South Salt Lake • A new cluster of townhomes named for a storied piece of Scotland has sprouted on the border between Murray and South Salt Lake, hinting at broader trends in Utah urban living.
Built by Hamlet Homes, the Carlisle Place project at 700 West and 3800 South will open two model homes for tours starting Friday and Saturday — just as demand for housing choices such as townhomes and condominiums has surged.
Two units in Carlisle Place have already sold in what is envisioned as a community of 57 three-story brick-and-stucco townhomes near the Jordan River Parkway, two golf courses, a TRAX station and the Interstate 15 freeway. The properties — starting in the $194,000 price range — strike a balance between affordability and high-quality design and construction, according to Hamlet Homes founder, owner and chairman Michael Brodsky.
Brodsky said the Carlisle Place floor plans, ranging from 1,864 to 1,960 square feet, drew heavily on input from homebuyers at Waverly Station, a fully sold 160-townhome development by Hamlet Homes at 3700 S. West Temple, near Harmony Park and Southgate Shopping Center in South Salt Lake.
The resulting designs add an open, more spacious feel to living areas, secondary bedrooms, patios and decks as well as additional room in the units’ two-car attached garages, he said.
“You can feel the extra space throughout the entire house,” Brodskey said Tuesday as construction crews scurried around Carlisle Place in advance of this weekend’s grand opening.
The project’s features and location reflect its target buyer— a city-dwelling demographic of young single professionals, newlyweds, couples with small children as well as empty nesters looking to scale down. The two- and three-bedroom homes have scenic views, private porches and balconies, energy-efficient appliances and are wired for high-speed Internet access and roof-mounted solar panels. Typical of most townhomes, there are few lawns to mow but green spaces just a short walk away.
The housing development and a few others like it are hitting the Salt Lake County housing market just as inventories of available homes have dipped below historic levels in recent months, one of several factors that pushed up home prices year-over-year across the Wasatch Front.
As the housing market continues its recovery and foreclosures and short sales of single-family homes decline, more buyers who want to live near city centers are finding townhomes and condominiums attractive, several market observers said.
“They’re choosing area first and then, what is affordable to them,” said David Robison, a South Jordan-based real estate agent specializing in townhomes. “And they’re just not finding the screaming deals on [single-family] homes now that prices are back up.”
Prices at Carlisle Place are $50,000 below the median home price countywide, which reached $244,625 at the end of 2013, based on data from the Salt Lake Board of Realtors.
Dwindling supplies of single-family homes drove sales of townhomes and condominiums in Salt Lake County to 15 percent higher than the year before. Analysts say the trend is likely to continue at least into the first half of 2014 as many homebuilders continue to face tighter credit markets.
Carlisle Place also comes as Hamlet Homes marks 20 years since it was founded, with construction of more than 3,200 homes in cities such as Murray, South Salt Lake, West Valley City, West Jordan and Draper as well as Bountiful, Woods Cross and Park City. Among those projects are several planned urban developments and townhome communities next to resorts and golf courses and along Utah Transit Authority routes.
One of the region’s largest builders, Hamlet Homes has drawn praise in local and national circles for its handling of high-density housing and for integrating projects with light rail, most notably Milburn Manor in West Valley City and a 30-acre portion of mixed residential, retail and office development in Murray known as Birkhill at Fireclay.
The company gives Scottish names to its developments, drawing on the ancestry of Brodsky’s wife and interior decorator Susan Brodsky.
“It has been an incredible experience for me,” Brodsky, a Philadelphia native, said of two decades of homebuilding in Utah. “Except for parts of the last five years, I’ve loved every minute of it.”