Harmony with surroundings guides new developments

GRAND TRAVERSE/LEELANAU – There are two new developments springing up in Northern Michigan and both have taken the natural beauty and the charming character of the area into consideration as the buildings go up.

Bay View is under construction along Lake Michigan near Suttons Bay. This development, built by Livingston Building Company, will add 54 waterfront condominiums, 8 detached bay view condos, 2 single family home sites and 4 professional office condos to the area. This phase alone will more than double the size of Suttons Bay Village.

Such enormous changes could have a profound effect on the area but Village Manager, Chuck Stewart, has already looked into the future and the future looks bright. He said that the developer has been extremely cooperative and is currently implementing revitalization plans that the Village had in place. For starters, trees will be planted along Village streets and park benches are to be added. The TART trail will run right through the new development instead of outside of it, encouraging the development and the Village to become one community.

Stewart also doesn’t see Village infrastructures being challenged, despite the fact that traffic will increase.

“The increased numbers means that we may finally be able to get the speed limits reduced through here,” said Stewart, adding he sees many benefits for the public schools in the area.

Village residents will also have access to many of Bay View’s amenities which Stewart says will be open to the public.

As far as new residents in the development, Shelly Gorham with Livingston Building says that some units have been purchased for year-round occupancy and some have been purchased as vacation homes, making the total number of people moving to the area a variable.

The residential condominium units are approximately 2,000-2,300 square feet and include luxury features such as granite countertops in the kitchen and master baths with two-person whirlpool tubs and separate ceramic showers.

The exterior of the units feature classic architecture with an extensive use of stone and should blend seamlessly with the vintage homes of Suttons Bay Village, Stewart noted.

Gorham says, “Some of the other perks are the indoor/outdoor swimming pool, clubhouse, walking trails with extensive beautiful landscaping that will be done. The view from both the front and the back will be breathtaking.”

Pre-construction prices on these units range from $520,000 to $690,000. Phase I of Bay View is slated to be complete by December of 2005. Once Phase I is complete the builder anticipates beginning Phase II.

Just down the road a bit in Solon Township in Leelanau County and Long Lake Township in Grand Traverse County is 177 acres of hardwood forest that will become the Cedar Valley Ridge development.

The developer for this property is Dan Paulson and according to Kimberly Creamer of Signature Realty, this is his first development. She says that he has been a builder all of his life and was one of the first builders in the area to build earth sheltered homes in the 1980s.

Paulson has owned the Cedar Valley Ridge property for over 10 years and is committed to developing the land in an ecologically sensitive way. The development will only have 35 home sites in order to offer residents maximum green space/common area.

Prices for the lots start at $75,000 and they range in size from 1.25 acres to 1.75 acres. All will share in the more than 130 acres of common area.

The common area will include four miles of groomed nature trails around the perimeter, a stream and a meadow. There is also potential for a future pond.

Houses for these lots will be governed by an architectural control committee. Homes must be at least 1,800 square feet and restrictions will be placed on building to promote green building practices.

“There will be a $5,000 rebate for a green-built home within the first three years of purchase,” Creamer noted.

This will be monitored by the Home Builders Association of Grand Traverse Area Inc. For a $300 fee they will also do the inspection to determine if the home has earned enough points to be designated Green Built.

All homes are to be single family only and no living tree over six inches in diameter may be removed unless approved by the design review committee. Yards will utilize the existing natural cover with a limited lawn area of 25% maximum.

Two lots have already been purchased and ground breaking for the first home is imminent.

For more information on Bay View call 866-4-BayView and for information on Cedar Valley Ridge contact Kimberly Creamer at Signature Realty 271-6602. BN