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Heritage Harbor plans 'pocket neighborhood' aimed at locals

Concept follows national trend

There’s a “pocket neighborhood” coming to Ottawa, and you’ll find it at Heritage Harbor.

It will be a bid at the riverside development to attract older, active local residents who want to downsize their home but stay near friends and family.

In recent weeks, both the Ottawa Plan Commission and then the City Council have given unanimous approval to the Port Place Pocket Neighborhood. The model home will be constructed “as soon as possible,” architect Kevin Donovan told the plan commission.

Heritage Harbor owner Tom Heimsoth said Donovan will be the actual developer, with Heritage Harbor handling sales and marketing.

The close-set homes will be organized to allow a common gathering area in the center of the block where there might be such amenities as a neighbor fire pit, benches and strings of overhead lights. Mature trees up to 25 feet high will be planted.

“When you’re driving down the block it won’t be just a canyon of homes,” Donovan said. “There will be a nice little break in the middle.”

The city allowed what had previously been designated for nine 48-foot wide lots to be changed to 14 lots that are 30 to 32 feet wide and, respectively, 110 and 105 feet deep, allowing homes 20 to 22 feet wide.

The custom-built homes will be 1,100 to 2,000 square feet, not including basements — which will be an option. Each will have a two-car garage and be built “beyond code” of tornado-resistant materials, Donovan said.

Prices will generally range from $250,000 to $350,000.

“That’s the neat thing with the product scope on this,” said Donovan. “It’s really flexible depending on what the market responds to.

“Our response from this is really going to help us craft the rest of Heritage Harbor,” he said, noting the development still has space for another 400 to 500 homes.

Pocket neighborhoods would be a good fit at Heritage Harbor, Heimsoth said.

“I don’t think we at Heritage Harbor have been really successful yet at getting a lot of local people to more into our resort,” he said. “But I think in the last two years we have made some really good progress with that. We feel we have some momentum going there. However, one of the things we know we need to do to have more success with that is have some products that are really cost-effective.

“People are looking for this kind of product, without a doubt,” said Heimsoth. Heritage Harbor’s walking trails and access to boating make it idea for an active adult market, he said.

“A lot of people want to be in an environment without kids living next door,” Heimsoth said. “They want peace and quiet. But they want to know their neighbors very well, and to feel a sense of community.”

  • For more information on pocket neighborhoods visit pocket-neighborhoods.net. For more information on Heritage Harbor visit heritageharborottawa.com.

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