WATER STREET – Local developer Jeff Long is building the first single-family home development for Graystone off Highway 45, one mile north of Water Street in Morris Township, Huntingdon County.
Graystone Cottage Community is an extension of its 55+ apartments. Country houses are for people who are not quite ready for an apartment but cannot afford the property.
“It’s good for them, no snow removal or lawn mowing. It’s a bit like living in an apartment, but you have your own house,” Long said. “We knew there would be a demand for senior citizens’ country homes.”
Long has owned the property since 2008. In 2010, another company initiated plans for a 31-lot, single-family residential development.
“Only one house was built. It did not work “ Long said.
In May 2019, Long submitted plans to the Huntingdon County Planning Commission to turn this project into an adult community cottage land development project that would include 81 cottages and a clubhouse in the 31 original batches. The project included the amalgamation of the 31 lots into a single parcel, with that parcel owned by Long and the cottages being leased.
Construction began long ago in 2021, and if all goes according to plan, the project will be completed by the end of 2023.
At this point, over 50 have been leased and 33 are complete.
Each 1,600 square foot home features an open floor plan with two bedrooms, two bathrooms, a two-car garage, and a large front and back porch.
“These are high-end modular homes. Currently, you can choose the color of your siding and the color of the countertops. All are exactly the same house, the only difference is the color,” Long said.
The community also offers tenants a common gathering space called Sage Creek Lodge. There, tenants will be able to take advantage of the fitness center and common areas for game nights, activities and larger group gatherings. Sage Creek Lodge will also be open to the public.
“It’s under the roof; three-quarters done. It will be a clubhouse for residents and will be used for things like weddings and dinner parties and other functions,” Long said.
Monthly rent of $1,800 includes water, sewer, cable TV, mowing, garbage, snow removal and maintenance.
Long’s project was well received.
“I never thought we would have so many tenants so quickly. It’s a nice central location, it feels like you’re in the country but it’s close to Huntingdon, Altoona and State College. We have several snowbirds who stay in the summer and go to Florida for the winter. This is just an extension of our Graystone apartments,” Long said.
“It will help our tax revenue. It’s for 55 and over, there’s a need for it right now. It took a long time to set it up and get it working, but it’s going well and will be a great setup when it’s finished,”“said Morris Township Supervisor Donald Harnish.
Meanwhile, the Blair County Planning Commission recently reviewed Long’s plans for the Matterns Woods Subdivision, located along Robertdale Drive, Peachdale Lane and Newry Lane in Blair Township.
The proposal is for the subdivision of a 21,424 acre parcel into a 14 lot single family residential subdivision.
Long said he was unsure whether to pursue this project.
“It’s still up in the air, maybe it’s another Graystone (apartment building), we’re not sure of the plans. So the demand for the apartments is high. We hope to decide soon. We need to about a year to get all the approvals. If we did a Graystone, we had to start all over again with approvals and revisions,” Long said.
Long has built and continues to operate 15 Graystone Court and Graystone Court Villas apartment complexes for seniors 55 and older in Blair, Bedford, Cambria, Clearfield, Center, Huntingdon and Jefferson counties. He also owns three personal care homes in Altoona (part of Grande Palazzo), Huntingdon and Bellmeade Manor.
“We are also building a Graystone apartment building and 18 country homes on the Philipsburg Hospital site,” Long said.
Mirror Staff Writer Walt Frank is at 814-946-7467.