Rooms with a view
The Tuckerman Home Group's four-bedroom parade house is family-oriented, with a computer room, mudroom and gourmet kitchen.
Courtesy Howard Associates
Olentangy Falls, site of the 2011 BIA Parade of Homes, is set high on a ridge overlooking the Olentangy River Valley. The area boasts rolling terrain with plenty of mature trees, breathtaking views and a strong connection to nature.
The 2011 parade, taking place June 11 through 26, promises to leave a strong impression on those who attend. As always, the stars of the show will be the 11 amazing homes built by Central Ohio’s premier home builders. But this year, the natural beauty of the host development will play an impressive supporting role.
Olentangy Falls, developed by Rockford Homes, is located in southern Delaware County. The development eventually will contain around 95 houses, each set on at least three-quarters of an acre. Eleven builders will showcase their talents at this year’s event, debuting homes that boast the latest advances in building, design and landscaping. (For more details, see “11 builders, 11 views,” page 32.)
Located approximately one mile west of Rt. 23 off Hyatt’s Road, Olentangy Falls offers convenient access to the city of Delaware, as well as the ample amenities of the Polaris and North High Street corridors. Homes in the parade will range in size from approximately 3,100 to 5,300 square feet, and many will feature walkout basements. Larger-than-usual lot sizes will offer ample privacy thanks to the preservation of mature trees.
Fast growing community
The event’s move northward will provide an opportunity to showcase one of the fastest growing communities in the state. Delaware has been billed as the 20th fastest growing county in the nation, with a population increase of more than
50 percent over the past 10 years. More than 50,000 people moved into the county during that span, bringing its population to nearly 169,000. And the growth is expected to continue. The economic downturn seen by the rest of Ohio and the country seems to have eluded much of Delaware County.
Olentangy Falls sits in the southern part of the county and is located within Liberty Township. The development is in the Olentangy Local School District, which over the past several years has added around 1,000 new students each year. The school district is one of the best in the state, receiving an “Excellent” rating from the Ohio Department of Education for the past seven years.
“The BIA is very excited that the Parade of Homes is back in Delaware County after a five year absence, and Olentangy Falls is a beautiful site,” says Jim Hilz, executive director of the Building Industry Association. “Delaware County continues to be a desirable and popular place for Central Ohioans to live and raise a family. The Olentangy school district is highly regarded and the location allows for easy access to a variety of services. It makes for a very attractive community, and we’re glad to be able to showcase it with an event like the parade.”
Escape to nature
The view from the main road of the parade spans for miles, overlooking the Olentangy River and the expanse of the valley. The terrain throughout the development consists of rolling hills and ravines with plenty of mature trees. There’s a sense of privacy and seclusion from the rest of the world, and a connection with the surrounding natural beauty.
“I’ve seen deer, bald eagles and herons while on the work site,” says builder Doug Annette of New England Homes. “The preservation of natural space means that we will share land with these wild creatures and create a wonderful backdrop to the homes. Home designs by all the builders will take advantage of the natural setting as well as provide privacy from surrounding homes.”
“Obviously, the natural setting is a huge asset for this development, and the homes will showcase that,” agrees Bob Yoakam Jr., president of site developer Rockford Homes. “We’ve tried to plan the community so homes take advantage of the ravines and trees that surround each lot and the privacy it naturally affords them. Even in the dead of winter when the leaves are off of the trees, it will be difficult for homeowners to see their neighbor’s property because we’ve kept dense wooded areas behind each lot as a natural buffer to the property line.”
Inspiration inside and out
Parade attendees can expect to find the latest trends in design and home organization. In addition, the natural setting will be highlighted through the positioning of large windows and walkout basements with lots of natural light.
“We are taking advantage of the unique building site with views out our rear and side windows, as well as with our deck off the back of our home,” says builder Craig Tuckerman of the Tuckerman Home Group. “Our outdoor living area will work in conjunction with the deck and the ravine it overlooks. The fact that we are approximately 100 feet from our neighbors to the east and west gives a tremendous amount of privacy.”
Other interior features to look for throughout the parade include high ceilings, large windows, three-season rooms and solariums, all designed to draw the beautiful surroundings into the homes. Organizational centers continue to evolve, with some builders bringing the mud room, pantry and family planning center together into one central space. Open and spacious basements mean there will be plenty of room for families to spread out, with designated areas for kids as well as room for entertaining. Owners’ suites will continue the trend of creating a private retreat, with plenty of space and ample storage in the closets. Kitchens will showcase the latest trends for gourmet cooks. And the newest technology in home entertainment systems and home wiring will demonstrate that it’s possible to control light, sound, temperature and security with the touch of a button.
The homes’ exteriors will be varied throughout the development, incorporating many different materials and styles. Large garages will house multiple cars; many feature a two-car attached portion as well as a separate one-car “carriage house” garage.
The landscaping of the exterior spaces also will take advantage of the surroundings. Many homes will boast walkout basements with adjacent outdoor living areas. Decks and other structures will feature prominently in the landscape design, with hills and ravines a part of the terrain.
Every year, tens of thousands of home design enthusiasts come to the BIA Parade of Homes looking for ideas and inspiration. Those who have attended for many years appreciate the differences among the sites that are selected from year to year. This year, attendees will see some of the finest craftsmanship and talents of area builders, designers and landscapers. They’ll also get an added bonus as they soak in the beautiful backdrop provided by nature. They may even spot a deer in the distance.
Susan Weil is manager of public relations for Milligan Communications.