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Verstandig's plan changes

Builder drops condos in favor of townhomes

Keystone Builders has altered its plans for the Verstandig's Florist property on Delaware Avenue to build townhomes instead of condominiums. The local company this week submitted plans to the Town of Bethlehem Planning Board for a 27-unit development.

Keystone gained approval for its 40-unit condominium project in March of 2009, but never put shovels in the ground. There were several obstacles, said Keystone owner Steve Bolduc, including limited options for condominium financing in today's economy. But the most daunting was that people just weren't committing to the condos.

They had reservations about things like living over the home of someone else or living under someone else, Bolduc said.

They also worried about having only one garage available per unit, he continued.

The townhomes would be considerably larger than the condominiums at 2,188 square feet. All would have two garage bays, with space in front of each to park another car. The units would be three bedrooms with master bedrooms on the ground floor, and include fireplaces, den space and a full basement. Each would also feature a small covered porch area.

The townhomes would largely be in double buildings, though there are two triple buildings and one single unit in the plans.

They're a luxury living design, said Bolduc, and would likely be priced in the high $300,000s to low $400,000s.

Keystone hopes to get started on building this year, or the early spring at the latest. The desire to move quickly is understandable since the project was first announced in February of 2008. The schedule will be helped by the fact the switch to townhomes won't significantly impact the layout of the development.

"In general, we're trying to keep the plan as similar to what was previously approved as possible," said Mike Tucker of Inifinigy Engineering. "From a site plan standpoint, it's virtually the same project that was approved before."

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