FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) — Sometime next year, ground will break on new homes and townhomes on Maplecrest Road, a mile from busy commercial development that includes a Target, Walgreens, Burger King and a Casa Grille Italiano.
While the area seems to be fully developed with housing additions lining both sides of Maplecrest, there was some acreage surrounding W.C. Borchelt at 6332 Maplecrest that seemed a perfect spot to builder Matt Lancia of Matt Lancia Signature Homes.
The 13 acres wraps around the heating and air conditioning business that’s been there since 1962 and will remain on 2.5 acres, according to Brad Borchelt, whose grandfather bought the business in 1967.
On the 9.3 acres behind Borchelt’s, Lancia is planning to build 34 homes on land that has lain fallow or been farmed, somehow escaping the continued development of the area that saw its building boom start in the 1960s.
Homes at The Coves at Jonathon Oaks will connect to the established subdivisions of Hillsboro and Jonathon Oaks and be priced in the $200,000 range because you can’t build a home for any cheaper, Lancia said. The acreage which will include a detention basin is already zoned for single family homes.
The Coves at Jonathon Oaks will mirror the size of nearby homes at about 1,800 square feet with a minimum of a two-car garage and vary from one, one and half and two-stories, Lancia said.
On a 4-acre strip of land on the west side of Borchelt, Lancia’s development company, Burlington Properties, is planning to build 24 townhomes for rent. Lancia said the townhouses will be 2-story, 2-3 bedrooms in size with a single car garage. The land is currently zoned R-1 for single family homes which Lancia is asking to change to R-3 or multifamily zoning in order to build the development called Paxton Place.
“The development is pretty convenient to the 469 interstate and less than 10 minutes away from the Parkview Regional Medical Center,” Lancia said.
But that’s not all Lancia has planned for construction in Allen County. Copper Horse, located .4 of a mile north of Dupont Road on Tonkel Road, is under construction with townhomes for sale, a development he calls a precedent for the area, because of its convenience and being a more affordable housing option. Copper Horse features 14 buildings, 57 units on eight acres, Lancia said.
Lancia foresees selling the units that will range between 1,550 and 1,850 square feet from $229.9 to $269.99, he said. The bigger townhomes will feature a master bedroom on the first level and a 2-car garage.
The housing options also fit in with need and perceived need for affordable or economically attainable homes, Sarah Jones, Allen County principal planner told WANE.
“There is very much a need for more affordable and attainable options for housing, not just here in Allen County, but I think everywhere,” Jones said in an email. “More options and types of housing help contribute to affordability.”
With the idea that individuals or families shouldn’t spend more than 30% of their income on housing, that leaves people out of the single family homes market with many homes built in subdivisions in the southwest and northwest areas of the county costing between $300,000 and $400,000.
With the price of construction fluctuating, some homebuilders try to build a price for say, timber, into the contract. Lancia says he builds a lot of homes “on spec” so the selling price is more predictable.
“Prices are going up with everything that’s purchased. It’s important to come with ways to help with the affordability,” Lancia said during a sit-down interview Tuesday.