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Upscale housing projects proposed in Perkasie

By Stephen Althouse, WFMZ.com Reporter, news@wfmz.com
Published On: Apr 21 2014 11:57:08 PM CDT
Updated On: Apr 22 2014 05:15:23 AM CDT
PERKASIE, Pa. -

While a dollar may not stretch as far as it used to, 28 million of them still cover a lot of ground.

Or if you live in the Borough of Perkasie it's the total price tag for two proposed upscale residential housing projects that were presented before council at its Monday night meeting.

"Any way you look at it this is a huge plus for our community," said the borough's director of economic development, Stephen Barth, of the development proposed by Warrington, Pa.-based Hallmark Homes Group.

The larger of the two housing projects would be located off South Main Street and feature 58 homes over 26 acres of land, while the second development would be located just off Ninth Street and Park Avenue in the borough with 18 homes.

Hallmark officials noted Monday night the homes are not exactly what you would call economy class.

The homes in smaller development are in the lower 2,000 square foot range and list between $300,000 and $400,000, while the houses in the larger development encompass anywhere between 2,500 to more than 3,000 square feet with a price tag starting at $400,000 up to half a million dollars.

This is well beyond the value of an average home in the borough, said Barth. Should the upscale development receive approval, it would "raise property values for existing homes," according to Barth.

In addition, the borough would also reap new real estate transfer and earned income tax, among others, to increase their revenue.

In addition the homes are the latest trend in residential housing, according to Barth and Hallmark official.

Termed "cluster housing," the lots are smaller than in many previous developments, thus allowing property owners more time to "live an active lifestyle" according to Barth, and not be inundated with the upkeep sometimes associated with owning a larger parcel of land.

Both proposed developments feature an open space ratio of 45 percent or greater of the total acreage of the development, thus keeping in line with the borough's open space ordinances and providing residents with communal property to enjoy.

Hallmark officials are asking council to reduce lot requirements in the proposed developments by 10 square feet for each lot.

That didn't exactly thrill Vice President James Purcell who said Monday night he would not be in favor of that and was also "concerned" about a multitude of basin lots on the property.

Hallmark officials are still gathering information on the sites including soil and rock testing and Monday night's meeting was an initial session.

In other business Monday night, borough Manager Andrea Coaxum was awarded a new two-year employment contract, expiring March 17,2016. She will receive a salary of $97,000 plus benefits annually.