Greenview Commons won't solve the housing shortage business leaders say has plagued the local area in recent years, but it certainly is a step in the right direction.
Ground was broken in March for the residential community along Warrensville Road in Loyalsock Township.
"We need housing bad," said Michael Kuriga, a realtor with Prudential Hodrick Reality, who brokered the deal to bring the project to the township. "Nobody has been building."
R&L Homes President Greg Rhodes decided the natural gas development of the local area made it ripe for new housing. Rhodes is building a 46-unit residential community on 14 acres just south of Konkle Road. Homes, priced between $205,000 and $240,000, will range in size from 1,4450 square feet to 2,100 square feet. The housing will include two-bedroom ranch homes and three-bedroom duplexes.
He said he expects some homes to be available in July.
"By mid-June, we will have a product that people can see," he said.
Most of his housing projects have been concentrated in the Harrisburg area. We had great success in Selinsgrove," he said, referring to some housing he built there. "I started shifting further north because of the fracking."
Rhodes said he couldn't have selected a better spot for his residential community. He noted the access to a public water system and the development's location just a few miles from Williamsport as well as the city's bedroom communities.
Township officials said new housing is a welcome addition to the community.
Some temporary construction jobs have already arrived with the project. And township manager Bill Burdett noted that more housing will bolster the municipality's tax revenues. He said the development drew little opposition, even if Greenview Commons will likely increase traffic in the area.
"We had a conditional use hearing as required," he said.
A school bus stop at Warrensville Road and Konkle Road just north of the development has been somewhat of a safety concern for residents. With new housing, that stop is expected to move off Warrensville Road, Burdett noted. Plans call for Konkle Road to be extended into the development during Phase 2 of the project with the bus stop relocated along that route.
"It will improve school bus safety," he said.