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Wright Builders Completes Morningside, Eastview Homes at Village Hill Northampton

November 18, 2011

Kelsey Abbruzzese, MassDevelopment, 617-330-2086 & 617-448-9077 (cell)
Melissa Caldwell, Wright Builders, 413-586-8287

Northampton Mayor-elect David Narkewicz and MassDevelopment COO Nancy Howard today joined Wright Builders Founder and Co-Owner Jonathan Wright to celebrate the completion of the Morningside and Eastview Homes at Village Hill Northampton, the latest example of sustainable development in the community. The Morningside Homes consist of 11 environmentally-friendly single-family homes in the Victorian and Craftsman styles. The Eastview Homes are an 11-unit Craftsman-style townhouse complex. These homes are Energy Star and LEED-certified and exemplify New Urbanist neighborhood principles.

Wright Builders also announced its continued involvement at Village Hill Northampton, reaching an agreement with MassDevelopment for Village Hill’s newest neighborhood of single family homes. The area, called Beechwood, will abut Beech Tree Park with panoramic view, at the corner of Olander Drive and the soon-to-be-built Ford Crossing.

The proposed homes will range in size from 1,700 to 2,200 square feet, in Farmhouse and Craftsman styles, be registered for LEED Certification, and meet the 2012 Energy Star 3.0 standards.

“In a difficult housing market, Wright Builders has sold every one of the Morningside and Eastview homes and incorporated green elements,” said MassDevelopment COO Nancy Howard. “Sustainable practices and New Urbanist principles are increasingly important to homeowners locally and statewide, and we're pleased to work with the City of Northampton, builder-developers, and Village Hill residents to provide these housing options.”

Several other Village Hill Northampton developments have made green practices a priority. Agora Homes and Development, LLC, a company specializing in high quality, smart growth development using energy-efficient modular homes, has signed an agreement with MassDevelopment to build four new, moderately priced cottages on Laurel Street at Village Hill Northampton. Village Hill's Hilltop Apartments are Energy Star-rated, and its Hillside Place’s apartments have a solar panel electric supply through a grant from the Massachusetts Technology Collaborative. Kollmorgen, a high technology optics/sensing and motion systems company, has low-impact development site design, interior day lighting, and solar panels on the roof of its new headquarters.

“Working together with MassDevelopment, talented designers, architects, and site designers, along with the visionary planners in Northampton, we have created a new benchmark for sustainable development in the region,” said Wright Builders Founder and Co-Owner Jonathan Wright. “Our buyers love the buildings and lifestyle.”

New Urbanism is a growing movement among planners, urban designers, architects, developers, public officials, and residents working to promote neighborhood-based development as an alternative to sprawl. The movement seeks to improve quality of life by reducing commuting times; increasing the supply of available and safe alternative transportation options; and preserving natural resources.

Village Hill Northampton is a master-planned community that combines commercial, R&D/light industrial, and residential uses with open space to support regional job creation, business development, and recreational opportunities. Volz Clarke Associates, Inc., a manufacturer of high-end furniture and millwork, became Village Hill’s first commercial tenant in 2008 with the completion of a 20,000-square-foot office and manufacturing facility. Kollmorgen, a high technology optics/sensing and motion systems company, moved into its new 140,000-square-foot headquarters in January.

Construction is completed or underway for many of the 300 single-family homes, cottages, condominiums, townhomes, and apartments planned for Village Hill Northampton. Officials from MassDevelopment, the project’s developer, estimate that at full build-out Village Hill will support the creation or retention of up to 800 jobs.

MassDevelopment, the state’s finance and development agency, works with businesses, nonprofits, financial institutions, and communities to stimulate economic growth across the Commonwealth. During FY2011, MassDevelopment financed or managed more than 300 projects generating investment of nearly $3.8 billion in the Massachusetts economy. These projects are projected to create 10,676 jobs (2,547 permanent and 8,129 construction) and 1,323 housing units (309 new and 1,014 rehab).