RICHBORO >> An upscale apartment community marketed to young professionals and empty nesters could be coming to the heart of Richboro.
At the Sept. 23 board of supervisors Zoom meeting, a New Jersey-based developer detailed conceptual plans for 180 luxury apartments, 3,000 square feet of retail space on land located on Township Road.
“We wanted to share this with the public as soon as we received it and get any feedback,” said Supervisor Barry Moore, in introducing the developers at the meeting. “There will be no action taken tonight. This is purely just a concept plan. We were approached unsolicited by these gentlemen and we just wanted to share it with our residents.”
Developer Art Corsini said his company - Fieldstone Associates in Bridgewater, N.J., - would like to build the project on 12 acres of township-owned land located between the Free Library of Northampton Township and the Northampton Senior Center and just south of the Tri-Hampton Rescue Squad and solar panels.
The development would take access from Township Line Road, which will be realigned at the rescue squad building to intersect with a new roundabout being planned at the intersection of Bustleton and 2nd Street Pike.
“Tonight we are honored and excited to present to you our vision of an upscale apartment community,” said Corsini, a principal with Fieldstone, which owns and manages properties in New Jersey and Pennsylvania, including 4,384 rental apartments in 17 communities, two self-storage facilities and about 100,000 square feet of commercial and retail space.
“I welcome any resident to visit any of our properties and they will see they are impeccably maintained,” said Corsini. “Myself, I will personally be involved in every phase in bringing this project to fruition.”
Architect and planner Victor Barr presented renderings showing a seven building complex made up of four 24-unit three-story buildings, two 42-unit four story buildings and the centerpiece of the community - a centrally-located clubhouse with a sizable pool and patio area.
“With the new commercial and retail development already underway in this area, these residential units will accelerate the transformation (of Richboro) into a pedestrian-friendly walkable community,” said Barr.
The three-story, 24-unit buildings are designed as walkup, non-elevator buildings with surface parking. The four story buildings would each have 10 private garages, 1700 square feet of commercial retail space for a total of 3,000 square feet and elevator access.
“Both building types are designed with a residential scale and character with a combination of materials and colors in order to create a community of interest with visual variety,” said Barr. “The buildings could have a gray and white pallet but could easily accommodate an earth tone appearance in tans and browns or a more traditional appearance with brick accents and contrasting white.”
The buildings include one- and two-bedroom luxuary units, ranging in size from 850 to 1400 square feet. Twenty-five percent of the project would be one bedrooms with 75 percent being two bedrooms.
“All units would be designed with an open floor plan maximizing the amount of natural light,” said Barr. “Full height cabinets, pantry units and accent lighting are featured in all the kitchens with stainless steel energy efficient appliances. The units would include wood tone flooring throughout all the living spaces and spacious bedrooms.”
A centralized feature of the development would be its 6,000 square foot clubhouse, with a common gathering room for socializing and private parties; a complimentary coffee bar; a gas fireplace; a full service fitness center with bikes, weights and treadmills; a game room with pool tables, fuzzball and shuffleboard; and large plate glass windows looking out onto the grounds.
Other clubhouse amenities include an outside resort-style pool and lounge area, a hot tub and spa, an outdoor fire pit, a dog park, mail and package rooms, the leasing office and a fully-furnished model apartment.
Fieldstone requires that all prospective tenants meet certain income standards and pass a credit and background check to live in the community.
“We find this to be very important in keeping the community safe,” said Corsini.
Monthly rents are expected to range from $1700 to $1850 for the one bedroom, one bath apartments and $1950 to $2250 for two bedroom, two bath apartments.
“These luxurious residences have a variety of floor plans, some with private garages others with elevator service,” said Corsini. “This will attract a resident demographic of young professionals and older people whose families have left the nest and are looking to downsize and don’t want the maintenance responsibilities of owning a home. Our experience shows these residences have high disposable incomes and typically support restaurants and retail businesses in the local community.”
Corsini added that the development would attract “very few” school-age children and families, resulting in very little impact to the local schools.
“There will be no three bedroom units in this community,” he said. “Also the nature of the buildings themselves as walkups and four story elevators with interior hallways are not conducive to families with school-age children.
“And a family of school-age children will most likely be able to find housing suitable to raising children for a cost far less than what it’s going to cost to live in our apartments,” he said.
In wrapping up the presentation, Corsini said, “We feel the upscale rental community we are proposing will be beneficial to the township and its residents and is much needed to help create the downtown feel in Richboro,” he said. “The community will be pedestrian-friendly with easy walking and biking access to local shopping and restaurant locations and all project improvements will be private and maintained by the landlord at our sole cost and expense, including roadways, parking lots, stormwater management, snow plowing, landscaping and street lighting.”
According to Moore, the development would be a first of its kind for Northampton Township.
“Other townships do have communities like this,” he said. “We are looking for feedback from our residents to see whether this is a good fit for us.”
When asked by supervisor Frank O’Donnell about the draw for such a development in Northampton, Corsini said “because there’s nothing like it in the community.
“I don’t think we’d have any problem renting. I would think we’d have it fully rented in a year to 18 months once it’s constructed,” said Corsini. “The draw will be your business district. You can bike to it. You can walk to it. It’s a desirable area. And you’re not that far from mass transit down in Warminster.”
After listening to the presentation, Chairman Adam Selisker said he expects a lot of discussion will take place in the coming months regarding the concept.
“This is something new and different in our community and we look forward to seeing how this plays out,” he said.