WINCHESTER — More than two years after first being proposed, construction of the Towns at Brooks Manor is underway.

“Everything has fallen into place,” James T. Vickers, CEO and chairman of OakCrest Companies in Winchester, said Thursday morning during a visit to the project site in the 1100 block of South Kent Street.

The 26-unit town house development is located directly across the street from the rear of Quarles Elementary School, which is one of the factors that ended up slowing the project’s approval.

City Council first considered the development on Feb. 14, 2017, and noted concerns about its potential impact on city school enrollment and access issues when school buses line up along South Kent while loading and unloading Quarles students.

Greenway Engineering, which developed the site plan on behalf of OakCrest, voluntarily withdrew the original proposal and made a series of changes, such as adding a second entrance and exit in the 200 block of East Southwerk Street and reconfiguring designs for the two-bedroom town houses to make it impractical for homeowners to add a third bedroom for growing families.

Council signed off on the changes and approved the Towns at Brooks Manor in May 2018. In November, council approved the subdivision plan as well, clearing the way for site work to begin.

On Thursday, walls were being erected for the first group of 10 town houses that are expected to be ready for occupancy by the end of November.

“We have an aggressive schedule,” said Nameeta Sahni, director of sales and marketing for OakCrest Companies.

Vickers said the end-unit town houses are expected to be priced at $239,900, and the interior units will cost $10,000 less.

Some of the town houses will be offered as rentals by OakCrest for local college students.

“This location, right around the corner from Shenandoah University, will allow that to happen,” Vickers said. “We’re very excited about the project.”

“Mr. Vickers is a big proponent of walkable communities,” Sahni said. “We’re just point-eight mile from downtown and Shenandoah University.”

Once work is completed at the Towns at Brooks Manor, several of the construction personnel will be transferred to OakCrest’s next walkable community, The Lofts at Creekside at 3131 Valley Ave. in Winchester.

“We have a series of meetings coming up to identify exactly when that will take place,” Vickers said.

The Lofts at Creekside will be the long-awaited final phase of Creekside Town Center, which has always been envisioned as a mixed-use development. Since 1988, 28 buildings with an assortment of retail stores, restaurants and professional offices have been constructed, but no housing units.

In February, City Council approved OakCrest’s plan to finish the Creekside development by building 45 three- and four-story condominiums, each with three bedrooms and two full bathrooms, on the 4.45-acre parcel of vacant land between the Creekside Station and Creekside Village shopping centers.

Unit prices for The Lofts at Creekside are expected to range from about $350,000 for the three-story condominiums to as high as $450,000 for some of the four-story dwellings.

For more information, visit oakcrestcompanies.com.

— Contact Brian Brehm at bbrehm@winchesterstar.com

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