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Construction expected next year on 275-home subdivision

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For the first time in five years, a new subdivision is planned in Greenwood, and construction is expected to start next year.

Indianapolis developer Arbor Homes plans to build 275 single-family houses in Briarstone, located on 77 acres at Emerson Avenue and Worthsville Road, vice president of sales and marketing Steve Hatchel said.

Arbor Homes still needs final approvals and to determine the types and prices of homes they plan to build. The new neighborhood will include one- and two-story, production-built homes that will be constructed in six sections over the next few years. The number of homes built each year will depend on the housing market, but Hatchel said the company could build 40 to 80 houses a year.

The homebuilding company decided to start the new subdivision now because the company has filled up sections of other subdivisions it owns, and the population in the Worthsville Road area is growing, Hatchel said.

New Subdivision

Name: Briarstone

Location: Emerson Avenue and Worthsville Road in Greendood

Developer: Arbor Homes

Number of homes: 275

Acres: 77

Home style and price range: Still being determined

Projected construction: Start in 2014

“There’s an opportunity there to fill a housing need,” Hatchel said.

Planning officials across the county expect developers to start new neighborhoods or build in planned subdivisions that are currently empty within the next few years, although none has an application for a new neighborhoods right now.

In the unincorporated areas of the county, a new subdivision hasn’t been built since 2006, planning director Bryan Pohl said. And in Franklin, no developers have broken ground on a new neighborhood since 2002, senior planner Joanna Myers said.

But since the economic downturn, developers have been filling in sections of existing subdivisions and, like in Greenwood, will have to start building new neighborhoods in upcoming years, planning officials said.

Arbor Homes has owned the 77-acre property, which is currently farmland, since 2005 and applied to build a subdivision there in 2008, Greenwood senior planner Bill Peeples said. But the company held off on building the homes and had to apply for another approval.

Arbor Homes and other local developers have focused on adding new sections to existing neighborhoods, such as Greenwood Station, and building in subdivisions that already had roads and sewers in place, such as Honey Creek Meadows, Peeples said.

Now, those subdivisions are filling up, and developers have to move on to new neighborhoods, Peeples said.

Last year, Arbor Homes began building in Honey Creek Meadows, which was planned in 2008, after filling up many of the sections in existing subdivisions, Hatchel said.

“I think what happens is the inventory gets depleted, and the only option is to develop new communities,” he said.

Arbor Homes still has to get two approvals from the Greenwood planning department for the new subdivision, but Peeples said he expects the process to be complete by April.

At least six other neighborhoods are near where Briarstone will go, and Peeples said more subdivisions likely will be added as upcoming road projects bring more traffic to the area.

Next year, the Indiana Department of Transportation plans to start work on a new interchange for Interstate 65 at Worthsville Road, and Greenwood plans to widen Worthsville Road starting this year.

“We think there is demand there, sure. I think any increased traffic in the area and increased development will draw more people to that area,” Hatchel said.

Peeples also expects new subdivisions to pop up along Honey Creek and Stones Crossing roads on the southwest side of the city in the next few years as more businesses open there, he said.

More new neighborhoods could end up being built in that area while construction is being done on the new interchange, Peeples said.

“I would anticipate to see continued development on the west side and maybe people sitting around on the east side, waiting until the interchange is complete,” Peeples said.

No developers have made any proposals to build new subdivisions in the unincorporated areas of Johnson County, but Pohl said they could soon as more businesses open in that area and more road improvement projects are finished.

Pohl expects developers to look at building new subdivisions in the Center Grove area, where they could easily hook up to existing utilities.

Two neighborhoods in that area, which were planned before the economic downturn, have space for new homes, but Pohl said no developer has applied to build there yet.

“I’ve heard a couple murmurs of things happening. There’s still a lot of inventory for developers out there,” he said.

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