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RISMEDIA, June 28, 2007?(MCT)?Empty nesters who want a home designed to grow with them into retirement may want to take a look at a new planned neighborhood development going up in a former cornfield in northeast Marion.

The Coves at English Glen, northeast of 35th Street and 29th Avenue in Marion, uses the Bay Home concept that emphasizes green space, wetlands, trails and panoramic views.
“This is the first neighborhood of its type in Iowa, although there are some similar concepts elsewhere,” said Jason Drewelow, vice president of business development with Primus Construction Inc., the developer.

The single-family, maintenance-free ranch homes?not condominiums?have a homeowners association that handles yard work and snow removal.

The homes are designed with features to accommodate wheelchairs or walkers, like wider doors and hallways, making them attractive to older buyers.

They also are generating considerable interest among young professionals who like the idea of no yard work or snow removal, but don’t want to share a wall in a condo, said Realtor Dennis Wood with Iowa Realty, who is pre-selling the homes for Primus.

The development was master planned along with nearby Summit Pointe Senior Living Community, 3505 English Glen Ave., with the idea that people can stay in these homes as long as they can, and if they need to move into a retirement home, they don’t have to move far, Drewelow said.

Phase one includes 15 homes, with 90 planned for the entire development.

One of the more striking features of the homes is that the garage is in the back, rather than the front, a rarity in construction today.

“It’s kind of a throwback to yesteryear,” Wood said.

The homes come in four floor plans that range in size from about 1,200 square feet to 1,500 square feet and include the option of adding more living space in the basement. They start at about $191,000 and can be customized by the buyer.

“There is a lot of architectural detail in these homes. They try to avoid the cookie-cutter look,” Drewelow said.

Copyright ? 2007, The Gazette, Cedar Rapids, Iowa
Distributed by McClatchy-Tribune Information Services.