FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) — Fancy living in an adorable little home, cute as a white picket fence house on a Hollywood movie set, an American flag flying outside your window?
Ground was broken this week on Dupont Meadows, a 250-unit rental home community development in the 2200 block of Dupont Road, just behind Walmart at Lima and Dupont roads. Built by Next Chapter Neighborhoods, a development company out of Augusta, Georgia, the rental homes, to be built on 55 wooded acres, will be available starting early next year.
Dupont Meadows will offer homes from one-bedroom, one-bathroom in size to four-bedroom, three bathrooms, ranging from 839 to 1,804 square feet. About 35% of the homes will be 2-story and all but 13 will have a garage. Rental prices range from $1,500 to $2,400 per month.
Dupont Meadows is a conceptual type development, a creation of a community maintained by the company, according to its spokesman Andrew Malzer. On the grounds there will be a pool, dog park and social center.
“Our communities function and operate similarly to a luxury apartment complex,” Malzer wrote in an email response. “Next Chapter Neighborhoods maintains the entire community – landscaping, maintenance, amenities, cleanliness, etc. We are not a neighborhood full of individual rental homes managed by individual owners and their tenants.”
The project is the first one the company is developing in the region, but company founders have been looking at the Fort Wayne market for 15 years, Malzer said, describing the city as an “hour from nowhere and two hours from everywhere.
“The trendy markets of Nashville, Austin, Charlotte and Orlando make it very difficult to find 30 plus acres that our developments need. We prefer to target more tertiary, stable markets that align with our mission statement of trying to build great neighborhoods for great neighbors.”
While the development sits behind a major commercial area that includes Wal-Mart and Pet Smart, there are restaurants and other amenities within walking distance. Salomon Farm Park and the Parkview YMCA ,less than 2 miles away, are just two. A Starbucks across from the Walmart Supercenter is maybe a mile.
The development is not a favorite with neighbors across the wooded area currently being buzzed by earthmovers.
Marvin Stark bought his home on Dupont Road in 2007, just a year after Wal-Mart opened its doors, he said.
“The roads are busy now. What’s it going to be like for us to get on the road with all they’re building?” said Stark. The neighbors across the road are generally opposed to the development because of the busy road, that will likely have to be widened to a 4-lane road, and the loss of the woods, he said.
The existing homes on Dupont Road got city sewers about three years ago after the area was annexed by Fort Wayne four years ago, Stark said.
On the other hand, he was pleased the developers told residents at a meeting in October that the property would be maintained by the company.
Next Chapter Neighborhoods has two similar communities in North Augusta, South Carolina and another outside Savannah, Georgia for a total of about 500 units, Malzer said. He added that the company has targeted a few nearby sites for its next development once Dupont Meadows is “well underway.”
“We feel that our upscale, single family rental community does not exist in the current marketplace. Up to this point, this has been all but confirmed to us as we have already received calls from numerous locals inquiring about getting on our waiting list,” Malzer said.