classes, or movie nights.
  4. Greater integration between homebuilders and community developers throughout real estate transactions, including virtual tours for potential buyers. 
  5. Doubling down on outdoor spaces for walking, biking, and gathering. 

 

What would you like to see in a residential development? Let us know!

What is Transit-Oriented Development?

With a pressing need for sustainable metropolitan and suburban growth, a trend toward transit-oriented development, or TOD, has become increasingly popular among planners and developers. Particularly in the United States, where most people are reliant on automobiles, TOD can help create more sustainable communities.

What is Transit-Oriented Development?

Transit-oriented development is a mixed-use development that includes commercial, residential, office, and entertainment properties. The development is also located near a transit station for easy access to transportation.

When successfully designed, TODs bring together people, activities, living space, and public space. Walking paths, cycling lanes, and easy access to transit services eliminates the need for daily vehicles and increases nearby resources for residents. 

Benefits of Transit-Oriented Development

TOD can positively impact lifestyle, the environment, and economic factors. Here are some of the benefits of transit-oriented development, according to the Transit-Oriented Development Institute

  • Reduce dependence on driving
  • Allow residents to live, work, and play in the same area
  • Reduce the area’s negative impact on the environment
  • Provide access to better life services
  • Stimulate the local economy
  • Provide better access between urban and suburban areas
  • Provide access to better entertainment and recreational services
  • Provide access to better jobs
  • Revitalize urban areas

Is Transit-Oriented Development only for large cities?

Trends toward TOD extend beyond the urban center. In cities, TOD can provide more affordable housing and connect people to resources in the area. In Springfield, Massachusetts, the Overland Lofts is a part of the revitalization efforts of the city, providing market-rate housing and commercial space downtown.

Development in suburban towns can play an integral role in building a more vibrant, safe, and sustainable community. The Residences at 66 High Street are located in the heart of Downtown Guilford and are only a half-mile from the Shoreline East Train Station. Residents love being a part of a larger community, the ability to walk to shops and restaurants, and easy access to the train station. 

What lifestyle factors are essential for your next move? Let us know in the comments!

 

2019 HOBI Awards

Last week, we attended the 2019 HOBI Awards. We are proud to announce we left with two new awards for the Residences at 66 High Street

Best Luxury Condominium Community

and

Best Luxury Condominium 

The HOBI’s, or Home Building Industry Awards, are prestigious awards given by the Home Builders & Remodelers Association of Connecticut. For 25 years, awards have been given to builders, developers, architects, and construction companies for outstanding work.

This is our fourth consecutive year taking part in the HOBI awards. Each year, we look forward to the awards ceremony, where we connect with other industry members, learn about projects in the state, and celebrate the hard work of everyone on our team. 

Additional HOBI Awards given to The Horton Group include:

2018 HOBI Awards:

  • Best Condominium Community 
  • Best Condominium Unit
  • Outstanding New Haven County New Commerical for 350 Goose Lane
  • Outstanding Vacation Remodel for 21 Palms, Marathon, FL

2017 HOBI Awards:

  • Best Luxury Condominium Community
  • Outstanding Luxury Condominium
  • Best Luxury Townhouse

2016 HOBI Awards:

  • 2016 Project of the Year
  • Best Condominium Community
  • Best Luxury Condominium Unit
  • Best Historic Rehab Overall

As we reflect on 2019, we want to say thank you to all who support our work. Keep following along, because exciting things are coming in 2020!

What is daylighting?

“Look at those windows!”

It’s a line people often say when in front of wall-to-wall or floor-to-ceiling windows. When paired with a spectacular view, like at the Residences at 66 High Street, it’s no surprise that people love grand windows. Large windows have more benefits than highlighting beautiful views, however. Continue reading to learn what daylighting can do for your home or office.

When builders use windows and skylights to light up a home or building, it is called daylighting. This process requires careful planning, but when done correctly, it has benefits for both residential and commercial properties. 

How does daylighting work?

For daylighting to work to its full potential, window placement is critical. The correct placement allows the right amount of natural light to enter each room, without excess heat or glare. 

In the United States, windows facing South and North are best. Windows facing South let in ample light during the winter months, and little direct sun in summer, when too much direct sunlight creates too much heat. North facing windows let in an even amount of natural light with little glare. 

East and West facing windows are not ideal for daylighting. East and West facing windows let in plenty of light in the morning and afternoon, but along with that comes glare and excess heat, which is especially cumbersome in summer months. 

Enlarged windows, glass doors, and strategically placed skylights optimize natural lighting from the sun.

Window Technology

With the advancement of window technology, daylighting is becoming more common. 

In the past, a wall of windows meant drafty winters and stuffy summers indoors. Now, windows are insulated, which helps to keep interiors cool in summer and warm in winter while providing loads of natural light. 

Tinted windows can be used to help reduce the glare from the sun. Electrochromic windows, or smart windows, go one step further, changing the darkness of the tint with the brightness of sunlight. Electrochromic windows have a variety of control options, which include an automated system or user control. 

Benefits of Daylighting

In buildings and homes with daylighting, windows and skylights provide most of the light you need, so overhead lights are not often necessary during the day. A light-colored ceiling enhances daylighting even more. 

When electricity is not being used for lighting, utility costs go down. In commercial buildings, where lighting accounts for a significant portion of electrical energy consumption, daylighting saves both energy and money. 

In addition, daylighting creates a more comfortable atmosphere both at home and at work. Sunlight boosts positive moods and increases productivity. This is particularly helpful throughout the winter, when shorter days means people have fewer chances to be outside during daylight hours. 

Daylighting fulfills the needs of some of the top needs in residential and commercial buildings: sustainability and employee health. Where would daylighting benefit you most?

What is Market-Rate Housing?

Market-rate housing is a term that confuses many people. With the announcement of our development project with Davenport Properties, we want to take a look at what this means for the teachers and community of Springfield, Massachusetts.

Housing Affordability

For housing to be considered affordable, it means you spend 30% or less of your total income on housing. This leaves you with 70% of your income to spend on additional bills, food, transportation, and savings.

Many people, especially in larger cities, are spending more than 30% of income on housing. In the case of teachers who work in cities, the cost of housing is often an issue. 

HUD offers affordable housing options throughout the country for people and families who spend more than 30% on housing.

Market-Rate Housing

Market-rate housing means that rent is set at a rate that is comparable to other housing units in the area. New construction is costly, which means that new housing developments frequently come with high rents. 

In the case of Willy’s Overland Redevelopment Housing Initiative, Davenport Properties and partners of the city of Springfield wanted to create market-rate housing catered to teachers and welcoming to millennials and baby boomers. 

As we build 60 new units in this first building, we are focusing heavily on the building amenities and making each unit functional for the people who live there. These brand new housing units will feature the quality and design that The Horton Group is known for. Knowing that the city of Springfield is dedicated to making this market-rate project affordable to those living there makes the project even more meaningful. 

 

A Development for Growth: 151 Chestnut Street

A city committed to growth. A vision to develop affordable housing for teachers. A group of people willing to do the work to make a difference.

Horton Group is excited to partner Davenport Properties in a market rate housing project in Springfield, Massachusetts. Horton Group will complete the construction on a 60-unit building in the former Willy’s Overland Building on 151 Chestnut Street. 

The idea began with Paul Doherty and other members of Springfield Business Leaders for Education when they asked how to support teachers in the Springfield Public School System. 

“Over several meetings, we came to identify an area where we are able to move the needle best was by helping to attract and retain teachers here in the city,” said Tricia Canavan, President and Owner of United Personnel.

After teaming up with Davenport Properties, they searched for the perfect property, and plans started to come to fruition. At the press conference, Springfield Mayor Domenic Sarno explained that the construction for the $14.5 million investment is beginning this summer, with plans for completion in 2020. 

Willy’s Overland Redevelopment Housing Initiative

The 35,000 square foot building was once home to a car maker before being damaged in a gas blast and abandoned in 2012. Once completed, the renovated building will have a vibrant retail space with a cafe and patio on the ground level, along with 60 apartments and common areas catered toward teachers.

After visiting a housing project with a similar vision in Baltimore and speaking with a teacher group, as well as students at UMASS Amherst, Davenport Properties understood what types of amenities teachers wanted in their community.

The main lobby with offices, computers, and a conference table will be incorporated into common living areas for teacher collaboration. In addition, there will be a common area with a fireplace, big screen TV, and kitchen, as well as a fitness center in the building. 

Just the Beginning

While the development is focused on attracting and retaining teachers, Springfield Mayor Domenic Sarno is expecting the property to draw in “an eclectic mix: the millennials, the baby boomers, empty nesters…but especially teachers,” he stated. 

While this initial development is 60 units, Chuck Irving of Davenport Properties believes this building is going to be a step forward for Springfield.

“We went out and invested in another building and another property for the ability to do several hundred units,” Chuck shared. “Because we think this building is going to be successful, and we think this whole neighborhood is going to turn into something very valuable for the community.”

Learn more about Willy’s Overland Redevelopment Project here:

 

4 Benefits of One-Level Living

One-level living does not mean cramped living quarters. In fact, a one-level floor plan lends to an open flow, high ceilings, and can easily provide space for all of your needs – without the need to go up and down the stairs. 

Accessibility

Accessibility is the most significant benefit to one-level living. With everything on one floor, the struggle of ascending and descending the stairs is eliminated. Whether you have a toddler in the house, elderly in-laws staying with you, or plan to retire in the home, one level is easier and safer to navigate. 

At The Residences at 66 High Street, The Whitfield and The Leete feature one-level units, with elevators that go from the parking garage or lobby up to each floor. 

Open Floor Plan Options

Open floor plans continue to be the most sought after design in homes. An open flow between the most used areas of the home – the kitchen, dining area, and living room – creates a feeling of connection. This holds true whether you are hosting a party or preparing a meal for your family.

With everything on one level, designing an open floor plan comes naturally. There is no family room in the basement or loft on the second level that becomes the gathering space. 

Increased Energy Efficiency

Single story homes usually have a floor plan that air naturally flows through. The HVAC system required for a one-level residence is more sustainable and generally less expensive than what is needed to heat and cool multiple levels properly. 

Easy to Maintain

Both the interior and exterior of single-level houses are easier to keep clean and maintain. Inside, your cleaning supplies and laundry room are on the same floor, which means you do not have to carry items up and down the stairs while cleaning. The exterior is also easier to maintain, whether you are power washing the siding, cleaning the windows, or clearing out gutters. 

With more people aging in place and staying in their homes throughout retirement, one-level living is becoming more sought after. Are you considering moving to a one-story residence? Contact us to discuss floor plan options. 

Concrete Flooring Finishes

Concrete has always been popular in garages, basements, and factories due to its durability and low-maintenance. When the only option was a dull gray color, concrete was kept out of more high-profile areas of homes and businesses. 

Textured concrete is changing the way people use this flooring option. Concrete is made with a natural composite material combined with a cement binder and water. Textured concrete can be made smooth, shiny, or with patterns to create the look that you want. 

We go through some of the finishes that can be applied to concrete, so this durable and low-maintenance flooring can also be a focal point in the design of your space. 

Polished Concrete

Polished concrete creates a modern feel that can be used in finished basements, kitchens, and living rooms. The process starts by grinding the surface of the floor to the desired smoothness. Then the surface is sealed to create a shiny surface and protect the flooring from moisture and stains. Several tenants in the 350 Goose Lane Office Park opted for polished concrete flooring due to its durability, low maintenance, and modern industrial look.

Stamped Concrete

For a look of paved brick or stone, concrete stamping is an option. Large polyurethane stamps are used on the surface of wet concrete to create a 3-D impression. After stamping, the concrete is sealed. Stamped concrete is often used in outdoor living spaces, such as patios or pool decks. 

Stenciled Concrete

Stenciling is similar to stamped concrete in that it is done on wet concrete that has been poured, floated, and edged. Stencils are made from disposable paper and pressed into the surface to create patterns. Popular stenciling options include mimicking the look of ceramic tile, bricks, or pavers. 

Color

To change the color of a new concrete floor before it is poured, you can add color hardeners or integral pigments directly into the material when being mixed. For subtle color changes, natural dyes are used, while chemical coloring can create brighter colors. 

For an existing concrete floor, you also have options to add in color. These include staining, painting, or using tinted concrete sealers. 

Concrete flooring is being used in residential interiors, outdoor living spaces, and commercial offices. The low-maintenance and highly durable flooring, combined with numerous design options, make concrete a popular choice.

Leete Condo sells at the Highest Price Per Square Foot in New Haven County

With sweeping views of the salt marsh and Long Island Sound, the stately Leete is one of the newly constructed buildings in the luxury development at the Residences at 66 High Street. While this award-winning development continues to grow, The Horton Group remains dedicated to providing residents with luxurious amenities and masterful craftsmanship in the heart of historic Guilford.

Two closings in the Leete building took place in the past month, including Unit 39, which became the highest price per square foot in New Haven County this year when it sold for $1,985,275. With more units under contract, we can’t help but reflect on the history, work, and community that has made this possible.

The History

The Horton Group took on the development of the Residences at 66 High Street, beginning with the transformation of the historic Mill building. Originally built in 1884, the building served many purposes, including a factory in World War II era. During this time, women were employed to assemble ball bearings for military vehicles, while the rear portion of the building doubled as a school for the children of factory workers. When renovating the building into 15 luxury condominiums, many original features were left intact, with units showcasing antique brick, steel, and exposed beams, paired with high-end finishes and modern day amenities.

The three new buildings on site, including the Leete, feature Type II-B construction with reinforced concrete and steel, which is high above the standard for new construction in the area. Each unit is thoughtfully laid out and designed to capture the most breathtaking views on the Connecticut shoreline.

The Work

As each year passes, the Residences at 66 High Street continue to showcase some of our best work. The development has received Home Building Industry Awards, or HOBIs, every year since 2016, including Project of the Year, Best Condominium Community, Best Historic Rehab, and Best Luxury Townhouse. As each new building goes up, we continue to pay attention to every detail, choose top quality products, and work with the best industry professionals. This work has allowed us to build a development we are proud of.

The Community

While the accolades are a perk, the community at 66 High Street is why we really love this work. Walking distance to shops, restaurants, and the Green, it is easy to enjoy all that downtown Guilford has to offer. Residents often gather together to walk their dogs, complete a workout in the fitness room, or enjoy an evening sharing laughs over a meal. When we first started this project, we envisioned a neighborhood feel, but never expected such a strong and welcoming community.

The community, combined with Guilford’s rich history and the quality work put into every unit, allows us to continue to create and sell luxury homes on the Connecticut shoreline. We are honored to have our work recognized, both by the Home Builders & Remodelers Association of Connecticut and by the people who chose to call 66 High Street home.

The recent closings and the units under contract, exclusively listed with One + Company at William Raveis Real Estate, speak to the work we have put in, and we are excited to watch as this community continues to grow.

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