Earlier this month, nearly twenty Australian architects, developers and builders in search of new ideas trekked to the Main Line to tour an innovative green community designed especially for boomers.
Haverford Reserve, a “lifestyle community” located just off Darby Road in Haverford Township, was honored to host members of the Queensland chapter of the Urban Development Institute of Australia. Haverford Reserve was the exclusive stop in Philadelphia during their week-long tour of the northeastern United States.
The group was welcomed by Todd Pohlig of the Pohlig Companies, builders of the Athertyn condominium residences, and David Mercuris of The Goldenberg Group, developers who have partnered with custom builder Guidi Homes to create the built-to-order Carriage Homes.
At the plush Athertyn Clubhouse, the men described the intense competition among developers to acquire the 209 acre site…their vision for preserving 120 acres of woodlands…and their approach to designing a community for a generation born between 1946 and 1964. Their winning plan added 1,500 trees to the property, reduced storm water management by over 50%, and reserved significant acreage for Haverford Township to create playing fields, a playground, walking and biking trails, and the award-winning Recreational and Environmental Center.
In addition to learning about the Reserve’s environmental innovations, the Australians also came to see the home designs that were proving so attractive to affluent Boomers. According to Todd Pohlig, these empty nesters want to stay close to friends and social clubs, crave a maintenance-free “lock and leave” lifestyle, and are ready to “right-size” their homes, but demand very high-end finishes and amenities.
The attentive audience asked about the sizes of residences, the customization process, and marketing strategies. David Mercuris explained, “Rather than set age restrictions, we focus on delivering the amenities our buyers want.” Both Athertyn and the Carriage Homes continue to refine their residential designs based on feedback from buyers.
After the presentation, the guests toured the Athertyn and Carriage Home models, and were deeply impressed by the expansive spaces, extensive use of luxe materials and appliances, and the high level of craftsmanship throughout. One architect said that in Australia, she only sees this level of detailing in custom homes: “Tastes are quite different. We have cleaner lines, and rarely have wallpaper or timber paneling. But without a doubt, the craftsmanship is astounding.”
The group also admired the natural beauty of the neighborhood set in a nature preserve. “The privacy is remarkable,” said architect Marina Vit. “There’s a sense of being part of nature that gives you a very warm feeling. I can appreciate how close friendships can form so quickly in this setting.”
Phil Goodman, CEO of Pradella Property Ventures, effectively summed up the feelings of the group: “Custom quality like this doesn’t exist back home. Haverford Reserve has had the same effect on each of us; we all walked in and went ‘Wow!’ Delivering this level of choice to each buyer is simply incredible.”