• Groen Construction

Groen Builders Home Featured in "Building A Village"

ROCHESTER, NH — These days, Carol Bailey and her daughter Melissa have Constitution Way all to themselves. They don't have to fret over a neighbor's dogs getting in their yard or their mail going to the wrong home. Sounds good, right? Actually, Carol can't wait for her neighbors to arrive. "People will talk to each other," she said. "It's like revisiting the '50s or something. People lived in close, tight neighborhoods back then." "Close, tight neighborhoods" — that describes the vision behind Little Quarry, the under-construction first phase of a residential development off Old Dover Road called The Village of Clark Brook. It's a "traditional neighborhood development" and one of the first to be created in New England in the past 100 years, according to chief developer Peter Whitman. Instead of large lots with big, cookie-cutter homes, the Little Quarry homes are on smaller lots around what will be shared open space. They are close to the road to create a welcoming feel. Four of the first phase's 23 approved house lots have been built on, but the Baileys are the only ones there. The other three houses await buyers. Whitman said he's building more $300,000-range homes based on demand, and expects the phase to be complete by the next building season. An independent agency awarded the 5-star plus energy rating to the phase's largest completed home, citing its insulation, an efficient boiler and radiant, in-floor heating, Whitman said. Bailey decided to move out of her larger Stratham home and into her "cozy" 2,000 square-foot bungalow-style abode in June. She wanted to be closer to her job at Federal Savings Bank in Dover and volunteer work at Wentworth-Douglass Hospital and the Greater Dover Chamber of Commerce. "At this point in my life I didn't want another colonial, but I still wanted a home that would fit all my furniture and be a reflection of who I am," she said. "This fits the bill." Her favorite spot is the front porch, but she loves the eat-in kitchen, walk-in closets and the living room's bump-out area, a great place for reading. The home features an open interior design concept. In front of the home, granite curbing runs along the completed portion of the elm tree-lined street. The city approved The Village of Clark Brook as a 262-dwelling neighborhood. Though Little Quarry offers different styles and sizes for single-family homes, future phases will also be anchored by townhouses, condominiums and flats. The entire development is 130 acres, with 55 acres dedicated to open space.

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* Carol Bailey waits for furniture to arrive, in front of her new home on Constitution Way, one of 23 homes to be built in the first phase of the neighborhood-building project. (Krauss/Democrat photo)

"The intent in future phases is to offer a broad range of housing types, allowing singles, young married couples, families and the 55-and-better set a place to live," Whitman said. "Scandinavians call it 'whole-life housing,' where neighborhood housing can meet the needs of residents during many different phases of their life."Groen Builders of Rochester and Homeward Development of Rye are building the homes, described as semi-custom dwellings with low-maintenance exteriors and upgraded interior finishes.One of Homeward Development's on-site 1,800-square-foot bungalows features three bedrooms, granite countertops and "custom nooks" throughout, Whitman said. The city's chief planner, Michael Behrendt, said the project combats a century worth of zoning regulations that encouraged large-lot subdivisions that led to sprawl. The project "seeks to re-establish a true feeling of community, where you know your neighbors and everyone looks out for one another," he said. The development sits in the middle of the state's plan for building Exit 10 off the Spaulding Turnpike. Whitman has long said he sees potential for 'life-style retail" corridors connecting residents with retail. But it doesn't look like the exit will be built anytime soon considering the Department of Transportation's funding woes. Whitman is developing the project with G. Michael Dorvillier, a California resident who became involved after deciding to build a home there for his mother, Deanna, a city resident.

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