The excitement was in the air Tuesday afternoon as the shovels bit into the ground to officially signify the start of work on The Cottages on Cantrell.
City of Waxahachie officials, community leaders, the public and members of the building community gathered to celebrate the start of this new development, located in the 900 block of Cantrell St.
The Cottages on Cantrell will feature 73 cottage style homes arranged in eight pods, with the homes in each cluster centering on shared green space. The goal of the green space is to bring people together and build community in the neighborhood, developers have said.
Aspen Community Development Vice President Blain Vinson told the crowd gathered at the site that the project had been in the works since 2015.
“This has been a long time coming,” he said. “This has been over four years of passion that Scott Pendery (Aspen president) and I have had over this cottage community. We are just tickled to death to bring it to Waxahachie finally and find the right property the was big enough for us.
“We are getting a lot of feedback and a lot of excitement surrounds it,” he said. “People are saying what we were hoping for, that they are tired of living in apartments. Tired of living in townhouses but want to own their home, but miss that sense of community.”
Vinson said The Cottages on Cantrell are unique in the sense that it is a multi-generational community and incorporates a selection of custom cottage homes designed specifically for a large living feeling on a small footprint. He envisions residents ranging from young professionals to empty nesters looking for a greater sense of community and the opportunity to visit with their neighbors.
Residents have five different home styles to choose from along with two types of elevations. Homes will be available in 945-, 1,192-, 1,393-, 1,482- and 1,766-square feet. Homes include a private front yard bordered with a three-foot picket fence and a four-foot wrought-iron Kent style for the backyard. Near the homes will be detached garages. The development is not age-restricted.
Within each pod will be a 720-square foot carriage house that can be used by residents for different types of gatherings. The carriage house will feature an outdoor patio, full-size kitchen, bathroom, open living area and storage space.
“If you look at each pod, at the very end is a carriage house,” Vinson said. “[It’s a] space where someone can have a birthday party for their daughter or son, or the neighbors be able to congregate on a beautiful night outside. That is what the carriage house concept is, it is driving people to meet in a meeting place and have that available to them.”
Some of the amenities that residents will have access to include a 2,000-square foot gym, dog park and walking trails. A bridge will be constructed on the property to connect residents to a city park, the Bullard Heights Neighborhood Park.
With its natural beauty, the property enhances the development, Vinson said.
“The biggest challenge that we had was finding the right piece of property,” he said. “Luckily, you stand here today on 17.5 acres that we were lucky enough to find and didn’t have to put it in a cornfield or a cow pasture. This is a piece of property that is beautiful that has some amazing topography and will lend a hand in giving the project the credit that it needs.”
Work on the site has already started with construction crews building roads and putting the infrastructure in place. It is estimated home construction will start in the late first quarter or second quarter of 2020. Prices on the homes will range from the mid $200,000s up to $400,000.
Aspen Community Development founder and president, Scott Pendery, said he’s proud of the work put in by everyone and the support the project has received. He added that he’s excited to see construction starting.
“We are excited that we are having our groundbreaking and our first ceremony out here,” he said. “We thought that we would get here a little sooner. We sort of learned that it takes a long time to navigate through the process but we are excited that the city stood behind us on this. Everyone is excited and they’ve said, ‘Hurry up.’ They want it built and so do we.
“When we put the sign up, Blaine’s number is up on the board and he immediately started getting phone calls,” Pendery said. “People were asking what the rules and regulations were. If there is an age limit, which there is not, and asking what square footages and floorplans are. He has been busy talking to folks and just educating them.”
The goal of the project was to bring a project the community is proud to have, Pendery said.
Aspen’s office is located at 2801 N. U.S. Highway 77, Suite 210, Waxahachie. The office number is 469-964-5023.