Revisiting an Overlooked Parcel

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In Croton-on-Hudson, N.Y., Discovery Cove at Half Moon Bay sits on 12 acres of highly desirable riverfront, just steps from a boat marina and near the commuter rail into New York. But the site sat dormant for roughly 20 years before WCI Northeast U.S. stepped in to build 154 attached homes there. Why? "For years, complications made this land not worth developing," says Gabe Pasquale, vice presi...

March 01, 2005

 

 

In Croton-on-Hudson, N.Y., Discovery Cove at Half Moon Bay sits on 12 acres of highly desirable riverfront, just steps from a boat marina and near the commuter rail into New York. But the site sat dormant for roughly 20 years before WCI Northeast U.S. stepped in to build 154 attached homes there. Why?

"For years, complications made this land not worth developing," says Gabe Pasquale, vice president and chief marketing officer for the WCI division based in Valhalla, N.Y. The parcel, which was to be the second phase of another developer's plan in the 1980s, was tangled in disagreements owed to thorny easement issues over a trail that traversed the property and would affect the buying builder as well as the municipality and the railroad.

"But a funny thing happened," says Pasquale. "Over time, as our land supply continued to get more restrictive, the property became more interesting and more valuable from a marketability perspective." He credits the company's local relationships, reputation and knowledge of local processes with clearing entitlement hurdles for a successful project.

Starting presales in early 2002, the builder sold out in late 2004, never having opened a model. Profits are undisclosed, but the project set a pricing precedent in the area, rising above the norm in the low-$200s per square foot to reach $680.

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