The Town of Whitehall in Middletown, Delaware is proud to announce the creation of its professional Builders Guild and the impact a community engagement process has had on creating housing designs that feature timeless architecture, live comfortably and incorporate innovative building technologies.
The Builders Guild includes three well-known, and long established, area builders. Benchmark Builders of Wilmington, Delaware will be building inviting Neighborhood Cottages and Courtyard Homes. Murphy Homes of Newtown Square, Pennsylvania will build finely crafted Estate and Custom homes and Thompson Communities of West Chester, Pennsylvania will construct a variety of warm and friendly Townhomes.
The Builders Guild joins The Town of Whitehall’s development team, led by EDiS Company President Brian DiSabatino. The team has been meticulously planning this mixed-use and walkable concept since 2001.
The name Builders Guild comes from the medieval concept of craftsmen joining together for a common goal. It is important because part of the Town of Whitehall’s mission is to restore the centuries old concept of town planning to Delaware and create a community in which the master plan and architectural design positively impact the quality of life of its residents. The members of the guild were chosen through an extensive search and interview process for their proven experience in building quality homes, customer centric reputation and demonstrated strength during difficult markets.
At the core of The Town of Whitehall is the concept of community. In that spirit, The Town of Whitehall solicited a focus group from local community members to critique the town’s housing designs and concepts. The impact the group had on the town’s plans is reflective of both a noticeable shift in the marketplace and a recently completed market study. The finished residential plans reflect the significant demand of buyers who want a walkable community, a desire for a variety of styles, energy efficient features, and most of all, a sense of place and community.
Focus group member Sue Shimomura said, “It is rewarding to be a part of a community in the making. The development team has tried very hard to build their sense of community into each step in the process. Group members felt they were able to contribute in a meaningful way. It was very refreshing to experience this type of inclusivity.”
The Town of Whitehall’s development team researched and cataloged historical details from Old New Castle in Delaware and Chesapeake City and Chestertown in Maryland. With that data, they commissioned an extensive pattern book to formulate Federal, Greek Revival and other residential designs that reflect the local area. Whitehall’s pattern book co-authors are Mike Watkins, AIA, the former Town Architect for the iconic Kentlands in Gaithersburg, Maryland and Steve Mouzon of Mouzon Design of Miami, Florida. The pattern book ensures that the integrity of the architecture at Whitehall will remain classically correct throughout the new town’s development.
The Town of Whitehall’s development team also traveled inside and outside of the country to learn from other towns. They cite that the most successful towns have both a sense of place and a sense of community in common.
According to Brian DiSabatino, “We welcomed the focus group’s design input and also their constructive criticism. With nearly 4,000 Facebook followers and over 4,000 email addresses, we have been getting a lot of “virtual” advice, so getting it face-to-face from a representative community focus group was extremely helpful and validating.”
Development team member Peter Morrow added, “We are grateful for the feedback. Our desire has been to create something very special in Delaware that will benefit the broader community. Along with the recent approval of an elementary charter school for the site set to open for school year 2016-2017, Mapleton Charter School, the development of a civic building and a coffee shop are being planned. The people who seem to be attracted to The Town of Whitehall are active, engaged and want to keep the community lively.”
Groundbreaking is expected take place in October with the residential plans for The Town of Whitehall to be released during a preview event in November. A sales office and model street will follow and be located within one walkable block of the planned civic building. Information about the Town of Whitehall can be found at www.whitehallde.com. Sales inquiries can be made to email@example.com.
Left to Right: Fred Fortunato of Benchmark Builders, Michael J. Murphy, Sr. & Michael J. Murphy, Jr. of Murphy Homes and Matt Thompson of Thompson Communities.