An undeveloped residential community that sat abandoned in Galloway Township has been given new life by the work of Millville-based Sherwood Forest Homes LLC.
The company similarly revived a housing community in Millville a couple of years ago, builder Michael Joffe said. The Galloway property was bank-owned when Sherwood took over. Sherwood also has developed communities in Vineland and Bridgeton.
A 35-unit residential community is being developed near Richard Stockton College.
“There hasn’t been new construction in the short sale and foreclosure market,” said Brenda Lawn, a Realtor at the Northfield office of the new Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Fox & Roach, Realtors.
To develop in New Jersey today, the process of buying land, getting approvals, hiring engineers, hiring lawyers and getting permits could take years, Joffe said.
Lawn said the property was abandoned by the previous developer, after it went bankrupt due to a downturn in the market.
At that time, only three houses had been built. Sherwood now has built three spec homes, which will be ready in less than six weeks, Lawn said.
“The problem right now is people want to see the houses. We are on site in a trailer as a sales office,” she said.
“We are looking at first-time buyers and those who lost their homes,” Joffe said.
He said he is passionate about reviving residential communities and working with banks and townships to create new homes.
“Houses have life cycles,” he said.
Many of the properties that flooded the market are older — mostly from the 1970s or later. So even renovating them isn’t the same as a new home, most of which are built to new standards and are more energy-efficient, Joffe said.
Which is why he has taken on projects such as Sherwood at Galloway.
“When you can see a family sitting around the dining table — visualize the turkey and kids — that’s what it’s all about,” Joffe said.
Visitors can take a look at the spec houses or empty lots, and then decide how they want theirs to be built. The homes start in the low $200,000s.
The units range from 1,400 to 1,900 square feet.
Lawn said it is exciting to have a new property to sell again.
The potential homebuyers can pick everything, such as countertops, finishing touches and carpeting, according to their own taste.
Because it was an existing subdivision, neighbors are happy to see work beginning again on the “unfinished street in an otherwise nice neighborhood,” Lawn said.
The lots are located along Maria Loretta Lane, off Buchanan Avenue.
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