Upper-market housing planned

PHILADELPHIA — A local developer is reviving plans to build a high-end, 135-home subdivision just west of Greenfield — a move local officials say could drive more economic activity to the area.

Phil Going, owner of Accura Land Surveying, said he hopes to begin construction this summer on the 80-acre property, which lies just northwest of U.S. 40 and County Road 200W. The project was approved a decade ago, and building was originally slated to begin in 2007 but was put on hold when the recession hit. Now, Going said it’s time to move forward.

Homes in the subdivision will be customized to buyers’ specifications, fetching anywhere from $350,000 to $750,000, Going said.

By offering homes targeted toward affluent homebuyers, the neighborhood would fill a gap in the county’s housing options, local officials say.

As county officials seek to bring high-paying jobs to the area, they also have to provide a selection of residences suited to affluent, executive-level homebuyers, said Skip Kuker, executive director of the Hancock Economic Development Council.

“Having that kind of development is just as important as having the big industrial parks and corporate headquarters,” Kuker said.

Plans for the neighborhood were initially approved by county officials in 2006, according to local records, but the economic recession and subsequent housing crisis stymied chances of construction beginning in 2007, as originally intended, Going said.

The property also is designed to hold a water and sewage treatment facility that would provide service to the homes on the development — something most of the homes surrounding the area don’t have access to.

Going is currently considering leasing the utility facility out to NineStar Connect, a Greenfield-based Internet and electric utility provider that in January announced plans to begin offering water and sewer services to businesses and residences that are dependent on well water and septic systems.

Terms of an agreement haven’t yet been decided, Going said.

Plans call for a community park to be built by an entrance to the neighborhood off County Road 200W, Going said. The community will also have a network of paved trails, he said.

The neighborhood, which straddles the Buck Creek-Sugar Creek township line, would feed into both Mt. Vernon and Southern Hancock school systems.

In coming weeks, Going said he plans to seek building permits to begin construction. He hopes to break ground this summer, and estimates construction will go on in phases based on consumer demand over the next six years.

Buck Creek Township trustee Melvin Branson said the neighborhood will be a positive development for the region, boosting the property values of surrounding land.

“It could be a real plus for the area,” he said.

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Daniel Morgan is a reporter at the Greenfield Daily Reporter. He can be reached at (317) 477-3228 or dmorgan@greenfieldreporter.com.