Village Hill Project in Northampton Gathers Steam
November 21, 2011 : The Republican, by Fred Contrada
NORTHAMPTON – After a period of stagnation, the ball appears to be rolling for housing development on Village Hill, reviving hopes for a new neighborhood.
Last week, city and state officials gathered at the former Northampton State Hospital campus for a ceremony marking the completion of 11 energy-efficient Craftsman and Victorian homes, all of which have been sold and are already occupied. The success of that phase has led to an agreement between Wright Builders and MassDevelopment, which owns the property, to build six additional single-family homes in a new section of Village Hill.
As recently as two years ago, the majority of the Craftsman and Victorian homes, which are at the top of the price range on Village Hill, were still awaiting buyers. Jonathan A. Wright, the president of Wright Builders, bought one of the homes himself. Over the past year, however, the homes, which cost as much as $700,000, have been in demand.
Patrick M. Goggins of Goggins Real Estate, the company that is marketing the homes, said the homes went fast once the dam broke on consumer confidence in the project. The relocation of Kollmorgen Electro-Optical to the south part of the property across Route 66 helped spark interest, he said.
“It ended up breathing a lot of life into the project,” Goggins said.
The quality of the new homes was also a selling point, according to Goggins. Many of the houses feature front porches, passive solar heating and even rain gardens.
“That ends up being popular with people nowadays,” Goggins said. “We’ve heard an awful lot of positive feedback.”
With about 150 housing units already built or about to break ground, Village Hill is approximately half way to its maximum build-out. Designed to accommodate the entire spectrum of incomes, the housing ranges from apartments to townhouses to big single-family homes like the ones recently completed. The city estimates that the latest spate of houses will add more than $100,000 a year to the tax rolls.
© Copyright 2011 The Republican.