Three builders in Hansen Village, Richmond American Homes, Woodside Homes and Signature Homes, have already acquired building lots, and Richmond is the first to begin construction of models, according to Dave Sargent of Shea Homes, one of the community’s master developers.
“We’re excited to see building starting in the Hansen neighborhood,” he said. “There are three (model) houses almost done out there. Richmond started on their models at the beginning of the month. They’re well along.”
The three initial developers will all build homes with the village’s farmhouse architectural theme, he said.
One of the attractions of the new village is the community high school, which is slated to open in August on Central Parkway off Mustang Way.
“The high school will definitely be a big draw,” Sargent said.
The new housing stock doesn’t only expand the population ; the additional rooftops also mean the community is closer to getting some needed amenities, said Morgan Groover, Mountain House community development manager.
“It’s a win-win,” he said. “A lot of things are triggered by how many rooftops are here. I heard 5,000 rooftops, we get a Safeway. We’re at 4,100 rooftops, and we’re getting closer to that magic number of 5,000 where we start getting marketable for retail to come here.”
According to statistics provided by Groover, the Mountain House Community Services District issued 53 building permits to builders in Fiscal Year 2009-10, 144 in 2010-11, 228 in 2011-12, 444 in 2012-13 and 207 since July 1 .
“Before the housing bubble burst, we issued 878 building permits in 2005-2006,” he said. “That was the highest year that we had.”
Now, Groover is feeling optimistic about renewed growth.
“I’m hearing people coming to buy the homes (in Mountain House) have good FICA scores and the down payment,” he said. “I think this is a good opportunity for us.”
Richmond, a Denver-based builder, has plans to add 74 single-family lots in Hansen Village to its stock of 89 lots in Questa Village.
Craig Merry, the Northern California division president, said Richmond was attracted to Mountain House by the town’s sense of community.
“The biggest draw in general is the community and the schools overall,” he said. “We love that.”
He said the company’s success in Questa made the move into Hansen a logical choice. Richmond’s houses in Hansen are expected to run 2,100 to 2,400 square feet per house size, a smaller footprint than its Questa houses, which range from 2,300 to 3,200 square feet. He said the floor plans will be more traditional, with garage access in the front, as opposed to alley access.
Richmond anticipates opening models June 7, Merry said.
Woodside will begin construction of model homes across from the high school soon, according Brian Cutting, director of Woodside land acquisitions.
“We purchased 77 finished lots, all single family,” he said April 30. “We will break ground probably sometime in the next week or two.”
He said Woodside would have three different floor plans at roughly 2,500 square feet, 2,800 square feet and 3,000 square feet.
“We think this is a great opportunity to serve our customers,” he said. “We build a lot of homes in Manteca, in Lathrop and Tracy. We think the local population is looking for fantastic home opportunities in the Mountain House and Tracy area.”
Cutting said his company had been watching the development of Mountain House for several years, but its Hansen project, Heritage at Hansen Village, would be Woodside’s first venture into the community.
The rebound of Mountain House’s growth caught the eye of Signature Homes, according to Kathleen Butler, president of Stone Group, which represents the developer.
“I think they had their eye on Mountain House for years,” she said. “They were just waiting for the (housing) market, the economy, to come back. We think the buyer profile looks really good out there. It really appeals to young families.
“We thought, in terms of a family community, it’s a wonderful location.”
Butler said Signature planned to break ground May 1 to build its model homes, aiming to complete the first phase of development by June 1. She said the models — at 1,987, 2,113 and 2,288 square feet — would all have garage access off a rear alley.
Officials for the three developers said home prices have yet to be determined.
• Contact Denise Ellen Rizzo at firstname.lastname@example.org or 830-4225.