Aspen Community Development broke ground on the first cottage-style neighborhood in Texas on Nov. 19. The Cottages on Cantrell is a highly anticipated residential development located on 17 acres in Waxahachie that offers a refreshing new way for residents to own a custom home that is designed to focus on a reduced environmental footprint.

Aspen Community Development President Scott Pendery and vice president Blain Vinson were introduced to the cottage concept while visiting Seattle in 2015. After a first-hand experience of the unique sense of community the neighborhood brought, they knew the idea would work perfectly in Waxahachie.

Surrounded by community members on Tuesday, Vinson told the back story of the cottages and noted the support received.

“Fast forward to Jan. 2018, we have our executed contract in hand, and we are trying to bring that vision and excitement to Waxahachie," Vinson said. "I’ll tell you with 100 percent certainty, we had no idea what we were in for. I can also tell you with 100 percent certainty, where there’s a will, there’s a way.”

Vinson went on to thank Dallas architect Charles Hodges, who introduced Aspen to this Northwestern concept.

Vinson continued to thank Linda Pruitt, the creator of The Cottage Company in Washington state; Andrew Garrett and Brett Hess with Hi View Real Estate; local architect Anthony Mottla, who designed the cottages; local civil engineers Jim McDill and his team; Gina Moore who a neighbor to the construction site; J&K Excavation; James Moon, who assisted with the Homeowners Association; Stephanie Schaefer, who designed the website; the legal team Stenholm & Douglas, P.C.; all City of Waxahachie staff, specifically Planning Director Shon Brooks and Director of Public Works and Engineering James Gaertner; the design review committee and planning and zoning. Local builders Troy Priddy and Chris Acker were both recognized along with all the Aspen friends and family and Pendery. 

Cottages on Cantrell will include 73 cottage-style homes arranged in eight clusters, also known as pods. Cottage neighborhoods are planned communities that consist of a grouping of smaller residences centered around common green space. Communal areas are also designed to promote a close-knit sense of community and social activities with an increased level of contact. 

Homes will face each other overlooking a shared landscape, while a community carriage house stands at the end of the pod. Carriage houses are all 720 square-feet and are designed with outdoor patios, an open living area, bathroom, storage and a full-size kitchen. Homeowners can enjoy a spacious private retreat, as well as opportunities to interact with neighbors, creating a sense of togetherness, safety and responsibility.

Residents also have access to a gym (approximately 2,000 square-feet), dog park, walking trails in addition to a private bridge that connects to Bullard Heights Neighborhood Park, which is owned by the City of Waxahachie. A Homeowners Association shall be required to maintain residential properties, roadways within the development, as well as open spaces and all amenities.

The Cottages on Cantrell property includes a rolling topography that presents a unique feel for residents and even features views of the iconic Ellis County Courthouse. Strategically located on Cantrell Street, the Cottages on Cantrell is a five-minute bike to the new Waxahachie Amphitheatre — Railyard Park — and White Rhino Coffee. The development is also two minutes to Interstate 35, eight minutes to downtown Waxahachie and 20 minutes to Baylor Scott and White Medical Center — Waxahachie. 

Welcome home

Cottages are offered in five different sizes of homes, each with two elevations to choose from. Homes are available in 945, 1,192, 1,393, 1,482 and 1,766 square-feet. Every home includes a private front yard defined by a three-foot picket fence, while backyards will utilize a four-foot wrought-iron “Kent” style residential fencing.

While close in proximity, detached single-car garages are purposely designed as a separate entity for maximum beautification of individual living spaces.

To ensure the best quality for homeowners, the exterior of the cottages will be covered with James Hardie board ColorPlus technology. This product is precisely engineered to help resist damaging UV rays to ensure color stays vibrant longer. ColorPlus Technology finish comes with a 15-year limited warranty that covers paint and labor, protecting against peeling, cracking and chipping.

For the cohesiveness and overall look of the community, thirteen colors were carefully chosen to complement each other within each pod. 

Homeowners will be able to choose between smooth or textured siding. All exterior trim on the home will be Arctic White. To maintain a uniquely designed neighborhood, no color shall be used in any pod of eight homes more than three times or repeat every third home.

Environmental features

The Cottages on Cantrell will be established as a “sustainable community,” as Aspen Community Development strategically chooses members of the building community that are sensitive to the integration of environmental relationships. The design of homes will be energy efficient in material and site planning suitable for Energy Star certification. Homes will include Energy Star-rated materials, systems and appliances.

Aspen proposes to also use techniques used in low impact developments — LID. A concept that began in 1990, LID is focused on conservation and nature by using new land planning and an engineered pre-development approach to manage stormwater runoff as part of green infrastructure.

LID emphasizes conservation and use of on-site natural features to protect water quality. This approach utilizes small-scale hydrologic controls to replicate storing, evaporating and detaining water runoff close to its source.

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