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Buffalo Township housing development changes plans

| Monday, April 22, 2013, 12:01 a.m.

A Buffalo Township housing development stymied by the down economy is slated to be expanded beginning this summer.

The latest layout of The Village at Sarver's Mill housing development is designed to attract families.

“We thought we'd have a much bigger market to develop a single-family residential development,” said Jim Rumbaugh, president of The Meritage Group, of Plum, the new developer. “We made the lots bigger and spread it out. We believe that's where the market is in that area.”

The Meritage Group purchased the development from Sarver Square Associates in October.

Sarver Square began development of the housing plan off Sarver Road in 2001 with the intention of constructing 256 units, which were to be a combination of single-family and townhome-style homes.

In 2004, the developer reduced the number of units to 189.

This latest move reduces the total units to 151, including the 51 that already have been constructed. Only single-family homes will be built, and the lot size was increased from about 50 feet to 75 feet.

“We didn't necessarily agree with the original master plan,” Rumbaugh said. “Maybe 10 to 12 years ago that concept was okay.”

Phase 2 is proposed to include 21 lots in the center of the complex on an extension of Hidden Cliff Road. In phase 3, 25 lots would be constructed on each side of phase 2. Phases 4 and 5 are proposed to include 54 lots.

Buffalo Township Supervisors recently approved the new master plan.

Supervisor John Haven said officials are pleased that the development is moving forward and will bring new residents into the township.

“Right now, any development is good development for any township or municipality,” he said. “These homes will be upper middle class-type homes, and the taxes generated from them will certainly help us out.”

Rumbaugh said his group anticipates it will take about five years to complete the development, based on selling 20 units a year.

S&A Homes and Suncrest Homes, the original builders, will continue to construct homes there. Residents will have varied construction options, including a ranch style built on a concrete slab or a two-story home with a basement.

Single-family homes have become a popular option for buyers, said Debbie Puskar, a real estate agent with Howard Hanna Real Estate Services, which markets Sarver's Mill.

“They like to feel like they have their own little piece of ground,” Puskar said.

She said The Meritage Group is working with potential buyers to meet their expectations.

“The perfect figure seems to be $280,000, but (buyers) want everything for that: four bedrooms, a two-car garage, three baths,” she said. “The Meritage Group, they seem to be going after that dollar figure; they seem to be in touch with the customer.”

Jodi Weigand is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 724-226-4702 orjweigand@tribweb.com.

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