Homeowners beginning to move into Grass Valley’s Ridge Meadows development | TheUnion.com

Homeowners beginning to move into Grass Valley’s Ridge Meadows development

The first new-home development in Grass Valley in years hosted a grand opening Tuesday.

The very first homeowners actually moved in right before Thanksgiving, however.

Emily Reichert, who traces her Nevada County roots back five generations, said she and her husband bought the last house in the first phase of development, but were the first to close escrow.

"We were the only ones on our block," she said with a laugh as son Jackson pushed his wagon down the street. "It's nice to have neighbors now."

Ridge Meadows, which sits on a 9.2-acre site on Ridge and Upper Slate Creek roads, was originally brought before the Grass Valley City Council by another firm and approved in 2007. Homes by Towne acquired the project in 2014, dropping the project from 49 to 37 residential lots.

On Tuesday, Homes by Towne division president Jeff Pemstein greeted a crowd of city officials and contractors who worked on the project, as well as some of the new homeowners, calling the development a "labor of love."

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Director of Sales Christine Fore noted that Cascade Crossing, which features 79 homes off Combie Road, sold out last year. And Homes by Towne's next development on the Berriman Ranch property south of Grass Valley is slated to bring another 30 homes to the area, for a total of nearly 150 over the last few years.

"We'd love to do more," she said. "We just have to find the property."

The Berriman Ranch development is still in the site development process, Fore said.

"We're in a holding pattern until spring," she said.

According to Fore, both the city of Grass Valley and Nevada County have been "exceptionally cooperative and supportive, they're been very pro-housing."

The biggest challenge, she said, has been the actual building, dealing with hilly, rock-studded building sites. And, she said, a labor shortage slowed work down, as did bad weather last year.

"But we're over that hump," she said.

Twenty-two of the 37 lots at Ridge Meadows have been sold and eight homeowners have moved in.

"We do still have homes available," Fore said. "Some will be available for move-in by the end of February."

Current homesites that are still available are in the 1,730- to 1,946-square-foot range, starting at $420,500; some of the finished homes available for purchase feature stainless steel appliances and gas fireplaces with prices north of $435,000.

Sales associate Alex Strom and Fore said that while Cascade Crossing attracted a lot of homebuyers from the Bay Area, Ridge Meadows appears to appeal more to locals who are looking to downsize.

Strom showed off one nearly 1,500-square-foot, three-bedroom model that, she said, had sold to a local woman looking to scale back from a 40-acre property.

She estimated that Ridge Meadows would be completely built out by fall, adding, "It's moving right along."

Contact reporter Liz Kellar at 530-477-4236 or by email at lizk@theunion.com.

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