Sometimes, success in real estate comes down to timing. Even a prime location with well-designed homes isn’t guaranteed to weather an economic downturn, especially one like the Great Recession, which virtually froze residential construction across the nation for several years.
That was the case with Magnolia Lakes, a low-maintenance, active-adult community in Chester that went into development in 2006.
“The location was great, the community had the right components and amenities, and the original developer had a great idea to develop the area’s first active-adult community,” said Roger Glover III, owner of Cornerstone Homes LLC. “They just ran into financial trouble.”
The Magnolia Lakes community is located near the intersection of Iron Bridge and Blossom Point roads.
Glover bought the development in 2013, after approximately 30 of Phase 1’s planned 130 condominiums had been built. In addition to the finished houses, the original developer had built a clubhouse and a swimming pool, as well as installing roads and the infrastructure for the condos in the first phase of construction.
Glover expanded the community’s amenities, including adding a boardwalk and a pavilion at the community’s lake, and he introduced new floor plans for the Craftsman-style condos. In the meantime, the economy began recovering, and sales in Magnolia Lakes picked up.
In all, Cornerstone, which is the development’s sole builder, built 105 condos.
“We sold out a year ago,” Glover said.
Buoyed by the sales, Glover launched Phase 2 of the development, which he named The Cove at Magnolia Lakes. Phase 2 will add an additional 67 homes to the community, on 12 acres of land. While the homes in The Cove will be built in the Craftsman style, the building types will differ from Phase 1’s condos.
The Cove will have 38 single-family, detached carriage homes and 29 duplex or “paired” homes. Twelve of the carriage home sites are waterfront, with the option of adding a walkout, lower-level basement.
“The Cove is offering seven award-winning floor plans you can tailor to suit your lifestyle,” said Kirsten Nease, Cornerstone’s director of marketing. “Every home offers spacious great rooms, luxurious master suites and large entertaining kitchens, as well as covered outdoor patios, flex spaces and plenty of storage.”
All the homes also have oversized two-car garages with room for storage.
Home sizes in The Cove range from 1,671 to 1,820 square feet. (Waterfront properties with walkout lower levels as well as floor plans with upstairs bonus areas can have nearly 3,000 square feet of living space.) Base prices start at $301,900 and rise to $343,900.
Early sales have been strong, despite record-setting rain delaying construction, Nease said. Currently, five homes are under construction, with the first move-ins expected in June.
“We’re really pleased with February, in particular,” Nease said. “We’ve seen a huge uptick in interest.”
The features that made Magnolia Lakes an appealing concept a dozen years ago – location; active-adult, low-maintenance living; and amenities – are attracting buyers to The Cove today, Glover said. And Cornerstone is adding new amenities, including another clubhouse and an outdoor pavilion and social area on a point of land near Magnolia Lake.
“I’ve visited a lot of active-adult communities, and in terms of amenities per resident, none are better than The Cove,” Glover said.
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