1st of 4,500 homes built in Warren County development

Credit: Contributed

Credit: Contributed

The first of 4,500 homes is up for sale in Union Village, the 1,230-acre new urbanist community taking shape in Warren County.

The five-bedroom, 3,728-square-foot Brookstone home features a 679-square-foot apartment above the garage, complete with a closet that could become an elevator shaft.

A short walk down the street is the Union Building, where a restaurant and bank, as well as the offices of Union Village Realty and Otterbein SeniorLife, are under construction and residents will be able to pick up their mail.

Also under construction within a short walk away in the development’s first phase — featuring 89 homes, four apartment buildings and seven town-homes — are homes by eight other builders and a town-home by Dayton-based Charles Simms,

“I think we’ve got the first one sold,” Simms said last week, adding units are listed for $300,000. “I think this is going to be great community. It’s a great concept.”

Union Village is just one of the housing developments under way in Warren County, where already this year 650 permits for new homes have been issued in Lebanon and unincorporated areas, with hundreds of others in the planning stages.

Play has begun on the fields of the new Warren County Sports Park at Union Village, just north off Ohio 741 and Greentree Road in Turtlecreek Twp.

Union Village is the only new development in southwest Ohio designed according to the 10 principles of New Urbanism by architect Michael Watkins.

New Urbanism translates to front porches close to the street, garages reached from back alleys, and common park areas connected by walking paths. Old towns, such as nearby Lebanon, are cited as models.

“We kind of got away from that. We’re getting back to that,” said Matt O’Connor, the broker in charge of Union Village Realty.

A 200-acre greenway system of meadows, woodland parks and pathways will connect to parks within the development — as well as the sports park and Warren County’s Armco Park — and restaurants, specialty shops and stores around the Town Green, anchored by the Union Building.

Credit: Nick Graham

Credit: Nick Graham

Across Ohio 741 is the 200-acre main retirement campus of Otterbein, which is developing the village through a new company. Union Village and the retirement campus are no longer described as one community.

Over coming decades, Union Village, named for a Shaker community that previously owned the land, is expected to grow to 12,000 residents in a walkable community on the east side of Ohio 741 between Springboro and Mason.

“We’re basically building a town,” O’Connor said.

The first home at 3801 Anderson St., and others in the development, have spaces for people working out of their homes due to the coronavirus pandemic.

“As you’ve seen over the year, home offices have become very important. That’s the way people are living,” O’Connor said.

Listed at $899,900, Union Village’s first home faces a fountain and features a long porch close to the street. Six parks are planned in the first phase.

Based in Cincinnati, Brookstone Homes is “trying to bring southern heritage to the Midwest,” Shannon Lachenman of Brookstone Homes said.

Lachenman said Brookstone planned to build 20 houses a year in Union Village, ranging from 1,400-square-foot ranches to two-story, 4,500-square-foot homes like the first home.

“This house is built basically for multi-generational people to come and congregate and to have plenty of space to meet in the community,” Lachenman said.

A community authority will charge owners through their property tax bill to pay for amenities, such as snow removal. Initial charges will reimburse the developer for approved development costs.

“It’s nice to see a lot of the activity that’s out there,” said Martin Russell, chairman of the community authority, as well as deputy county administrator.

“It’s great to see what has been talked about in concept for many years start to become reality,” Russell said.

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