MASON, Oh - Construction began last week on a housing development in Mason that will eventually put more than 120 homes on the old Western Row Golf Course at Mason-Montgomery and Western Row roads.
The golf course, which opened in 1962, went idle in 2007, leaving 124 wooded acres open on one of the most highly trafficked intersections in Mason. M/I Homes, a major homebuilder in nine states, purchased the property and is financing the development, called The Alverta.
“We’re very excited about the project,” said Matthew Walker, M/I Homes’s vice president for land acquisition.
The first 44 houses under construction are on the eastern end of the development, adjacent to the Oakwood Lakes and The Landing subdivisions. Homeowners there had expressed concern about stormwater runoff, so M/I Homes and the subdivisions agreed in May that the developer would install a water connection to the subdivisions’ lakes.
In February, the Mason City Council broadened the use of the old golf course by allowing eventual construction of commercial buildings at the busy intersection on the western end of the property. In May, the city agreed to kick in $200,000 to make sure the new main road into the project, Freedom Way, will be configured to promote commerce. No formal plans have come forward yet for the commercial development.
Walker said his company believes the housing market is turning up, “and we expect it to get more and more solid.” The Alverta is “an A-plus location, and one thing we’ve found in a downturn is that an A-plus location is a place you want to be.”
Walker said none of the first 44 homes has been sold yet, and he did not want to disclose what style or size of house is planned, but he said more than 200 names are on a “VIP list” for more information, “and I want to let them have the details first.” The street in the first phase of The Alverta will be paved by the end of this year, and the first houses will go on the market in early 2014, Walker said.