BOXFORD – It was a dozen years ago when members of the Ingaldsby family first showed David Bauer, the Toll Brothers’ division president for Massachusetts, their farm as a possible site for a new housing development.
The farm was “the prettiest development site I have ever done,” Bauer said.
So, Bauer was excited to break ground last week, launching construction of the Willows in Boxford, a 66-unit residential development near the Parker River on the Georgetown line.
The 33 duplex-style residences, built on the farm at 81 Willows Rd., will cater to the growing number of 55-year-old and older residents who do not want to move south and west to find this type of housing, Bauer said.
“We are nowhere near saturation (in Massachusetts) for the growing 55-year-old crowd,” he said. There is a housing shortage generally, but particularly for the active senior homebuyer.
The town of Boxford, led by the town’s Board of Selectmen and Conservation Commission, held hearings on the impact the addition of 66 new residences would have. They decided the town could handle the issues — primarily increased traffic and strain on water supplies – that the Willows presented.
Environmental groups, including the Parker River Clean Water Assn., voiced concerns that the new townhomes could impact the river and Georgetown’s public wells. Those wells provide water to about 9,000 Georgetown residents.
Dave Smallman, chair of the Conservation Commission, welcomed the Toll Brothers’ development. “I think it worked out well. I’m happy,” Smallman said.
Bauer thanked the town leaders for approving the development. “My goal is when we are finished that the town would invite us back,” he said.
The biggest market for the homes that start in the $800,000s is parents and grandparents to live in a low-maintenance, vibrant community so they can remain close to family in New England, Bauer said.
The homes will be carriage-style townhomes with 1,856 square feet to more than 2,600 square feet of living space. The master bedrooms will be downstairs, and each unit will have two-car garages. The development will feature a community clubhouse with a pool and fitness room.
There will also be hiking paths through the property. The town imposed restrictions on the development that keeps almost 91 acres of the old farm open for hiking.
Sales will open in September. Models for the four floor plans will be available in the winter.
Toll Brothers, a Fortune 500 company founded in 1967, is the nation’s leading builder of luxury homes. It currently builds in 24 states.
For more information, visit www.tollbrothers.com.