YORK, Maine — What was once vast forests will soon be a brand new private neighborhood, with some units expected to sell for nearly $1 million.
Land for 16 single-family homes and two pairs of duplexes has been made available to buyers interested in living in Woodstone in York Village, with the development coming from the former Mary McIntire Davis property on York Street. There will be 90 more homes on the way, all built over the next four to five years by JHR Development, LLC.
“Savor the serenity,” Woodstone’s York Village website tells potential buyers. It boasts a private community nestled in the woods, yet minutes from shopping, museums, art galleries and other attractions. The homes, which have yet to be built, cost between $889,900 and $949,900, according to real estate agent Tracy Jackson McCarty of Aland Realty Group. Eleven have already been reserved for buyers.
“The opportunities are endless,” said McCarty, whose company trades the units for JHR. “You have access to everything at your fingertips.”
The land on which Woodstone is being built is home to four centuries of York history, dating back to when the settlement was named Georgeana by the English. Abraham Preble, the mayor of Georgeana, was the first in England to live on the property, according to Emerson Baker, a York resident and professor of history at Salem State University. The land has remained largely undeveloped until now.
The Davis family has spent the past seven years trying to sell the property, including an attempted sale to the city that was rejected by voters in a 2019 referendum. The process also included an archaeological dig commissioned by the state that unearthed several colonial artefacts. JHR eventually became the buyer in a sale that closed on April 15 for $6 million.
The project was approved by the Planning Board in 2019 well before the actual sale. Now, McCarty, the real estate agent, said JHR is moving as quickly as possible to roll out the new homes in two phases, made available to buyers based on the timing of utility connections. Units are being built in sequence from York Street to the other end of the development at Raydon Road, she said.
The first moves should take place around the upcoming winter holiday season, according to McCarty. She said 43 homes will be built in the first phase, which is expected to finish in early 2024, so work on the 67-home phase two can begin this fall.
The single-family units will be available in four versions – “Spruce” and “White Pine”, which are two-story houses, and “Ledgestone” and “Sandstone”, which are single-story. The duplex units are each in the form of townhouses known as “The Oaks”. McCarty said the project has been approved, so each unit is a condominium with lawn care and plowing provided. Three to four new private roads will be constructed, each of which will be subject to road and sidewalk maintenance.
There will be 40 units reserved for buyers 55 and older that will be built in Phase 2, according to McCarty. The project was presented as an opportunity for older residents to live closer to the city center while being close to York Hospital. Workforce housing will be available in the first and second phases, and McCarty said lenders working with eligible buyers for those homes have started contacting Aland Realty to secure land.
Prior to the sale, some residents said replacing the woodlots with massive development could detract from the natural beauty of York Street. Planning board chairwoman Kathleen Kluger said at the time of the sale that, despite the project’s approval, she would miss the “rolling hill” of the Davis property and that it would be “very different” to walk down the York Street.
Estate agents involved in the project, such as Ray Pape who represented the Davis family in the sale, said the new development would not be an eyesore. McCarty said this week the development will remain hidden behind woods to give buyers privacy in their new neighborhood.
“It’s just really tucked away,” McCarty said. “When you’re up there, you don’t feel like you’re where you are.”